Rabbi Pernick leaving Metairie’s Beth Israel

“After significant thought and deliberation,” Rabbi Joshua Pernick informed Metairie’s Beth Israel that he will not seek a renewal of his contract next summer, and will “take the next step on my life journey.”

Pernick arrived in the summer of 2019 to lead the modern Orthodox congregation, succeeding Rabbi Gabe Greenberg.

The announcement was made in an email to the congregation on Oct. 5.

“I feel such gratitude to have been welcomed so warmly into this shul,” Pernick said. Noting that the past two years have been “a complicated time for our community and the world,” he has “felt blessed to have a caring congregation to call home as we have navigated the challenges wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

President Harold Pesses said he was sad to receive the news, but expressed his “sincere appreciation” for his “hard work, dedication and outstanding contributions to Beth Israel as our rabbi,” during a time of “stressful and unprecedented pandemic.”

After the community scattered in the wake of Hurricane Ida, Pernick and a group of congregants “returned to Beth Israel to complete the high holidays in a spirit of enthusiasm and hope for our future,” Pesses said.

Pernick said he will work to strengthen the foundation of the congregation in the coming months as a search committee is formed to choose a successor. His contract at Beth Israel is through July 14, 2022.

“I will always look back fondly at my time in New Orleans, and thank you for allowing me to serve as your rabbi,” he said.