Rabbi Steven Folberg
Rabbi Steven Folberg is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He graduated LaSalle University in Philadelphia, Maxima Cum Laude with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology. Rabbi Folberg received his rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion In New York City in 1985. He has served on the national Board of the Central Conference of American Rabbis as a member at large and has also chaired the CCAR Resolutions Committee. In April 2010, Rabbi Folberg was awarded an honorary Doctor Of Divinity degree in recognition of the 25th anniversary of his ordination. Rabbi Folberg co-authored Bright Lights in Dark Times, a Jewish history textbook for middle school and high school students. He is also proud to be a founding member of The Interfaith Environmental Network Of Austin, an organization that brings together individuals who see environmental stewardship as an essential part of their faith commitment.
Rabbi Folberg is an alumnus of Rabbinic Cohort 5 of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. He is fascinated by the work being done on the intersection of Judaism and mindfulness practice, including meditation and yoga. He loves teaching students of all ages and especially cherishes the relationships that have developed between him and so many Temple families over his more than two decades serving Congregation Beth Israel. He is committed to the vision of CBI as a warm, welcoming, intellectually stimulating, nonjudgmental, intentional spiritual community devoted to enriching the lives of its members and working for justice and peace in the world.
Rabbi Folberg is married to Saundra Goldman, a writer, writing teacher and art historian. They adore their daughter, Shira, who was born in 2001.
For recreation Rabbi Folberg enjoys music and tinkering with stereo equipment. He is also a shameless computer geek.
Rabbi Sam Rose
Rabbi Rose received his Bachelor of Arts in Jewish Studies and Political Science from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. While in college, Rabbi Rose also spent his junior year abroad studying at the Rothberg International School of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Rabbi Rose loves that there are so many ways to engage the CBI community. Whether he is leading a Shabbat song session for the children at the CDC, teaching Torah study on Saturday morning, or meeting up with CBI's young adult group after first Friday Shabbat services and sisterhood dinner, his goal is to contribute to CBI's vibrant community life.
Rabbi Rose and his wife Andrea are thrilled to be living in Austin, and are proud to be a part of the CBI Family.
Rabbi Rebecca Epstein
Rabbi Rebecca Epstein decided to pursue a career as a rabbi, as a personal response to witnessing the aftermath of the tragedy of 9/11/2001 in New York City. At the time, she was teaching Hebrew school at a synagogue on the Upper West Side. Rebecca concluded that she could connect both students and adults to the wisdom of Jewish tradition as a way to deal with these demanding times. Concurrently, Rebecca explored Eastern spiritual traditions through her study of yoga. She concluded, however, that Judaism and the path of the rabbinate were the right fit for her, though some doubts about organized religion remained. She began her rabbinical studies in 2004 at the Hebrew Union College, and was ordained in 2009 after completing studies in Jerusalem and New York City.
Upon ordination, Rebecca served Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple in New Brunswick, New Jersey as Assistant Rabbi. There, she pioneered a teen mentorship program, a women's spirituality group, a Jewish yoga class, and a comprehensive environmental certification process, in addition to directing the religious school.
Rebecca and her family arrived in Austin in 2012, where she has served in various roles in the Austin Jewish Community, as well as national Jewish organizations including the Association of Reform Zionists of America and the Women's Rabbinic Network, for which she served as the Convention and National Events Vice President.
Rebecca is proud to be a part of the Congregation Beth Israel community, where she strives to connect people of all ages to the wellsprings and challenges of Judaism and Jewish life, through her current role as Director of Education which she assumed in 2014.
Rebecca grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, and attended Vassar College, graduating in 2000 with honors in Cognitive Science. At Vassar, she also pursued a life-long passion for modern dance and choreography.
Rebecca is proud to be married to Barak Epstein and to share in the parenting of their three daughters, Noa, Aviya, and Sonia.
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