Our Clergy

 

Cantor Ruth Berman Harris

Cantor Ruth Berman HarrisBorn in Buenos Aires Argentina, Cantor Berman Harris received her cantorial education at the Rabbinical Seminary of Latin America.  In 1987, she had the distinct honor of becoming the first woman cantor in Argentina, carving a new and exciting path through the Argentine Jewish Community.

She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Bible and Talmud from Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel.  Cantor Berman Harris led services at Lamroth Hakol and Temple Emanuel, in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Bet Daniel in Tel Aviv, Kehillat Yozma in Modiin and Kehillat Mevaseret Zion in the outskirts of Jerusalem.

From 2001 to 2005 she served as the cantor of Congregation Sinai in Fox Point, Milwaukee, WI, followed by five years in Phoenix, Arizona.

Currently, she is the cantor of Pasadena Jewish Temple and Center in Pasadena California.

“Being a cantor is not simply a job for me – it is what I was born to do. Gathering as a community in prayer enables us to open our doors to spirituality. Music is for me the tool that helps us elevate above the mundane, and our voices are the instruments that bring us closer to God. My role as cantor involves sharing Shabbat with our congregants during Friday night and Saturday morning services, High Holy Days services and minor holidays; life cycle events, teaching adult b’nai mitzvah classes, adult learning, trope classes, b’nai mitzvah students, bikur cholim (visits to the sick), counseling, leading our davenning team, and working with our religious school students.

In partnership with our clergy team, my purpose is to create a warm, compassionate, personal, dedicated and spiritually uplifting clergy team to enhance the PJTC experience for all congregants. I believe in giving myself fully to each of our congregants, sharing simchas and sadness, celebrations and disappointments, growing and evolving together as a community, as a family.”

Cantor Ruth, as she likes to be called, is married to Laurence Harris and they have three kids. Ariel 18, Talia 16 and Adam 15.

Email: cantor@pjtc.net


Rabbi Aimee Gerace

Rabbi Aimee GeraceRabbi Aimee Gerace was awarded an exclusive position in 2011 into the HUC-JIR Mandel Fellowship Program.  This prestigious opportunity exemplified Aimee’s qualities, understandings, and competencies to inspire congregational communities, fostering the social reality that transcends denominational and geographical boundaries.

Named the Elizabeth and Fritz Krauss Outstanding Student in Jewish Studies, Rabbi Gerace received her BA in Jewish Studies and Spanish Language from Tulane University in New Orleans.  She began working extensively with Jewish youth in Los Angeles as an early childhood educator and youth advisor, before going on to receive her MA in Jewish Education from Hebrew Union College Los Angeles in 2011. Aimee first joined Temple Isaiah in 2012 as a rabbinic intern, and then officially joined the education team after ordination.  This is where she successfully began to reshape the religious school and further inspire students and teachers and is now the Senior Director of Youth and Family Education.

In 2013 Rabbi Gerace was ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles, and worked as Rabbi-Educator at Temple Isaiah, creating and facilitating a well-rounded and multi-vocal approach to Israel and education within Temple Isaiah’s Religious School.  Her passion for learning and deep knowledge of Jewish history gracefully elevates her ability to share her vision with others.  She is an American Jewish University Teaching Israel Fellow alumna, a member of the Mandel Leadership Fellowship, a mentor and tutor to Bar/Bat Mitzvah students, and a leader on domestic and international educational student trips.

A native of the San Fernando Valley, Rabbi Gerace has made Los Angeles her home along with her husband, Marco, their two cats, and their newest addition, Carson.  When she’s not questioning and challenging the norms and objectives in Jewish education, she finds great pleasure in her kitchen seasoning chili with hot sauce, or going on long walks with her family.

Email: educationdirector@pjtc.net


Rabbi Gilbert Kollin

Rabbi Gilbert KollinRabbi Kollin is a graduate of the Jewish Theological Seminary and served as Rabbi of PJTC from 1989 till his retirement in 2003. In 2004, Rabbi Kollin was named Rabbi Emeritus. He was honored as “Congregant of the Year” in 2008.

Rabbi Kollin is a permanent member of the Rabbinical Assembly Bet Din that handles conversions to Judaism. He sits on the Institutional Review Board of The Glendale Adventist Medical Center and on the Charity Care Committee of The City of Hope. He also serves as a Jewish Chaplain at The City of Hope. Rabbi Kollin teaches weekly Talmud and Monthly Bible classes at PJTC..

Email: rabbiemeritus@pjtc.net

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