Robert A. Silvers
Contact Rabbi Silvers
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 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.
Marci R. Bloch
Contact Rabbi Bloch
Rabbi Marci R. Bloch has served as Rabbi at Congregation B’nai Israel since 2005. At CBI, Rabbi Bloch is involved in every aspect of congregational life. Her gifts are many, but she particularly enjoys pastoral care, Jewish healing, and creative ritual. She also has great passion for family education, life-long learning, and working with youth and young adults.
Before joining the B’nai Israel team, Rabbi Bloch 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, 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 on the Palm Beach County Board of Rabbis and is a member of the Interfaith Clergy Coalition. Her innovative programs have been published in Reform Judaism Magazine as well as the URJ Outreach Manual. She is also a member of the URJ Committee for Early Childhood Education. Rabbi Bloch’s Good Night Shabbat, Mommy Minyan, and Young Adult programs have given CBI national recognition as a three-time URJ Belin Award recipient. In addition, her newest Alumni program just won CBI the URJ Incubator Grant.
Rabbi Bloch, originally from West Bloomfield, MI, is married to Jason Epstein, a native to Cleveland, Ohio. In her leisure time, she also enjoys traveling, exercising, swing dancing, and Broadway musicals. More than anything, she loves spending time with her daughter, Maya, who is her constant teacher. She looks forward to sharing her passion and her love for Judaism with you.
Contact Cantor Shore
Since 1991 Cantor Shore has served as Cantor of Congregation B’nai Israel in Boca Raton, Florida. She received her Bachelors Degree from Florida International University, majoring in voice (under full scholarship for four years). She has entertained across the United States, and other parts of the world, including Israel and South America, since she was a teenager.
Cantor Stephanie Shore has written and composed many original popular and Hebrew melodies. Her compositions have been published by Transcontinental Music, an arm of the Union for Reform Judaism. Cantor Shore and her mother, Cantor Rita Shore, harmonize together on a wonderful recordings that are available through the synagogue website or www.cdbaby.com.
In addition to her composing talents, Cantor Stephanie appeared as an actress in Broadway and musical reviews all over the region singing and dancing her way into the hearts of all that attended.
Cantor Shore, along with Rabbi Agler, have composed many Purim Shpiels and the two have affectionately become known as the King and Queen of the Purim Shpiel. Their Shpiels have been performed on stages and pulpits all over the globe. Visit the website at www.purimshpiels.com.
Cantor Stephanie Shore leads three synagogue bands and an adult choir. These groups enhance the worship experience at Congregation B’nai Israel. Clips of these exciting services can be found on You Tube (search Cantor Stephanie Shore).
Cantor Shore is the coordinator of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah program at Congregation B’nai Israel supervising tutors and making sure that the students are prepared for their service. She developed www.stephanieshore.com where the students can listen to and learn their Torah portions, Haftarah portions and Prayers and Blessings. The site is used by congregations all over the world.
The Jewish Journal took a readers’ poll to name the “Best Things in South Florida.” Cantor Shore was named “Best Cantor.” She was the recipient of the “Breaking the Glass Ceiling Award” presented to Florida women who make a difference. She also was awarded with the “Sh’ma Yisrael Award” presented by Israel Bonds. Cantor Shore has also been invited as an Artist in Residence, sharing her gifts and talents with other congregations. In addition, she has appeared on radio, T.V., and has been publicized in numerous newspaper articles and publications.
Contact Sarah Freudenberger
Sarah (Pachter) Freudenberger serves as the Cantorial Associate at Congregation B’nai Israel in Boca Raton, Florida. She prides herself on being warm, friendly, and approachable, singing with the congregation rather than for them. Sarah is most passionate about bringing Judaism to young families and bringing more families into the synagogue doors. On a typical Shabbat you can find Sarah on the bima leading the congregation in worship and song, helping our young congregants become Bar or Bat Mitzvah, or directing one of our musical groups.
She graduated from the University of Miami Frost School of Music, where she studied music education and voice and won Florida Vocal Association’s Promising Music Educator Award. She also holds a Master’s degree in NonProfit Studies from Arizona State University.
Having grown up in the Reform Jewish community in Boca Raton, Sarah has a unique perspective now as a young mom to two daughters, ages 4 and 1, as to what appeals to young Jewish families today. She has helped to facilitate several programs to bring Judaism to public places, partnering with Whole Foods, Town Center Mall, and other local spaces. Part of her efforts have been in conjunction with PJ Library, where she has facilitated several events at local parks, libraries, museums, and ice cream parlors. She also has helped to create innovative holiday programming for CBI, like a Family Selichot Service, an annual musical Purim Shpiel performed by our elementary students, and a patriotic themed Stars and Stripes Shabbat service (complete with trombones) for Veterans Day.
Her performance experience ranges from choral soprano to competitive barbershop tenor, sprinkled with musical theater and pop, which she loves to perform at yearly synagogue concerts. Sarah is married to husband Peter Freudenberger, also an accomplished musician. They enjoy juggling their hectic performance schedules around caring for their beautiful daughters Aria and Ada and spending time together as a family.