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Our Clergy

 

Rabbi Jason Bonder, Senior Rabbi -- 215-646-5806 x219

Rabbi Bonder became Senior Rabbi of Congregation Beth Or in July 2024. Previously, he served as the congregation's Associate Rabbi for 6 years starting in June 2018. Prior to his move to Beth Or, he served as the Assistant Rabbi/Educator at Temple Emanuel of Tempe, in Tempe, Arizona. Rabbi Bonder is a graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Wyncote, PA. He earned his Master's Degree from the Graduate School of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City and his Bachelor's Degree from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA. Rabbi Bonder loves to teach and taught in many places during rabbinical school, including Gratz College Hebrew High School Program and also Congregation Beth Am Israel in Penn Valley. Rabbi Bonder currently serves on the CCAR's Israel Rabbinic Cabinet.

Rabbi Bonder is married to Rina Lebovitz, and they have two young children, Mark and Sophie.

Rabbi Bonder's favorite sermons, messages, thoughts and articles.


Rabbi Melissa Carp Lefkowitz, Assistant Rabbi -- 215-646-5806 ext. 210

Rabbi Lefkowitz completed her rabbinic ordination at Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles in May 2023, with a certificate from the Zelikow School of Nonprofit Management. During her time in Los Angeles, Rabbi Lefkowitz had the great privilege of working with many communities across California, including San Luis Obispo, Ridgecrest, Calabasa, Pacific Palisades and Los Angeles. Additionally, Rabbi Lefkowitz spent her first year of rabbinical school interning for Women of the Wall and her final year of school interning at Temple Beth Shalom in Austin, Texas. 

Rabbi Lefkowitz originally hails from Newton, MA. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Religious Studies from Bates College. Upon graduating Bates, she spent two years working at Temple Israel of Boston assisting with their 20s and 30s programming. 

Rabbi Lefkowitz is married to Rabbi Kevin Lefkowitz and they are thrilled to be new parents of daughter Rena, born October 2023.

Rabbi Lefkowitz's favorite sermons, messages, thoughts and articles.


Cantor Jaime Murley -- 215-646-5806 ext. 218

Cantor Jaime Murley joined the Beth Or clergy team in 2012. She started her career at Beth Or working alongside Cantor David Green as adjunct cantor, and is honored to follow in his footsteps as the congregation’s cantor, supporting the congregation’s musical and spiritual needs. Developing an early love for music of all kinds, Cantor Murley received a Masters in Percussion Performance in 2000, and pursued a career as a classical percussionist, where she played in symphony orchestras both locally and internationally. In 2002, she discovered the beauties of Jewish music and decided to switch gears. In May of 2009, she graduated Gratz College with a Masters of Arts in Cantorial Studies and Jewish Music while serving as cantorial intern at Congregation Rodeph Shalom in Philadelphia throughout her schooling. Upon her graduation, Jaime served as cantor of the synagogue through the spring of 2012, whereupon she came to Beth Or and the rest is history! Cantor Murley loves helping people connect to Judaism through song and prayer, whether be in one of the Congregation’s choirs, musical groups, or through worship.  She is thrilled to work alongside the amazing staff and talented clergy team at Congregation Beth Or. 

Cantor Murley is married to Luke Murley and they reside in Wallingford, Pa with their three children, Cooper, Noa and Darwin.


Rabbi Gregory S. Marx, Rabbi Emeritus

Rabbi Marx served as Beth Or’s spiritual leader from 1989 until his retirement in June 2024. Committed to Jewish life and education, as well as interfaith dialogue and Israel advocacy, he is the proud past President of the Philadelphia Board of Rabbis, and the Wissahickon Faith Community Association.  He is also the Past Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Rabbinic Cabinet of State of Israel Bonds.   He has led countless missions to Israel for travelers of all ages, working to connect them to the people, land and State of Israel.

During his tenure at Beth Or, Rabbi Marx volunteered and led in the local community, serving on the Board of Directors of the Abington Hospital Foundation Board, Abramson Senior Care, and the Anti-Defamation League of Philadelphia.

Rabbi Marx helped grow Beth Or’s membership from 300 families in 1989 to over 1000 today.  He is most proud of his efforts to help raise the funds necessary to build the present synagogue and to facilitate the move from Beth Or’s second site in Spring House to its current location in Maple Glen. 

Rabbi Marx's favorite sermons, messages, thoughts and articles. 

View Rabbi & Laurie Marx e-Tribute Book from April 19-20, 2024 Celebration Weekend

View Message from Governor Josh Shapiro, honoring Rabbi Marx prior to his retirement


Cantor David Green, Cantor Emeritus 

Cantor David Green served as Beth Or's Cantor from July 1995 until his retirement in June 2022. His magnificent, bellowing baritone voice was equaled by his kind, compassionate personality, which made him beloved by congregants across the generations, including the thousands of B'nai Mitzvah children and adults he tutored throughout his tenure. His experience spanned worship, life cycle events, pastoral care, support groups, music and education.


Clergy Support: Life’s Special Occasions and Challenges

Do you have an immediate pastoral need?   Contact Rabbi Bonder by calling the main office number, 215-646-5806, and following the voice prompts to reach him directly.

Life Cycle Events
Please let us know about any life cycle events in your family. Our clergy would like to provide support whether it is a joyous occasion such as a wedding or birth, or a time of sorrow such as the loss of a loved one. Contact Barbara Murtha, 215-646-5806 x220.

Compassion Visits by Our Clergy
Please notify the clergy when you or a family member is in the hospital, a nursing home or with home-care or hospice. We want to be there with you because we are here for you.  Due to hospital privacy policies, we are unable to inquire about congregants. Please call the clergy, 215-646-5806, to let us know when we may visit you or your loved one.

Counseling/Support Groups
If you or someone you know is struggling with a challenging life moment or transition, support is available. Contact Rabbi Bonder if you have an immediate need or concern.

Beth Or has an active Mental Health Task Force, led by congregant Judith Kurtis, LCSW, CCTP. The task force is comprised of experienced licensed health professionals with different backgrounds including clinical social work, psychology, psychiatry, and pediatrics. Currently, a Bereavement Support Group meets via Zoom once a month and may be joined at any time. Other support groups are formed as the need arises. Mental Health programs are also coordinated by the task force in conjunction with other Beth Or groups throughout the year. 

Contact Judy Kurtis, if you would like additional information about participating in support groups or if you are a licensed mental health specialist who would like to join the Mental Health Task Force.


Learn more about Life Cycle Events 

Wed, July 24 2024 18 Tammuz 5784