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Our Spiritual Leaders


Rabbi Rachel Kobrin joined Congregation Rodef Shalom as the Spiritual Leader of Rodef Shalom in July 2018, replacing Rabbi Bernard R. Gerson who had served as the Spiritual Leader of Rodef Shalom since 1993. Rabbi Kobrin comes to us from Congregation Adath Jeshurun where, in 2014, she became the first female rabbi in the Philadelphia area to lead such a large congregation.

A native of Rochester, NY, Rabbi Kobrin attended the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at American Jewish University in Los Angeles, CA. At Ziegler, she received her rabbinic ordination and Master of Arts in Rabbinic Studies, as well as the USCJ award for congregational leadership in 2009. Rabbi Kobrin is active in many aspects of Jewish life and Jewish thought, including as a CLAL Rabbis Without Borders Fellow, and a contributing writer for,, and, among other publications and websites.

During her time in Austin, Rabbi Kobrin was the founding rabbi for the Selah—a vibrant satellite community of Congregation Agudas Achim. Selah reached over 800 Jews, both affiliated and unaffiliated, and connected them with the broader congregational vision of dynamic and engaged spirituality. Rabbi Kobrin received three competitive grants and the Jewish Community Association of Austin 2013 Award for her outreach efforts. She also established the Selah School (religious school) with two classes of 25 students. In addition, at Congregation Agudas Achim she spearheaded the Shabbat morning Kol Zimrah minyan, highlighting the melodies of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, and the Shir Shabbat family service. Rabbi Kobrin has a passion for serving people of all ages and bringing the joy and meaning of our 3,500-year-old tradition to the modern world.

Cantor Dr. Saul Rosenthal

saul more serious 829-20Saul Rosenthal has served as the Cantor of our synagogue since 1985. Cantor Saul (as he is known among the Rodef Shalom Family) contributes to the worship experience through leading services, directing the synagogue's musical ensemble, Shir Rodef, inspiring creative approaches to ritual and introducing new music wherever possible.

Among the innovative programs that have become part of the congregation's repertoire during his tenure are "Shabbat Under the Stars", a Friday evening service held outdoors during the summer months, and "Shabbat with a Backbeat", a complete Shabbat morning service accompanied by the musicians and singers of Shir Rodef.

Cantor Saul composes and performs contemporary Jewish music. He has four CDs, the most recent of which includes the music of Rocky Mountain Jewgrass, a uniquely Jewish spin on one of America's oldest musical genres, bluegrass music. Rodef Shalom members appreciate Cantor Saul's engaging style of leading and teaching both liturgical and contemporary Jewish music.

Fri, May 29 2020 6 Sivan 5780