Rabbi Suzanne Singer
Rabbi Singer joined Temple Beth El (TBE) as Rabbi and Educator in February of 2008. She has been actively engaged in social justice work, serving as a member of the Inland Congregations United for Change (ICUC) Clergy Caucus and as a commissioner for the City of Riverside’s Human Relations Commission. Prior to her tenure in Riverside, Rabbi Singer served at Temple Sinai in Oakland, CA for two and a half years. She also launched two social justice conferences, one in the Bay Area held in November, 2005, the other in Los Angeles held in November, 2007. She is the recipient of the Champions of Justice Award, 2010, from the Riverside Fair Housing Council. Two of her essays have been published in The Torah: A Women’s Commentary.
Between her two pulpit positions, Rabbi Singer served both as Director of the Introduction to Judaism Program for the Pacific Southwest Council of the Union for Reform Judaism, and as Coordinator of a leadership initiative at Hebrew Union College’s (HUC) Los Angeles campus. She grew up in New York City and attended the Lycée Francais de New York from elementary through high school. She holds three Masters Degrees: a Masters of Arts in Hebrew Letters and a Masters of Arts in Judaic Studies from HUC; and a Masters in Journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where she also earned a Bachelors Degree in Comparative Literature. Rabbi Singer was ordained by HUC in 2003.
Prior to attending HUC, Rabbi Singer spent twenty years as a television producer and programming executive, primarily for national public television (PBS) and primarily in news and public affairs. As executive producer of a national documentary series, POV , she won two national Emmy awards. She also co-created and produced a national preschool series, The Puzzle Place , designed to help children respect and appreciate diversity. Rabbi Singer is married to actor/acting teacher Jordan Lund. She is also the aunt of seven nieces and nephews with whom she is very close.
Read sermons and articles in Rabbi Singer’s Corner
Cantor Robert Sirotnik
Dr. Robert Sirotnik (who prefers Cantor Bob) has been the cantor at Temple Beth El since 1971, and practicing as a cantor since 1969.
He received his cantorial training from famed cantors Philip Moddel and William Sharlin. Though officially responsible for music at TBE, Bob and his wife Barbara are at least as renowned for their immeasurable depth of caring. Dr. Sirotnik is also TBE’s choir director and a well respected dentist in our community.
Harry Waksberg – Educator
Our teachers are passionate about creating a meaningful educational environment for all students. The Temple Beth El Religious School is designed to prepare students not just for the milestones of their B’nai Mitzvah, but for an individually and communally rewarding Jewish life. We come together each Sunday to pray, study Torah, sing, make art, and explore our shared heritage. As a religious school in the Inland Empire, we don’t seek to compete with secular life – we intend to give students the tools to carry their Jewish culture with them wherever in the world they go; the resources to join or build the Jewish community that meet their needs. I hope everyone with a stake in our Religious School – parents, teachers, students, congregants—will join us in building a space to explore and nurture student’s curiosity and creativity.
Elise Haton – Senior Administrator
“X-New Yorker, X-Valley Girl, X-cellent people person and always ready to help you,” she says.Elise Haton was born in Bronx, New York and moved to the San Fernando Valley when she was 13. She attended Cal State University Northridge where she majored in Business.
She worked for Wells Fargo Bank for 17 years and was a Vice President at the Beverly Hills Branch. Since moving to Riverside she volunteered on the then named Riverside General Hospital Foundation Board and was chair of some committees for the “Festival of Trees” which is a yearly event run by the board of the hospital foundation. The proceeds of this fundraiser go to the neo-natal ward for purchasing equipment to better serve their little patients.”
Elise has been Temple Administrator since 1999 and recently received her “Senior” status in Temple Administration from the National Association of Temple Administrators. She is responsible for all administrative functions.
Her hobby is bicycle riding. One of her favorite things about being Jewish is working at Temple Beth El and watching our Jewish children grow into young adults who embrace Judaism.
Carolee Jaspan – M’Lamedet
For more than 25 years, Carolee Jaspan has taken every Bar & Bat Mitzvah student under her wing with knowledge, love, caring, and grace. At TBE, we do the bakery jingle a little differently: ” Nobody doesn’t like Ca-ro-lee ”
Carolee comes to us from Ware, Massachusetts where she attended Brandeis University. Her curriculum included science and Jewish studies. She relocated to Riverside in 1965. In 1981, she was asked by the rabbi of Temple Beth El to volunteer as the M’lamedet and teach the B’Mitzvah students their Torah and Haftorah portions and prayers. Carolee is a pied piper with children. They are enthusiastic and drawn to her. She states that ” it is the most wonderful volunteer job I have ever had.” Our B’Mitzvah program is more than comprehensive than most as the children do the entire Friday and Saturday Shabbat Services in addition to their Torah and Haftorah portions. Temple Beth El is very lucky to have her.
Diane Eskritt – Temple Secretary
Besides being the “voice of TBE,’ Diane also runs the Weiss Judaica Gift Shop at the Temple.
Susan Tenenbaum – Clergy Assistant
It’s an exciting time at TBE and I’m so glad to be a small part of it.
No matter how busy life at Temple becomes, the office staff is always here for you! Fight On!