I served a congregation since ordination from the Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati campus in 1995 until 2011. I earned my bachelor’s degree at U.C. Santa Barbara where I studied in U.C.S.B.’s highly rated Religious Studies department and also met my wife, Rabbi Laura Novak Winer, an expert consultant in Jewish youth engagement.
We have two sons, Saul and Max. The boys and I earned our black belts in Okinawan Karate and hope to share that knowledge with our community. We enjoy sports and music.
Over the years, I’ve dabbled in Jewish folklore and mysticism, Kabbalah and teach units in a variety of areas of Jewish interest.
Here at Temple Beth Israel, we strive to create engaging spiritual moments, nurture educational involvement for all ages and perpetuate the Jewish values that lead us all to taking part in making our world a better place.
Here’s a link to my blog: http://rabrick.typepad.com
And you can send me an email here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeanna Gailar-Francis, (M.A., Relgious Education) has been the Education Director at Temple Beth Israel since 1992. Prior to that, Jeanna was Religious School Principal of Congregation Beth Jacob in Fresno and Congregation Beth Israel-Judea in San Francisco. She has had the joy of being a part of the lives of a generation of young Jews in Fresno. Most recently, Jeanna received her Master of Arts in Religious Education from HUC in New York. Jeanna brings both years of experience and cutting edge ideas to TBI Religious School.
My name is Stephanie Smith and I have been a community member here at TBI since 3rd grade! I am a proud product of our sunday school and Hebrew school educational programs as well as an alumni of our summer camp, Camp Shalom. I have been teaching Hebrew School and Sunday School for collectively more than 10 years.I am currently the lead 2 year old teacher as well as the Judaica Education Specialist at The Fresno Jewish Day School. I am going on my 5th year as Director of Camp Shalom and I also help co-advise the high school youth group.
Sharon Smith has been the advisor for the high school youth group since 2001. She loves to be surrounded by the enthusiasm and energy of our wonderful teens. Sharon enjoys counseling and advising our teens in both leadership positions and life experiences. When not playing with teenagers Sharon is a part-time Special Education teacher and mother of 3 grown children who have all served leadership roles at Temple Beth Israel.