Rabbi Brian Zimmerman
Rabbi Brian Zimmerman is the Senior Rabbi at Beth-El Congregation and is excited to be a part of the ongoing story of this historic and vibrant Fort Worth Congregation.
Rabbi Zimmerman comes from a long line of rabbis. He is a 12th generation rabbi following in the footsteps of his father and grandfathers before him. Raised in New York City, Rabbi Zimmerman’s route to the pulpit began by studying film and broadcasting. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston University. He moved to Hollywood with the intent of working in the film industry, but realized that his calling to be a Rabbi was much stronger.
After receiving his Masters Degree in Hebrew Letters from Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles, Rabbi Zimmerman was ordained at the Hebrew Union College in New York City in 1993 where he wrote his thesis on the origins and modern developments of the Passover Haggadah.
Prior to his time at Beth El Congregation, Rabbi Zimmerman served as the Regional and Rabbinic Director for the South District of the Union for Reform Judaism. In this capacity, he tended to the spiritual and physical needs of clergy and congregations in an 11 state district comprising 195 congregations. Prior to this, he was the rabbi at Congregation Beth Am in Tampa, Florida, from 1999 to 2006, and the Assistant Rabbi at Congregation Beth Ami in Rockville, Maryland, from 1993 to 1999. He has also served as a student intern at the UAHC Department of Small Congregations.
Rabbi Zimmerman has tried to merge his two passions, Judaism and film, through his temple classes and other outside commitments. He served as Co-Chair of Cinema Emanu-El, a major summer Jewish film festival that hosts over 2,000 attendees, and he was chair of Film Procurement for the Tampa Bay Jewish Film Festival. He loves to teach classes that explore religious themes in American films.
He has served as a member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) Board of Trustees and as Co-Chair of the CCAR Convention Committee. Rabbi Zimmerman has also served as Chair of the Reform Rabbinate’s Task Force on Congregational and College Campus Relations, was a member of the URJ College Committee, served as Vice President of the Rabbinic Association of Greater Dallas and President of the Tampa Rabbinical Association. In 2015, he was featured as one of Tablet Magazine’s “15 American Rabbis You Haven’t Heard of, but Should.”
Rabbi Zimmerman believes that Jewish leaders must constantly challenge themselves to make Judaism joyous, meaningful and transformative. He believes synagogues must be, above all, safe places for sacred conversations. He has a special passion for all things youth group, Bruce Springsteen, scary movies and conversations about God although not necessarily in that exact order.
Rabbi Zimmerman lives in Fort Worth with his amazing wife Mimi, and his wonderful children, Saul and Molly.
Contact Rabbi Zimmerman at firstname.lastname@example.org