Clergy Bio

Rabbi Jonathan Kraus

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Rabbi Jonathan Kraus
was ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in 1989 and has been the Rabbi of Beth El Temple Center since 1994.   A child of the Reform Movement who grew up in its synagogues and programs, Rabbi Kraus was deeply influenced by the Union for Reform Judaism’s (URJ) summer camps, its youth movement (NFTY) and its Religious Action Center in Washington, D.C.  All are programs he continues to support enthusiastically as a rabbi.  A longtime song leader, composer and musician, Rabbi Kraus also has been nourished by his great love for and involvement with Jewish music.  All those experiences, combined with several, transformative opportunities to visit and live in Israel, have been among the most defining influences on his Jewish identity and rabbinate.

Rabbi Kraus’ vision for Beth El is of a warm, welcoming and vibrant Jewish religious community that does its best to express the values of Judaism in every area of its life.  He believes that the congregation’s shared life is always at its best when firmly rooted in a creative, highly participatory and deeply felt embrace of Jewish religious learning and living.  Whether wrestling with profound questions of meaning, working for social justice, nurturing strong and sustaining relationships, singing, celebrating, creating, laughing, grieving, eating, praying, learning, healing or just wondering together, Rabbi Kraus’ highest aspiration is to help lead a holy Jewish community.

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Cantor Louise Treitman

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Cantor Louise Treitman was invested by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in 1998 and officially became the Cantor of the Beth El Temple Center community in the summer of 2015. Her connection to Beth El began nearly 25 years ago when she filled in for an ailing Cantor Baruch Greisdorf z”l. Since that time she has stayed connected to this congregation, singing concerts with former Cantor Geoffrey Fine and filling in for his sabbatical. She has also been connected to Rabbi Jonathan Kraus for many years through the Institute for Jewish Spirituality and other local Jewish organizations. 

In Cantor Treitman’s own words from her installation service: “Well, it has taken me a few years, but I am happy to say that I am finally here! I have found a congregation that loves to join together and pray with beautiful music, using new melodies by young composers as well as hazzanut and choral music from previous centuries and everything in between. I have found a community that enjoys a variety of traditions, that loves to learn and that works hard to repair the world. I have found colleagues (Rabbi, Rabbi-Educator, Education Director, Classroom teachers, staff) that love to work together and support each other. I have found a Rabbi who, in addition to being a friend and a wonderful clergy partner, is also a talented musician. I have found a congregation of people that take time for each other and feel the importance of creating a caring community. It feels beshert, like a perfect match, and I am so glad that you invited me to be your Cantor.” 

Cantor Treitman believes that music helps us to connect to God - that music opens up our soul and our heart to experience the Holy. It is her deepest wish to be part of a congregation that treasures personal relationship and connection as it celebrates Torah (Jewish learning), Avodah (Jewish service and worship) and Gemilut Chasadim (giving back to the community). She looks forward to sharing the journey with you.

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Upcoming Services

Fri, Sep 30 8:00pm

Sat, Oct 1 9:00am

Sat, Oct 1 10:00am

Sun, Oct 2 9:00am

Sun, Oct 2 7:00pm