Rabbi David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, awarded Rabbi Rex David Perlmeter with the Doctor of Divinity at Graduation Ceremonies in New York on Thursday, April 29, 2010, at Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York. Rabbi Perlmeter was honored for 25 years of scholarly distinction as an alumnus of HUC-JIR.
Rabbi Perlmeter was ordained at HUC-JIR in 1985, after graduating from Princeton University in 1980 with a degree in Comparative Literature. He served from 1985 to 1996 as rabbi at Temple Israel of Greater Miami, during the last seven years of which he was Senior Rabbi of that revered institution.
He went on to serve as spiritual leader of the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation from 1996 to 2008. This flagship Reform congregation was in a significant movement of institutional transition, within which Rabbi Perlmeter brought about a sense of cohesion and new enthusiasm. The vision driving his pulpit rabbinate was one of creating multiple options for people to connect effectively with their Jewish identity, and to encourage their fulfillment of that identity in conscientiously chosen acts of mitzvoth.
Throughout his years in the pulpit, Rabbi Perlmeter could often be found raising an impassioned voice for issues of social justice. Upon being named Rabbi Emeritus at BHC in June, 2008, Rabbi Perlmeter moved with his wife, Rabbi Rachel Hertzman, and family to New Jersey where he now serves as Director of the New Jersey-West Hudson Valley Region of the Union for Reform Judaism.