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Our Clergy

Rabbi Steven Sirbu

Rabbi Steven Sirbu will soon celebrate his twentieth anniversary at Temple Emeth, where he became the spiritual leader in 2003. Rabbi Sirbu brings his love of Jewish knowledge to everything he does, whether he is telling stories to the children in our Religious School, assisting B'nai Mitzvah students to write a d'var Torah, or sharing his insights with adult learners in the Shabbat morning Torah study class.

An avid supporter of Israel, Rabbi Sirbu has led four congregational trips there. During these journeys, participants felt the sense of history that comes with exploring the land and learned about the important social, religious, and legal forces that shape what Israel is and what it can be.

Social action is an integral part of Rabbi Sirbu’s rabbinate. His experience as a legislative assistant at the Religious Action Center in Washington, DC, gave him valuable background on the Reform movement’s history of social action, which he brought here to Temple Emeth. In August 2015, he participated in the NAACP's American Journey for Justice, marching for a day in South Carolina. In 2019, he led a trip to Alabama to explore Jewish heritage and civil rights. He is an active member of the New Jersey Social Justice Remembrance Coalition and the RAC-NJ School Integration Task Force. In May 2023, Rabbi Sirbu received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

He is a past chair of the the Intergroup Relations Committee of the Jewish Community Relations Council, Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey. He served as president for two years of the North Jersey Board of Rabbis and currently serves as co-chair of its annual community night of learning, Sweet Tastes of Torah.

He is a past chair of the Intergroup Relations Committee of the Jewish Community Relations Council, Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey. He served as president for two years of the North Jersey Board of Rabbis and as co-chair of its annual community night of learning, Sweet Tastes of Torah. In 2017, he received the Matthew Feldman Community Relations Award, presented by the Township of Teaneck. He was lauded for initiating an on-going Muslim-Jewish dialogue between the members of Temple Emeth and members of the local Islamic community.

Rabbi Sirbu welcomes the chance to become your teacher and your spiritual guide along your Jewish journey. He seeks to nurture the community feeling at Temple Emeth, so you will experience it as your second home.

Email: ssirbu@emeth.org

Cantor Ellen Tilem

With her beautiful voice, our Cantor Emerita, Cantor Ellen Tilem, brings us new melodies while emphasizing the importance of our Jewish musical heritage and traditional nusach. Temple Emeth welcomed Cantor Tilem in 1994, upon her Ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion-School of Sacred Music. She received her Doctor of Music, Honoris Causa, from the Hebrew Union College in 2019. 

Born and raised in New Jersey, she received her bachelor's degree in voice, with a minor in Jewish studies from the University of Hartford, Hartt School of Music and Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies. She completed Hospital Chaplaincy training at New York University Medical Center in Manhattan and Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn. She is a Certified in Grief Counseling and Pre-Marital Counseling. She is a member of the American Conference of Cantors.

Cantor Tilem's understanding of the spiritual needs of our congregants is at the forefront of her cantorate. She is an exceptional and experienced Pastoral Counselor. Her office is always open to those who are struggling with life's challenges, including grief, spiritual issues, difficulties between parents and children, divorce, and illness.

Cantor Tilem developed a bereavement support group which she leads weekly for Temple members who are in need of spiritual guidance and connection after the loss of a loved one. 

Cantor Tilem encourages the musical expression of our congregation with her innovative Duets Service, inviting those who like to sing to join her on the Bimah. She incorporates Music Services that showcase those members of our congregation who are talented instrumentalists.

The Cantor leads Healing Services throughout the year, facilitating more meaningful worship and inspiring greater strength of spirit during difficult times. 

Cantor Tilem is passionate about inter-Jewish relations. She works to foster a deeper appreciation and understanding of the major movements of Judaism and their inter-connectedness.

Cantor Tilem looks forward to meeting you and welcoming you as part of our Temple Emeth family!

Email: cantoret@yahoo.com

Rabbi Rebecca Einstein Schorr

Award-winning author and sought-after speaker, Rabbi Rebecca Einstein Schorr grew up in Southern California and earned a Bachelor of Music in Voice from the Ithaca College School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. Though many thought that cantorial school would be a logical next step on her path, the pull of Rabbinic literature was compelling, and she soon found herself focusing on her Rabbinic studies at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) though always with music complimenting her work. During her first year of rabbinical school, she served as the cantorial soloist in the overflow service at the HUC-JIR Jerusalem campus. She continued her personal edification with audited cantorial classes and sang with the cantorial choir.

Rabbi Schorr served as rabbi and music director at Congregation B’nai Tzedek in Fountain Valley (CA) for five years. In addition to her pulpits in Southern California, Rabbi Schorr has led High Holy Day services in Rochester, NY, Brewster, NY, Myrtle Beach, SC, and Allentown, PA, and serves as the service leader of a sensory-friendly mincha service at the congregation where her family belongs. Most recently, Rabbi Schorr was the interim campus rabbi at Lafayette College.

Rabbi Schorr (she/her) is a CLAL Rabbis Without Borders Fellow, a contributing writer at Kveller.com, and is the former editor of the newsletter of the CCAR. Additionally, she is the recipient of the 2016 National Jewish Book Award in Women’s Studies for The Sacred Calling: Forty Years of Women in the Rabbinate (CCAR Press), and her writing has appeared on various sites including Tablet Magazine, The Jewish Daily Forward, and The Jewish Week. A lover of languages, Rabbi Schorr is on the Advisory Board of the Jewish Language Project and is an aspiring Yiddishist. She makes her home in the Lehigh Valley (PA) with her husband, Warren, and children, Benjamin, Lillian, and Jacob. 

Thu, June 13 2024 7 Sivan 5784