The congregation of Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El has been privileged to have Rabbi Neil Cooper as our spiritual leader for 26 years. Together, we have built a strong and vibrant synagogue community. The attendance at weekly Shabbat services and the depth and variety of adult education programs are testament to Rabbi Cooper’s presence and efforts. He is energized and excited about the possibilities he recognizes in regard to the changes presently occurring in the American Jewish community. While he is passionately committed to helping TBH-BE change with the times, he is dedicated to preserving its fidelity to Jewish tradition and meaningful Jewish living. He hopes to achieve greater openness and inclusion of all segments of the Jewish community, through educational, spiritual and social offerings provided by the synagogue.
Prior to coming to TBH-BE, Rabbi Cooper served as Rabbi of Temple Beth Ahm in Aberdeen, New Jersey and as Director of Camp Ramah in Canada. He was ordained in 1979 at The Jewish Theological Seminary where he also received his Masters Degree in Rabbinics. He also earned a Masters Degree in Social Work from Columbia University and his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan.
He is the recipient of the TBH-BE distinguished service honor on the 20th anniversary of his rabbinic leadership, the Rabbi Maz Arzt Distinguished Rabbinic Service Award and Doctor of Divinity (Honoris Causa), both presented by the Jewish Theological Seminary.
Rabbi Cooper has a long history of involvement in the greater Jewish community. For 34 years, he has been a member of the Rabbinical Assembly, serving in various leadership capacities. He is a member and former President of the Rabbinic Assembly of greater Philadelphia, a member of the Va’ad-Board of Rabbis of Philadelphia and serves on the Rabbinic Advisory Board of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. Rabbi Cooper is a frequent contributor to the Jewish Exponent on issues relating to the state of, and challenges faced by the American Jewish Community, as well as our country’s relationship with Israel.
Rabbi Cooper and his wife Lori have three children and four grandchildren. Their son, Yonatan lives with his wife Eliana and two daughters in Jerusalem. Their daughter, Tamar, also lives in Israel with her husband and twin children. They are fortunate to have their daughter, Talia, living in the Philadelphia area.
Since the early 1990’s when Rabbi Cooper and his family moved to Wynnewood, they have become a part of the fabric of this community. Even though they are without extended family here, they consider the close friends they have made their local family. In the words of Rabbi Cooper, “This community continues to be warm and welcoming to all who join us.”
Marc Israel, Associate Rabbi
Rabbi Marc Israel is excited to be the first Associate Rabbi at Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El. He moved to Wynnewood from the Washington, DC area, having served for 8 years as the Rabbi Educator at Ohr Kodesh Congregation in Chevy Chase, MD. Previously, Rabbi Israel worked for the Union for Reform Judaism to engage college students in Jewish life on campus and help strengthen synagogue social action. In addition to running programs for hundreds of students each year, he served as contributing editor for Packing for College: Where Does Judaism Fit?, a curriculum for high school students preparing for Jewish life on campus, and as editor of Lirdof Tzedek: A Guide to Synagogue Social Action (UAHC Press, 2001).
Ordained a rabbi by HUC-JIR in 1998, Rabbi Israel is also a graduate of the University of Michigan where he earned a BA in Political Science. Since joining the Conservative Movement’s Rabbinical Assembly in 2007, Rabbi Israel has been a member of the Social Action Commission and, most recently, co-chaired the 2013 Resolutions Committee. He has also served as a regional president of the Jewish Educators Assembly.
Rabbi Israel is married to Abbey Frank, a Assistant JCRC Director in Philadelphia, has three children, Elianna, Micah, and Oren, and a puppy named Rondeau (Ronnie).
Eugene Rosner, Cantor
Hazzan Eugene Rosner has served as Cantor of TBH-BE since 1990, sharing with the congregants his enthusiasm, talent and passion for Jewish choral music through his beautiful chanting and singing as well as his directing the synagogue’s choir. You will also find him leading Friday night Shabbat services, preparing students for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah, teaching younger students about the joys of Jewish singing, and recording and producing CD’s of Jewish music for the pleasure of our congregants.
In recognition of his music programming, Cantor Rosner received numerous Solomon Schechter awards from the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.He graduated from the Cantor’s Institute at The Jewish Theological Seminary with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sacred Music and a Diploma of Hazzan and he received his undergraduate degree in mathematics from Queens College, CUNY.
In his spare time, he is an accomplished amateur astronomer, having observed all the 110 Messier objects in space and 304 out of 400 Herschel deep-sky objects. For over 30 years, he has been composing chess problems and has had two of his problems published in the 1983-85 FIDE Album, a collection of the best chess problems composed in a three-year period. He served as editor of the U.S. Problem Bulletin from 1984-1990, captained the U.S. team twice in the World Chess Composition Tournament, and is an International Judge of the FIDE for Chess Compositions.
Cantor Rosner invites everyone to add their voice to the sounds of prayer and celebration at TBH-BE. He, along with his wife Amy and their children Morey and Elana, looks forward to meeting you.
Kenneth Krivitzky, Executive Director
Ken Krivitzky serves as the Executive Director of Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El where he insures that all of the events and operations run smoothly. Behind the scenes, Ken is passionate about improving the world around him. To that end, you will find him with a smile and a friendly word, engaging others. At TBH-BE, he is dedicated to enhancing the young family experience.
Prior to coming to TBH-BE, Ken was the Director of Hillel at Towson University for eight years where he transformed the Hillel by increasing membership and creating a cadre of student leaders. As an active experiential educator, he led hundreds of Jewish students on alternative breaks and Taglit-Birthright trips.
Ken is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and has taken graduate courses in Student Affairs. He is a member of the North American Association of Synagogue Executives.
Ken and his wife, Lauren, who is a pediatric neuropsychologist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, have two young daughters, Sophia and Amelia. He is an avid reader and a rabid Jets fan!
Judith Mont Scarani, Early Childhood Center Director
Judith Mont Scarani grew up in Port Washington, New York. She graduated from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1981 with a BFA in Painting and Sculpture. For a number of years Judith worked in marketing and design with advertising agencies and design studios in New York and Philadelphia before beginning a freelance career. After the birth of her oldest child, Judith created Yaldei Shalom, a tot-shabbat program at Temple Sholom in Broomall in 1991. Realizing that Jewish Early Childhood Education was her true passion, and a desire to start a preschool of her own, Judith enrolled at Gratz College and Chestnut Hill College in 1996. After completing a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Jewish Education, Judith worked as a kindergarten teacher at Perelman Jewish Day School, Stern Center in Wynnewood, PA. During her years at Perelman, Judith also worked in Hebrew High School at Temple Sholom, Or Shalom, and Gratz Hebrew High School. Judith and her husband Michael have been married for 26 years. They have three children, Andrew, Sydney and Jacob and live in Broomall, PA.