Rabbi Merle E. Singer is Temple Beth El’s Rabbi Emeritus. He retired in 2005 after serving as the Temple’s senior spiritual leader for 28 years. During that time, the Temple grew from a small congregation to one of the largest and most vibrant synagogues in the United States.
Nationally, Rabbi Singer was actively involved in the Reform Movement and Jewish causes. He served on the executive board of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR). He is a past president of the Southeast Region of the CCAR (SEACCAR) and the Israel Bonds National Rabbinic Cabinet, and was on the National Board of Governors of the Synagogue Council of America.
Rabbi Singer is a former president of the United Way of South Palm Beach County and took a leading role with the Greater Boca Raton Religious Leaders Association. He has served in various board positions with the South Palm Beach County Board of Rabbis, the Florence Fuller Child Development Center, Hospice by the Sea, and the Ethics Committee at Boca Raton Community Hospital. In addition, Rabbi Singer has served in various capacities with Planned Parenthood, the Mae Volen Center, the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County, and the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County.
In recognition of his many contributions to the community, Rabbi Singer has twice received the Key to the City of Boca Raton; he was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters from Gwynedd-Mercy College in Springhouse, PA, a Doctor of Divinity from Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Religion and a Doctor of Public Service from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, where he was an adjunct professor and helped establish the Judaic Studies Program. For this effort he was awarded the President’s Medallion for Distinguished Service.
Prior to coming to Boca Raton in 1978, Rabbi Singer was the rabbi at Temple Beth Or in suburban Philadelphia, PA. He began his rabbinate at Temple Sinai in Washington, D.C. Rabbi Singer was ordained a Reform Rabbi at Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in June of 1966. He also holds an MA from HUC-JIR and a BA from the University of Cincinnati.
Rabbi Singer and his wife Myra live in Boca Raton. They have four sons and twelve grandchildren who brighten their world. Rabbi Singer remains active in the community where, among other causes, he supports the work of the Boca Ballet in its outreach and programming benefiting people living with Parkinson’s and other neurological disorders.