Clergy and Staff


Darby Leigh, Rabbi

Rabbi Darby Jared Leigh is a native New Yorker and a life-long “truth-seeker”. His rabbinate is characterized by creativity, inclusivity, and a commitment to diversity. Rabbi Leigh describes himself as “committed to finding creative ways to engage Jews of all ages and backgrounds, and to creating welcoming, caring communities with intellectual honesty and spiritual depth.” Rabbi Leigh is a passionate snowboarder and fire-juggler, he loves mountains, and has toured as a leading actor with the Tony award-winning National Theater of the Deaf (NTD). He has appeared on stage with rock bands Jane’s Addiction and Twisted Sister. He and his wife, Randi, are the proud parents of three daughters, Rayna, Ariza and Sivan.

Michael Luckens, Rabbi Emeritus

Rabbi Michael Luckens served as the Rabbi at Kerem Shalom from 1978. - July 1, 2012, at which time he moved to Emeritus status. During his tenure at Kerem Shalom he led the creation of a deeply rooted and joyful Jewish community, valuing tradition but also embracing change.

Partnering with synagogue member David Orlinoff, Rabbi Luckens wrote and edited our prayerbook, Shir Ha-Lev (Song of the Heart).

Rabbi Luckens is a graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia. He has a Masters degree in Education and a PhD in Religion.

Rosalie Gerut, Kerem Shalom's Cantor and Director of Adult Programming

Rosalie Gerut has been with Kerem Shalom since the mid-1980s. She is an educational psychologist as well as a singer/songwriter with international credits. Rosalie brings her love of music and Judaic students to KS by participating in leading services and developing adult programs that build community and deepen our understanding of Judaism.

Rosalie has received The Charlotte Bloomberg Award for the establishment of One by One, Inc., the Brandeis University Bolli Award for Outstanding Speaker (on the subject of the Holocaust and the role of music), and the WMJX Exceptional Woman Award for Courage. Her publications include original music for recordings, plays, and ballet, as well as articles on the subject of trauma and healing from the fallout of the Holocaust. Rosalie holds a B.A. from Brandeis University, an M.A. from Tufts University, and over the years has continued her studies in psychology, Judaism, and Biblical Hebrew.

Joan Perlman, Education Director

Joan has been at Kerem Shalom since 2004. Before becoming our Director of Education, Joan served as our Assistant Director of Education for 4 years and has taught grades 4,5 and 7 in our Hebrew School. Joan held the position of Bar/Bat Mitzvah and Event Coordinator here as well. She was among the first recipients of the CJP Technology Fellowship and was also the Director of Education at Temple Shalom Emeth, Burlington. She is a graduate of Simmons College and has taken Judaic Studies courses at Brandeis University and Hebrew College. She studied Education Administration Management at the Research for Better Teaching Center. Currently, Joan resides in Marlborough with her husband, two daughters, and dog.

Nancy Kaplan, Director of Family Education

Nancy Kaplan joined Kerem Shalom as a member in 1999 and as Family Educator in 2002, after a year of teaching in Kerem Shalom's school. During the 1990's Nancy taught the Jewish children (including her own, Anna and Katie) of Rapid City, South Dakota's Synagogue of the Hills. Nancy completed the Jewish Family Education certificate program at Hebrew College in Newton in 2007  and she  is currently pursuing her Masters in Jewish Education and Certificate in Sacred Jewish Music Education at Hebrew College.

In addition to leading family programs at Kerem Shalom including our monthly Tot Shabbat services, monthly Interfaith Conversations and our annual community-wide Mitzvah Day, Nancy leads the Mak'aylah (youth chorus) for children grades 5 and up, teaches music to K-6 students in the religious school, leads KS's Rosh Hodesh high school girls' group in its fourth year and plays piano during Kerem Shalom's Mostly Music Shabbat services. Nancy has a Masters in Medical Illustration from the University of Michigan and a B.S. in Biology from Tufts University.

Jessica Busiek, Temple Administrator

Jessica started at Kerem Shalom in 2008 doing part-time administrative support for the previous Temple Administrator and for the Hebrew School. She left Kerem Shalom in 2010 after having her third child, but returned in 2012 to help Pat and Joan in the Hebrew School and to later take on the role of Temple Administrator. Jessica is responsible for all of the administrative functioning of Kerem Shalom and for all Temple office management. She is a graduate of Hamilton College in Clinton, NY and resides in Acton with her husband and three young daughters.

Pat Lukens, past Education Director

Pat Lukens was Kerem Shalom’s Education Director for 16 years. She retired from that position the end of June 2015, amidst great celebration for her wonderful work.  Prior to coming to Kerem Shalom, Pat worked at Temple Shir Tikva in Wayland for thirteen years, as the Family Educator and as a teacher. She graduated from Hebrew College and was a member of the first class of Family Educators at Hebrew College. Pat’s legacy includes our vibrant Hebrew School program, the KS rolling library, and Project Linus, to name a few. She will still be a congregant at Kerem Shalom and have much more time for the grandchildren.

Please email our administrative staff at ksadminatkeremshalomdotorg or call 978 369-1223 if you have questions about Membership, the building, billing or community outreach.