Stephen S. Pearce, DD, PhD, the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Senior Rabbi, has served Congregation Emanu-El since 1993. Ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, he earned his doctorate in counselor psychology at St. John’s University. He is a board member of Palo Alto University and an advisory board member of the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture. Previously, he served on the board of the Graduate Theological Union and is a past president of the Northern California Board of Rabbis.
Dr. Pearce is the former editor of the Journal of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and author of Flash of Insight: Metaphor and Narrative in Therapy, and coauthor of Building Wisdom’s House: A Book of Values for our Time, in addition to numerous articles and poems.
In 2012, Rabbi Pearce was awarded The San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association’s Silver Spur Award for interfaith community dialogue and engagement; the national Jefferson Award for inspiring worshippers to fight hunger; The San Francisco Food Bank Community Partner Award for inspiring members of Congregation Emanu-El to donate over 90,000 pounds of food in the last two decades; and the San Francisco Interfaith Council recognition for encouraging green sustainability at the Temple. Dr. Pearce has been recognized three successive times by Newsweek as one of the 50 Most Influential Rabbis in the United States. Rabbi Pearce in conjunction with clergy and staff has created a collaborative team approach to worship, life-long education, social concerns, and cultural offerings.
Rabbi Sydney Mintz was ordained in 1997 by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion where she progressed through the Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York campuses. Rabbi Mintz has served on the Reform Movement’s Commission on Social Action, the Board of the Brandeis Hillel Day School, the Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis, the Rabbinic Advisory Councils of Shalom Bayit and the San Francisco Jewish Domestic Violence Board and the Jewish Community High School of the Bay. She currently serves on the Executive Board of the Women’s Rabbinical Network and the National Board of Jewish Funds for Justice. In addition to lecturing widely in the area of Midrash and Jewish humor, she is currently on the Board of the Documentary Production, “A Gift for Laughter-Comedy and the Jews.” Rabbi Mintz became a Senior Rabbinic Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem after completing her fellowship in 2004. She helped to found the award winning Late Shabbat Young Adult Program at Congregation Emanu-El where she has served as Rabbi since her ordination in 1997. Although Rabbi Mintz dreams that real Chicago pizza existed in San Francisco, she would never dream of giving up life in the vibrant Jewish community of the Bay Area. Rabbi Mintz led Team Emanu-El in the AIDS Lifecycle Ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles and is an avid open ocean swimmer.
has served Congregation Emanu-El as a rabbi since 2006. In 2010, Rabbi Jaffe took on the oversight of the synagogue's educational programming. He is currently a member of the 2010 – 2013 cohort of the Hartman Institute's Rabbinic Leadership Initiative and also sits on Hebrew Union College’s President’s Rabbinic Council. In recent years, Rabbi Jaffe has served on the boards of the Jewish Community Federation's Peoplehood Commission, the San Francisco Interfaith Coalition, and the Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis.
Before ordination from Hebrew Union College in 2007, Rabbi Jaffe served as the Education Director for URJ Camp Newman in Santa Rosa. He has also served as Education Director for Temple Beth Torah of Fremont and has taught at the San Francisco Bureau of Jewish Education and Congregation Sherith Israel and interned at Congregation Aitz Chaim of Great Falls, Montana, and Congregation Ner Tamid of Las Vegas.
Rabbi Jaffe was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. He received his BA in philosophy from Duke University and studied at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem. His rabbinic thesis was on Jewish liturgy and ritual as mythological narrative. He lives with his wife, Yael, and their two daughters.
A selection of Rabbi Jaffe’s sermons may be read here.
Rabbi Ryan Bauer has served Congregation Emanu-El since 2005. Rabbi Bauer oversees the “community” department which focuses on deepening congregant to congregant connections through new initiatives such as Emanu-El in the neighborhood. In addition, he oversees the conversion program.
Rabbi Bauer serves on the board of AIPAC, the Rabbinic Advisory Councils of Shalom Bayit, and the Northern California Rabbis Task Force for Civil Discourse. In addition, Rabbi Bauer is a regular faculty member at URJ Camp Newman.
Rabbi Bauer was ordained by the Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles in 2007. In his final year of rabbinical school, Rabbi Bauer’s academic research focused on exploring Hasidic views of how one cleaves to the divine. Prior to rabbinical school, Rabbi Bauer completed his undergraduate degree at the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied Psychology with an emphasis in Political Economies of Industrialized Societies. As part of his undergraduate studies, Rabbi Bauer studied at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem where he assisted with a Fulbright research project that examined violence in Jewish and Palestinian schools. Rabbi Bauer has also served as a chaplain intern at UCLA Medical Center, has worked as the Co-Director of Teen programs at the Center for Jewish Living and Learning in Oakland, and has written for the Jewish Iranian newspaper in Los Angeles.
When Rabbi Bauer is not at the shul or with his family, he enjoys surfing, hiking, biking and swimming in the bay.
Rabbi Carla Fenves has recently joined the clergy of Congregation Emanu-El after receiving ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. During rabbinical school, she served congregations as a student rabbi in Castro Valley, California; Wayland, Massachusetts; and High Point, North Carolina. An alumnus of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship, Rabbi Fenves also interned at Central Synagogue, DOROT, and the Union for Reform Judaism in New York.
Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Rabbi Fenves graduated with honors from Stanford University with a degree in Religious Studies. She lives with her husband, Cantor David Frommer.
Rabbi Lawrence Kushner has served as the Emanu-El Scholar since 2002. He is the author of eighteen books including the just published I’m God; You’re Not: Observations on Organized Religion & Other Disguises of the Ego; a novel, Kabbalah: A Love Story; and a screenplay, Your Good Friend (with Matthew Jacobs); Honey from the Rock; God Was in This Place and I, i Did Not Know; Invisible Lines of Connection; and Five Cities of Refuge (with David Mamet). He has been a commentator on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered.
He was the first chairman of Reform Judaism’s Commission on Religious Living and has served on the board of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations.
Prior to his move out to San Francisco, he was the Rabbi-in-Residence at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City. He continues as an adjunct member of the faculty of the Hebrew Union College at the Los Angeles campus where he teaches an annual seminar for rabbinic students.
Before that, Rabbi Kushner served for twenty-eight years as the rabbi of Congregation Beth El in Sudbury, Massachusetts. There, he originated the concept of synagogue havurot (small fellowship groups) and helped his congregants write V’tahaer Libenu (Purify our Hearts), the first gender-neutral liturgy ever published. He enjoys biking, graphic design, and is (still) trying to learn how to play the
Rabbi Kushner's Publications
Cantor Roslyn Barak
Cantor Roslyn Barak has served Congregation Emanu-El since 1987. She grew up in New York and attended the High School of Music and Art and the Manhattan School of Music, earning a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance. As an opera singer she appeared with the Santa Fe Opera, as well as other companies, and was the recipient of several prestigious awards and honors. Eventually she was offered a contract to the Israel National Opera, which led to a rewarding concert career in Israel for three years. She performed with the Israel Philharmonic, the Jerusalem Symphony, and other major orchestras in the country (aside from her work with the Opera) and she was a noted recitalist there as well. After returning from Israel, she made the decision to pursue a career in the cantorate, and enrolled in the Hebrew Union College in New York. She was invested as Cantor in 1986 after receiving a Master of Sacred Music degree, and continued her association with Temple Isaiah of Forest Hills, New York, where she had served as student cantor. Since moving to San Francisco, she has toured Germany multiple times in conjunction with the release of her CD, The Jewish Soul, and she teaches and coaches cantorial students around the country, in Israel, and in Germany. She has served on the faculty of the Academy of Jewish Religion in Los Angeles, on the board of the American Conference of Cantors and the Cantors Assembly.
She served on the editorial committee for Mishkan Tefillah, the current Reform prayerbook, and has written for Ten Minutes of Torah, Eilu v’Eilu (URJ website blogs), and has had sermons and essays published in The American Rabbi and Matzoh Ball Soup. Her recording of Samuel Adler’s liturgical music is part of the Milken Archives of American Jewish music, and other recordings include Libi B’Ma’arav, A Sho in Gan Eden, and Hallel v’Zimrah. Cantor Barak received a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology in 1996, and recently received her Honorary Doctorate from the Hebrew Union College.
Marsha Attie has been serving Congregation Emanu-El since 1998 as our music soloist. She is the voice and spirit behind our Contemporary Services. Marsha is a composer and recording artist who works individually and collaborates with others. She is also a treasured songleader and spends some time every summer at Jewish camps, returning to her roots as a camp songleader. Marsha is currently pursuing her studies and will graduate as an invested Cantor. She lives in Corte Madera with her lifetime partner Doug Kaplan and their son Marco.