Robert A. Silvers
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Rabbi Robert Silvers serves as Senior Rabbi for Congregation B’nai Israel, a URJ affiliated Reform congregation, in Boca Raton, Florida. He is a graduate of the Rabbinical program at the Academy for Jewish Religion, a pluralistic seminary preparing rabbis and cantors to serve Klal Yisrael – the entire Jewish people. Rabbi Silvers holds the unique distinction of receiving s’micha (ordination) from a Beit Din consisting of both Reform and Conservative rabbis.
Rabbi Silvers has served at Congregation B’nai Israel since 1994. Prior to 1994, he served as Coordinator of Community Programs at the Commission for Jewish Education for the Palm Beach County Jewish Federation in West Palm Beach, Florida. Rabbi Silvers has extensive experience and background in pastoral care. He served his Rabbinical School Chaplaincy internship at Sloan-Kettering Hospital. He also served as Youth Director at both Temple of Aaron in St. Paul, Minnesota and North Suburban Beth El in Highland Park, Illinois. Additionally, Rabbi Silvers has served in the dual capacity of educator and chazzan at Temple Beth Zion in Royal Palm Beach, Florida. Rabbi Silvers is especially proud of the pastoral work and care that he provided to his own congregation and also to the greater local community as a volunteer Chaplain for the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.
Rabbi Silvers’ influence goes far beyond his own pulpit. He was a featured lecturer at Florida Atlantic University for the URJ Religious Action Center’s Consultation on Conscience, a visiting guest scholar at St. Vincent Roman Catholic Seminary, and has been an integral member of a community-wide Jewish-Evangelical Christian dialogue. Rabbi Silvers also participates in a yearly pulpit exchange with Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church and has been invited numerous times to the University of Florida at Gainesville and to the University of Central Florida in Orlando to conduct Passover Seders for students unable to be with their own families. Rabbi Silvers has taught for and staffed the March of the Living, and teaches in the Florence Melton Adult Mini-School. In recognition of his work for K’lal Yisrael, Rabbi Silvers was chosen to participate in a Rabbinic seminar and retreat on “Religious Pluralism – Judaism in the 21st Century” sponsored by CLAL, the National Jewish Center. Rabbi Silvers has served as President of the Palm Beach County Board of Rabbis, as President of the Greater Boca Raton Religious Leaders Association, an interfaith coalition of clergy, and is a member of the Boca Raton Interfaith Association.
Rabbi Silvers’ greatest pride and joy, however, is being a husband to Ava and father to his two children, Jason (a graduate of Tulane University) and Jenna (a graduate of the University of Central Florida). His interests include sports, yoga, travel (especially cruises) and the reading and collecting of Jewish (Biblical, Talmudic, Midrashic, Kabbalistic, and especially Chasidic) stories and parables. Rabbi Silvers also has great interest in Sephardic history and practice as he married into a family that traces their lineage back to Spain, and includes a 200 year history of Sephardic family rabbis.
Rony S. Keller
Senior Associate Rabbi
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Rabbi Rony Keller, RJE was born and raised in Coral Springs, Florida. He attended the University of South Florida where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1999, double majoring in Psychology and Religion. After college, Rabbi Keller began his studies at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC), first in Jerusalem, and then in Los Angeles. He received a Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters in 2003, and a Master of Arts in Jewish Education in 2004. Rabbi Keller received his rabbinic ordination in May 2006 from HUC in Los Angeles.
During his fourth year of rabbinic school, he served as the rabbinic intern at Congregation Beth Israel (CBI) in Scottsdale, AZ. As the rabbinic intern, he worked closely with the synagogue’s clergy and staff. During that internship, Rabbi Keller led services, delivered sermons, taught adult education classes, participated in life-cycle events, and also coordinated the sixth grade family education program. In 2005, Rabbi Keller began working full-time at CBI as the Director of Education where he oversaw all components for the daily function of the Hebrew/Religious School (Grades K-8), as well as the curricula for CBI’s students who attend Hebrew High School.
After serving two years as the rabbi/educator at CBI, Rabbi Keller became the Associate Rabbi. During his 13 years at CBI in Scottsdale, AZ, he supervised the entire youth program from ages birth to 12th grade. In collaboration with other staff members, he worked to develop and implement curriculum and programming in the preschool, religious school, youth group, and at the synagogue’s residential summer camp, Camp Daisy and Harry Stein.
Rabbi Keller was the president of the Board of Rabbis of Greater Phoenix from January 2013-May 2015. During his tenure as president he worked to establish the only Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning that is operated by a Board of Rabbis. Through his role as immediate past president he also collaborated with other rabbis to re-establish the community’s Jewish Community Relations Council.
Rabbi Keller is married to Lisa, a Jewish educator with a Master of Arts in Jewish Education from the American Jewish University, and a Master of Arts in Human Development from the University of Maryland. They are the proud parents of Aviv and Leor.
Allison B. Cohen
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Rabbi Alli Cohen grew up in New Jersey. Her temple has always been her second home. She brings with her a passion for pastoral care, Israel education, and Jewish music. She was ordained by Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion on the Cincinnati campus where she also received her Master’s in Hebrew Letters. During rabbinical school, she was honored with the Israel Bettan Memorial Prize for the Most Creative Sermon in the Scheuer Chapel. Additionally, she holds a Master’s Concentration Certificate in Israel Education through the iCenter. She graduated magna cum laude from Brandeis University with a major in Sociology and a minor in Music.
Rabbi Cohen currently serves as the Associate Rabbi at CBI. Before here, she served as the Rabbinic Intern at Temple Sholom in Cincinnati for three years. As a Student Rabbi, she also served pulpits in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Texarkana, Texas. In Cincinnati, she served as a Chaplain Intern on the Oncology Unit at the Jewish Hospital-Mercy Health and was also a Teaching Fellow at Rockwern Academy, a Jewish day-school, where she taught Hebrew and Jewish studies.
While living in Jerusalem for her first year at HUC-JIR, Rabbi Cohen was an intern for Women of the Wall, striving for religious pluralism in Israel, and later wrote her thesis on this prayer group. In her free time, she enjoys horseback riding (annual cattle drives), Zumba, singing, and spending time with family. Rabbi Cohen strives to make Congregation B’nai Israel a temple family for all.
Contact David Muchnick
Cantor Muchnick comes to us following 15 years as the Senior Cantor at the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center, located in Aventura, Florida. While at ATJC, Cantor Muchnick initiated and developed their Friday Night Live Service. Cantor Muchnick is renowned for his spirited vocals and piano playing. Cantor Muchnick also created and developed their Bar and Bat mitzvah program and spent 12 years running their Religious school.
Since joining CBI, Cantor Muchnick has become a musical success at CBI with his two notable Purim Shpiels, based on “Queen” and “Billy Joel.” Cantor Muchnick also orchestrated a Cantorial Concert featuring himself and many colleagues from across the country in a memorable evening of Jewish and Broadway music!
Cantor Muchnick received his Ordination as Cantor from the Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion. He also has a Masters degree in Jewish Sacred Music from the Hebrew Union College, among many other academic accomplishments.
Cantor Muchnick is married to his soulmate Dena who is a Pediatric Speech Language Pathologist. They live at home with their three children Alexa, Jordan and Emersyn. David and Dena love to travel and enjoy attending Broadway musicals and all types of concerts.
Contact Sarah Freudenberger
Sarah (Pachter) Freudenberger serves as the Associate Cantor at Congregation B’nai Israel. She leads the chanting and music at Shabbat and Holiday services, as well as sings at other synagogue and school programs. Sarah directs the children’s choir, teaches the Bar/Bat Mitzvah students, and assists in all the musical activities of the temple. She graduated from the University of Miami Frost School of Music, where she studied music education and voice. While at UM, she was chosen for the Florida Vocal Association Promising Music Educator Award and the Sigma Alpha Iota Sword of Honor and College Honor Awards. Sarah has sung at CBI since 2006, taking a short break to complete her Master’s Degree at Arizona State University. Sarah is married to Peter, another UM musician, and they have two daughters, Aria and Ada.