Rabbi Mark Bloom
Mark Bloom joined Temple Beth Abraham as its rabbi in July of 2001. A native of the Bay Area, he often describes the experience as a “homecoming.” During his time here, Temple Beth Abraham has grown significantly, welcoming over 250 new families to its membership.
Previously, Rabbi Bloom served pulpits in Cranston, Rhode Island, South Salem, New York and Sydney, Australia. He was ordained at the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1995 and received both Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Communication Studies from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.
Rabbi Bloom is especially well-known for his work with children and is the author of Out of the Mouths of Babes: What Children Can Teach Us About Spirituality, Jewish Issues and the Jewish People. He is an accomplished song leader, having led groups of all ages throughout the country and started the very popular “Rock and Roll Shabbat” at Temple Beth Abraham. He also wrote a prayerbook called Shirat Avraham (Song of Abraham), which is used at Temple Beth Abraham.
Before becoming a rabbi, he worked in advertising for the Clorox Company. He has been married to his wife Karen since 1994 and has two children, Micah and Jonah.
Yael was born on Kol Nidrei night, the daughter of a cantor, who welcomed her into the world with a song. Immediately following her bat mitzvah, having mastered all of the shabbat liturgy, her father started training her for leading high holiday services. She has held high holiday pulpits ever since she was 18.
As an adult, she spent time in Jerusalem where she davenned at an independent traditional-egalitarian minyan called Kedem. Through this experience, she deepened her knowledge and abilities in integration of niggun and song into prayer, learning how to mindfully choose and intentionally balance the familiar liturgical texts with song.
In addition to her cantorial work, Yael is an educator who is the Associate Head of School at Oakland Hebrew Day School. Previously, she was the Director of Educational Support at the Jewish Community High School of the Bay. She lives in Berkeley with her husband and three kids.
Rayna Morris Arnold joined Temple Beth Abraham as Executive Director in May 2010. With a diverse background in investment client services, serving as a two-term synagogue president, interior decor, and accounting, Rayna brings a wealth of experience to the role. As the daughter of the late Rabbi Herbert Morris z”l, who served Temple Beth Israel Judea in San Francisco (now Congregation Ami Tikvah), she gained an intimate understanding of synagogue operations. Rayna recognizes the significance of her role in supporting an institution that transcends generations and embraces responsibility with dedication and passion.
After a time of poor health, Rayna has been left with Alopecia which is simply defined as a partial or complete loss of hair. Experts have no idea if the hair will come back. In the meantime, she has decided to present to the world her authentic self. She hopes this gives others the courage and support to do the same.
Rayna is married to Saul Arnold, and together they have three children, Naomi, married to Matt Grossman, Micah, married to Megan Arnold, and Aaron, with a lovely partner, Kim, as well as four grandchildren, Hannah, Maya, Emma Grossman, and Mia. Most of their travels are to see their grandkids, who, so far, only do pink!
Susan has been a Jewish educator for more than 20 years, starting out as a teacher, moving on to b’nai mitzvah training, and then to directing Bet Sefer Avraham, our after-school religious school and adult education. She comes to Jewish education with a particular point of view, and a love of exposing children and adults to the joys of Jewish celebrations and Torah stories. But more than anything, she wants to make sure that they never feel like a stranger in a synagogue; that they have enough knowledge and skills to know that they belong and can participate with their community. With that foundation, they can always learn more, and grow more in their Jewish practice and learning.
Rachel is happy to be part of the TBA family. She has been working in Jewish Early Childhood Education for 20 years and holds a Master’s Degree in ECE from American Jewish University. Rachel has a passion for community building starting with our youngest community members and their families. She feels at home here as a lifelong learner and enjoys learning alongside the children. Rachel lives in San Leandro with her husband and two teenagers. In her spare time enjoys adventures with her family, art, and hiking.