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Rabbi Darryl Crystal joins Congregation Emanu El as interim Rabbi on July 1, 2017!

Rabbi Darryl Crystal is one of the leading interim rabbis in the Reform movement.  He has traveled the United States, serving twelve congregations ranging in size from 230 to 975 households as an interim rabbi since 2004.  His pulpits have been in Georgia, Maryland, Wisconsin, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Texas, North Carolina, Massachusetts and Nebraska. 

Prior to his work as an interim rabbi, Rabbi Crystal served North Shore Synagogue in Syosset, New York for eighteen years from 1985 to 2003, as assistant rabbi, associate rabbi and senior rabbi.  He established to synagogue youth program which began with 20 members and eight years later had over 400.  He created the Center for Adult Jewish Learning, which brought renowned speakers to the synagogue and led the congregation’s participation in the national project to revitalize worship and congregational life, Synagogue 2000.

Life-long learning is a passion for Rabbi Crystal. He was ordained at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in 1985 and has a BA degree from the University of Maryland. He studied at the PARDES Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem in 2003-04 and he was one of the first rabbis to train with the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, which teaches rabbis, educators, and lay leaders about spirituality through study of classic texts and Jewish meditation. Rabbi Crystal trained as a hospital chaplain at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, and was an Eisendrath Intern at the Religious Action Center, the legislative office of Reform Judaism in Washington, D.C. 

NFTY and Reform Camps have been an important influence in Rabbi Crystal’s life. He is a past chair of the Committee on Youth for the Central Conference of American Rabbis and was a member of the Youth Coordinating Committee that oversaw all of the youth programs for the Union for Reform Judaism.

As an interim rabbi, Rabbi Crystal will fulfill all of the responsibilities of a congregational rabbi and work with Congregation Emanu El during this transition year as we work to develop a vision for the future and search for a settled rabbi.  Rabbi Crystal says in his personal statement, “As an interim rabbi I help synagogues affirm their ideals and learn about how to build a sacred relationship with their new rabbi.”

Rabbi Crystal is the manager of the interim Rabbi Program for the Reform movement. He is responsible for training and consulting with all of the interim rabbis for the Reform movement.  He has pursued advanced training in the area of organizational development at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, the Hauser Institute at Harvard University, the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western University and Gratz College in Philadelphia