Rabbi Marci Bloch
Rabbi Marci R. Bloch is proud to have joined the Temple Beth Orr community in July of 2017. Prior to coming to TBO, Rabbi Bloch served as the Associate Rabbi of Congregation B’nai Israel in Boca Raton for the past twelve years. At B’nai Israel, she was involved in all aspects of congregational life. Her gifts are many, but she particularly enjoys pastoral care, Jewish healing, and creative ritual. She has great passion for family education, life-long learning, and working with youth and young adults. She also served as the Assistant Rabbi at Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation in Indiana for two years after her ordination from Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion, New York, in 2003.
Prior to rabbinical school, Rabbi Bloch received a Master’s degree in Social Work and a Certificate in Judaic Studies and Jewish Communal Service from the University of Michigan. She also holds a B.A. in Psychology from Michigan State University.
Rabbi Bloch has served as a board member for Hillel of Broward and Palm Beach counties. Her innovative programs have been published in Reform Judaism Magazine as well as the URJ Outreach Manual. Rabbi Bloch’s Good Night Shabbat, Mommy Minyan, and Young Adult programs have earned her national recognition as a three-time URJ Belin Award recipient. In addition, she has won the URJ Incubator Grant. Rabbi Bloch has also been invited to present at a number of URJ Biennials on both a national and regional level.
Rabbi Bloch, originally from West Bloomfield, MI, is married to Jason Epstein, a native to Cleveland, Ohio. In her leisure time, she enjoys movies, traveling, exercising, and Broadway musicals. More than anything, she loves spending time with her daughters, Maya and Yael, who are her constant teachers. She looks forward to sharing her passion and love for Judaism with you.
Please contact Rabbi Bloch at RabbiBloch@templebethorr.org
Click here to visit Rabbi Bloch’s website
Rabbi Laura Rappaport – Joining the TBO family July 2020
Rabbi Laura Rappaport is thrilled to be able to creatively share her passion for Jewish growth, learning and values with the members of Temple Beth Orr. She has a background as a pulpit rabbi, a Director of Congregational Learning, a board-certified hospital chaplain, a director of non-profits, an adjunct college faculty member, an educator for all ages in many settings, and the mother of two.
Rabbi Rappaport grew up in rural Northwest New Jersey and received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. She received her M.A.H.L. and Rabbinic Ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (Jerusalem and Cincinnati campuses). She has also completed Masters’ level courses in Bio-ethics from Rush University and University of Washington and Doctoral level courses in Jewish Studies from Spertus College in Chicago.
Rabbi Rappaport’s diverse career has been characterized by the embracing of new opportunities and experiences at every stage; she encourages others to take this same approach on their own unique paths. She has lived in nearly every region of the country – from serving pulpits and running a sexual assault crisis center in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, to serving adjunct rabbinic functions in Omaha to working in pulpits, hospital
chaplaincy and non-profit settings around the Pacific Northwest to running the family education program at Congregation Beth El in Bethesda, Maryland to directing the educational program at her childhood synagogue, Temple Shalom in Succasunna, New Jersey.
Much of her adult life has been spent in Boise, Idaho, where she focused on serving small congregations around the Pacific Northwest including Sun Valley, Idaho; Great Falls, Montana; Bainbridge Island, Washington; Bend, Oregon in addition to working with her home congregation in Boise. While in Idaho, she was founding director of the Idaho Children’s Trust Fund, a statewide child abuse prevention foundation. She taught Introduction to Judaism classes at the College of Idaho. For ten years she worked as a Board certified chaplain at both of Boise’s acute care hospitals and the physical rehabilitation facility. Rabbi Rappaport is currently serving as Associate Rabbi at Temple B’nai Shalom in Fairfax Station, Virginia.
She is immensely proud of her two daughters, Tanya and Rosa. Tanya is a Registered Dietician, working for a non-profit in Seattle that advocates for a socially-equitable and ecologically-sound food system. Rosa is an Environmental Resource Engineer, currently living in Tel Aviv. Rabbi Rappaport enjoys running/working out, indie/alternative music, listening to The Moth and This American Life, hiking, occasionally playing the hammered dulcimer, and discovering cultural/educational/artistic experiences that seem cool, quirky and interesting. You can follow her dog Roxie on Instagram @roxiepuppiegirl
Rabbi Mark Wm. Gross
Rabbi Gross recently became Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Beth Orr, after serving for 29 years as Senior Rabbi. Rabbi Gross has used his position on the pulpit of Temple Beth Orr to create an inclusive atmosphere. His goals have always been “to make members of the community feel listened to, cared about, connected to their tradition,” he says. Coming from a family of eighteen generations of rabbis enables him to “find deep meaning in the staggering privilege of bringing members of our people to encounters with their heritage of faith.”
His encounters at Temple Beth Orr have been broad: from the monthly Come-as-You-Are Shabbat Experience; to the Religious School’s emphasis on Confirmation as a primary goal; to contemporary alternative services for Shabbat, Rosh haShanah and Yom Kippur. These initiatives by Rabbi Gross have helped to create a strong community where so many feel like a true, meaningful part of the congregation’s extended family.