Congregation Emanu-El’s leaders are devoted to our temple community and active in the life of our congregation. The leadership team consists of our Board of Directors; Clergy; Executive Director; and Directors of Membership Services, Youth Education, Early Childhood Education, Development, Finance, Marketing and Operations.
Richard and Rhoda Goldman Senior Rabbi
Rabbi Beth Singer is the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Senior Rabbi at Congregation Emanu-El. Ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, she also earned her undergraduate degree from Pomona College. Before coming to Emanu-El in August 2013, Rabbi Singer served as Temple Beth Am’s Co-Senior rabbi in Seattle for sixteen years. Prior to that she served at Temple de Hirsch Sinai in Seattle and before that at Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, New York. Her rabbinate has focused on worship transformation, pastoral care and social justice work, especially in the realm of homelessness and at-risk youth. Rabbi Singer has modeled and promoted ahavat Yisrael in each congregation, including Israel education, Israel cultural celebration programming, and Big Tent welcome of diverse viewpoints on all things Jewish. At Congregation Emanu-El, Rabbi Singer has worked to develop the people’s social justice project called Tzedek Council to make it easier for maximal numbers of congregants to engage in making our world a better place for everyone.
Rabbi Singer’s overall goal is for each individual congregant and family to find your own place to call home at Emanu-El.
Richard and Rhoda Goldman Senior Rabbi
Rabbi Jonathan Singer is the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Senior Rabbi at Congregation Emanu-El. He grew up in Upland, California, attending Temple Beth Israel of Pomona. After focusing on government/political theory at Pomona College where he graduated in 1982, having been mentored by Rabbi Fred Krinsky, he went on to study at Machon Pardeis in Jerusalem. He received smicha from the Hebrew Union College- JIR Cincinnati campus in 1989. His first pulpit was Temple Israel of New Rochelle working as an Assistant and then Associate Rabbi for six years. In 1995 he returned to the West Coast and spent eighteen years as Senior Rabbi at Temple Beth Am. With the growth of Beth Am, he and Rabbi Beth created a model rabbinic partnership; working together to build up a vibrant center of Jewish life in that city which they are so excited to continue here at Congregation Emanu-El.
Rabbi Jonathan is devoted to combining joy with the pursuit of intellectual and spiritual engagement in Reform Judaism. He is proud of the work he has done serving on boards from the Jewish Federation and as president of the Liberal board of Rabbis, while also pursuing social justice work including equal marriage rights, but is most proud of his children Rena, Jenny, and Robert. As senior rabbi of Emanu-El, where he feels honored to help carry the Torah of the Jews of San Francisco forward, he invites you to get involved, whether through prayer, study, tikun olam, or communal engagement. Please call upon him for help or support, or just to talk.
Rabbi Sydney Mintz was ordained in 1997 by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City. She is the founder of the award winning Late Shabbat Young Adult Program at Congregation Emanu-El where she has served as Rabbi since her ordination in 1997. She became a Senior Rabbinic Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem after completing her fellowship in 2004.
Sydney currently serves on the National Board of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice and as a Rabbinic Scholar for American Jewish World Service. She is a graduate of Bend the Arc’s Selah Leadership Program and is a member of the US State Department’s Working Group on Religion and Social Justice. She led Team Emanu-El in the AIDS Lifecycle Ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles and is an avid open ocean swimmer. In 2016, Rabbi Mintz became a Resident in the San Francisco Film Society’s Film House Residency program.
Rabbi Ryan Bauer has served Congregation Emanu-El since 2005. Rabbi Bauer helped create and oversee the community engagement department. Since its inception, the department has focused on creating warm and intimate relationships among its members. New initiatives were created such as The TRIBE, FrontPorch, and Emanu-El in the neighborhood. These programs have won national awards and been replicated in synagogues around the United States. In addition, Rabbi Bauer supervises the Preschool and Bnai-Mitzvah program.
Rabbi Bauer has been nationally recognized for his work with Syrian Refugees. His writings have been published both locally and nationally.
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 also has served as a chaplain intern at UCLA Medical Center and has worked as the Co-Director of Teen programs at the Center for Jewish Living and Learning in Oakland. Rabbi Bauer serves on the board of the Jewish Community High School and the Rabbinic Advisory Council of Shalom Bayit. He is a regular faculty member at URJ Camp Newman.
Rabbi Bauer and his wife Alisa have three children.
Rabbi Carla Fenves 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, their son Aaron and daughters Eliana and Talia.
Cantor Marsha Attie has been serving Congregation Emanu-El since 1998. She is a composer and recording artist. Her music can be found in songbooks, camps, synagogues and Jewish music compilations around the country. Cantor Attie was ordained from the Academy of Jewish Religion, California where she earned a Masters Degree in Sacred Music. She has also earned a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Dance/Movement Therapy from UCLA. Cantor Attie is interested in the intersection of prayer and the arts and strives to integrate a variety of creative modalities into her spiritual and creative life. She is also a filmmaker and some of her award winning music videos can be found on Youtube. She lives in the sunbelt of Corte Madera with her partner Doug and their son Marco.
Ben and A. Jess Shenson Cantor
Ben and A. Jess Shenson Cantor
Cantor Arik Luck is deeply honored to be a part of the dynamic clergy team of Congregation Emanu-El, and humbled to work at a synagogue with such a tremendous musical legacy. In July 2015, Cantor Luck became just the ninth cantor in Emanu-El’s over 150-year history. Previously, he had served six years at Beth Emet The Free Synagogue, in Evanston, IL. In addition to his full-time work as cantor and clergy, Cantor Luck has appeared as a principle soloist in numerous concerts throughout the country, including Siamsa na nGael: If It Weren’t For the Irish and the Jews (at Chicago’s famed Symphony Center, with narrator Martin Sheen), The Bloch Sacred Service (with the Music Institute of Chicago), Schoenberg’s A Survivor From Warsaw (with the Skokie Valley Symphony Orchestra), Standing Out/Fitting In: Jewish Stories/American Songs (in Aspen, CO), and Abraham’s Children: A Prayer for Peace (Indiana University, with Iraqi tenor Omer Turkmenoglu). In the Fall of 2015, Cantor Luck was honored to have been invited to lead Shabbat evening services at the URJ (Union for Reform Judaism) Biennial Convention in Orlando, FL, before a congregation of 5,000 attendees from all over North America and beyond. His musical revue dedicated to the life of Moishe Oysher has been performed all over the US and internationally, and a live record album of the performance, entitled Arik Luck is Moishe Oysher: The Master Singer of His People! is available online for purchase and streaming.
Cantor Luck has served on the faculty of the Union for Reform Judaism Summer Learning Institute, is a proud third-year faculty member of the Bay Area’s own URJ Camp Newman, and previously served five years as a faculty member at Olin Sang Ruby Union Institute (OSRUI), the URJ summer camp in Oconomowoc, WI. Cantor Luck is a member of the American Conference of Cantors (ACC), was a founding member and former president of the Reform Cantors of Chicago (RCC), holds a Masters Degree of Sacred Music from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music, and was ordained as a cantor by HUC-JIR DFSSM in 2009. Cantor Luck resides in San Francisco with his spouse Rachel and their three children.
The Emanu-El Scholar
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 is also a serious impressionist artist specializing in urban landscapes. His paintings are in several local galleries; he’s had a one-man show at the Isaacs Gallery of the Osher-Marin JCC.
Sr. Rabbi Emeritus and Taube Scholar
Stephen S. Pearce, DD, PhD, served Congregation Emanu-El as the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Senior Rabbi from 1993 to 2013. 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. He currently serves Congregation Emanu-El as Senior Rabbi Emeritus.
Senior Cantor, Emerita
Senior Cantor, Emerita
Cantor Roslyn Barak has served Congregation Emanu-El of San Francisco since 1987, one year after her graduation and investiture from Hebrew Union College in New York City. She received her musical training at the Manhattan School of Music in New York, and was the recipient of several prestigious vocal awards and honors. Before entering the cantorate, she was a concert recitalist and opera singer, appearing with the Santa Fe Opera, the Israel National Opera, the Jerusalem Symphony and the Israel Philharmonic.
Aside from her numerous cantorial duties at Congregation Emanu-El and the Jewish Community of the Bay Area, Cantor Barak appears regularly in concerts around the country and in Europe and Israel. She has toured Germany eight times in recent years in conjunction with the worldwide release of her CD “The Jewish Soul”, and appeared onstage in concert at the Brecht Theatre in Berlin for the opening of the Berlin Jewish Film Festival in 2006. She is also sought after as lecturer and scholar-in-residence, and has served on the faculty of the Academy for Jewish Religion in Los Angeles. She has been appointed as guest lecturer and teacher at the new Cantorial institute of the Geiger College, a Progressive Jewish seminary in Berlin.
Cantor Barak is a board member of the Cantors Assembly and former board member of the American Conference of Cantors. In that capacity she served as chair for the 2008 national convention in San Francisco, and was responsible for the programming of the ACC’s groundbreaking concert dedicated to Catholic/Jewish dialogue in Rome, in November of 2010. She is active in interfaith work and helped compile the songbook for the United Religions Initiative, as well as encouraged the various faith communities in San Francisco to combine their annual interfaith Thanksgiving services into a single community event. Cantor Barak was also recently appointed to the Board of Shalom Bayit, an organization whose mission it is to help victims of domestic abuse.
Cantor Barak sat on the editorial committee for the Reform movement’s new prayerbook, Mishkan Tefillah. She has published essays, articles and reviews in various Jewish publications including “American Rabbi” and the “Journal of Synagogue Music” and online for the Union of Reform Judaism’s “Ten Minutes of Torah”. Cantor Barak also holds a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology. Her son, Danny, is an attorney, as is her partner, David Olick.
Executive Assistant to the Senior Rabbis
B'nei Mitzvah Coordinator and Executive Assistant to Rabbi Carla Fenves
Director of Adolescent and Adult Education
Director of Education
Chief Financial Officer
Youth and Family Education and The Emanu-El Fellowship School Coordinator
Special Events Assistant
Interim Director of Youth and Family Education
Director of Membership Services
Membership Services and Database Administrator
Director of Facilities and Special Events
Director of Operations and Office Management
Assistant Director, Community Impact
Community Engagement Assistant & Assistant to Rabbi Bauer
Executive Assistant to Clergy
Afternoon Receptionist and Administrative Assistant
Assistant Director, Community Engagement
Director of Development
Payroll and Accounts Payable Specialist
Director of Technology and Internet Strategy
Board of Directors