Temple Judea’s clergy team approach allows each of our rabbis, cantor and chaplain to specialize in the areas they enjoy the most and in which they excel. Our team concept also fits with our egalitarian culture that encourages teamwork and openness.
In addition to offering outstanding leadership on the Bimah, Temple Judea also provides many opporunities for our members to build personal relationships with our clergy, who are available to our members for life cycle events, pastoral care, or to discuss private matters.
We are thrilled to welcome Rabbi Strom to our bima to lead adult day and evening services during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Rabbi Strom also leads some additional programs for us throughout the year. Check back on our website and watch the calendar for upcoming dates.
Rabbi Strom is well known in Bucks County as Founding Rabbi and now Rabbi Emeritus of Shir Ami. He retired in 2014 after 35 years as the full time senior rabbi. As spiritual leader of Shir Ami, Rabbi Strom served and contributed to the boards of directors of many community organizations, including his advocacy on behalf of the American Red Cross Homeless Shelter and Habitat for Humanity. In 2015 Rabbi Strom completed and published his first novel, Rabbi, Run.
Rabbi Simon joined our clergy team in January 2017. Previously, he served as senior rabbi at Temple Har Zion in Mt. Holly, N.J., where he served for 30 years.
At Temple Judea, Rabbi Simon leads us in Shabbat prayer, Torah study, teaches Kabbalah, as well as leads special spiritual events. He was ordained in 1985 by the great contemporary kabbalist, Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l.
Rabbi Simon, himself, has been a student and seeker of spirituality for the past 40 years. He has studied with teachers of Sufism, Western Mysticism, Wicca, and Shamanism. Rabbi Simon also is as teacher and monk at the Pine Wind Zen Center in Shamong, N.J.
In addition to his pulpit and teaching activities, Rabbi Simon serves as a hospice chaplain.
Elyssa Cherney received her rabbinic ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 2018. She has worked as a Rabbinic Intern at Temple Judea and at Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel in Elkins Park, PA.
She previously worked for the full inclusion of lgbt rights in Jewish life at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah in New York City and as a community organizer at Keshet while being a fellow at JOIN for Justice in Boston, MA. She has served as a youth educator at Temple Sinai in Brookline, MA, and Temple Emmanuel in Newtown, MA. Elyssa has taught children and adults in various Jewish community settings; she prides herself in being able to learn with people of all ages.
Elyssa also is involved in engaging Jews who are currently unaffiliated with communities. She is involved in entrepreneurial work in the Jewish community, as well as writing new Jewish rituals, midrash and poetry. Elyssa is a graduate of Brandeis University, and continues to be involved in their alumni efforts. She is thinking deeply about marking time through rituals big and small.
She has created the website tacklingtorah.com as a way to help others connecting with Jewish texts and holy moments in their lives. She is grateful to be supported in doing this work by her husband Alan, and daughter Ava.
Cantor Frimark leads many ritual services at Temple Judea and he has been working with our students to develop a youth band to participate in upcoming services. He works with our B’nai Mitzvah students and leads the services as they become B’nai Mitzvah. In addition, he leads Family Services for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, frequently leads Friday night Shabbat services throughout the year, and leads Torah study whenever he is present for a Saturday morning Shabbat service His musical knowledge and expertise as well as his friendliness and rapport with people of all ages are evident to all who observe him at work teaching in our Religious School, leading children’s singing sessions for Small Wonders at Temple Judea, and leading Munchkin Minyans.
Cantor Frimark’s involvement in the Jewish community and Jewish music started at a young age. He developed his love of singing and Jewish music as a member of the Temple Sinai Youth Chorale. While in high school, he formed a Jewish rock band, N’shamah, which performed at functions throughout the Philadelphia area. N’shamah later morphed into Shir Chadash, which, for the next 25 years, became the “go-to” band in the area for Jewish music. During these years, Cantor Frimark was emcee for many Israel Independence Day celebrations and performed at rallies in support of Soviet Jewry.
As cantor of Ohev Shalom of Bucks County for 20 years, he officiated or co-officiated at countless weddings, B’nai Mitzvah, baby namings, funerals, shiva minyanim, unveilings and other life cycle events. Cantor Frimark is a graduate of Gratz College Jewish Community High School and Temple University, and also earned a graduate certificate in Jewish music and a master of arts in Jewish music from Gratz College.
Leah Gilboa Hill
We are very excited to welcome Leah Gilboa Hill back to Temple Judea. Leah formerly worked for Temple Judea as B’nai Mitzvah Tutor and Para-Rabbi. She has returned in the role of Chaplain to support the pastoral needs of the congregation. Leah keeps in touch with our home-bound congregants, makes hospital and home visits, officiates at funerals and shiva services as well as baby namings, and supports community members through the grieving process after the loss of a loved one. She has also returned to her role as B’nai Mitzvah Tutor.
Leah has more than twenty years’ experience as a chaplain in both synagogue and hospital settings. She also serves as Para-Rabbi and Chaplain for Doylestown Health’s Pine Run Retirement Community. She trained as a chaplain at Thomas Jefferson University and Penn Foundation Behavioral Healthcare in Sellersville. Leah earned her BA in Liturgy and a Masters in Jewish Studies with emphasis on Ancient Rabbinic Text from Gratz College.
Temple Judea of Bucks County
38 Rogers Road, PO BOX 109, Furlong, PA 18925
(Please be sure to use the PO Box address for all correspondence)
Phone: 215.348.5022 - Fax: 215.268.3410