Our Clergy

Rabbi Rebekah Goldman

Rabbi Bekah comes to FVJC-ES from Boston’s Hebrew College where she obtained her rabbinic ordination and Master’s Degree in Jewish Education. Rabbi Bekah has extensive experience working with children and teens in religious schools and Jewish camps. While in rabbinical school, she served as the sole rabbi of two congregations in New England, leading Shabbat services, providing pastoral care, and officiating at lifecycle events. While Rabbi Bekah is still somewhat new to the congregation, her family is not. Rabbi Bekah’s husband, Saul Mag, son of Kathi and Eliot Mag, became Bar Mitzvah on our bima with Rabbi Herman and Cantor Sue Levine officiating. We are delighted to welcome Rabbi Bekah, Saul, and their daughter Isabela Faith to the FVJC-ES family.

“Saul and I are so excited to raise our family and build our home in FVJC’s warm, welcoming, holy community. I look forward to working with the fantastic team of leadership at FVJC and in partnership with all area clergy to help strengthen our religious communities together.”


Email: rabbibekah@fvjc.org Phone: (860) 651-8576

Cantorial Soloist Lisa Jane Lipkin

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We are happy to announce that we have engaged Lisa Lipkin as our part-time cantorial soloist for 2017-18.  She will be our cantorial soloist at least once a month at services and holidays and work with adults and children on specific dates.

She has served as the cantorial soloist for High Holidays at Temple B’nai Israel in White Oak, PA and has the cantorial soloist at Rimon Center for Jewish Spirituality, Pleasantville Community Synagogue and Sinai Free Synagogue.  She presently serves as the choir director at JCC of Harrison and teaches piano and voice in New Castle, New York.

Ms. Lipkin has her Bachelor of Arts degree in music from Rutgers University and has trained with Donna Reid in voice and vocal pedagogy.  Lisa has trained in cantorial studies at the Academy of Jewish Religion in Yonkers, NY and is a very accomplished musician and songwriter. She founded “Singing Pup Records”, an independent record label and has released several CDs including secular music “Raise the Honey”, and “Flying on Instruments” and Jewish music “Prayer for Peace”.   She also plays several instruments including drums and keyboard. She currently is a vocal and piano coach and works as an arranger and studio musician.


Email: cantor@fvjc.org

Rabbi Emeritus Howard Herman

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Rabbi Howard Herman retired after his 36th year of service at the Temple and now holds the title of Rabbi Emeritus.  He was ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1978 at their New York campus.  Rabbi Herman is the host of “Reflections”, his program on WTIC-AM 1080 radio on Sunday mornings.


Email: rebbeherman@gmail.com Website: www.rabbiherman.com

Cantor Emerita Susan Levine


Cantor Levine holds a special place in our Temple; as our first Cantor Emerita, she has seen generations of our families through life cycle events, educated our children, inspired us with Jewish music, and counseled us.

During her 32 years with our congregation, Cantor Levine co-led services with Rabbi Herman, conducted our choir, developed and directed our B’nai Mitzvah program, taught music in our Religious School, and brought creative and innovative programming to our congregation in the areas of women’s spirituality, Jewish music, and post-B’nai Mitzvah mentoring and education. She has been a very active representative of FVJC-ES in the Greater Hartford area in the areas of community learning, interfaith activities and programming, and cantorial concerts. She also served as the first woman chair of the Simsbury Clergy Association. In 1999, Cantor Levine was a recipient of the Woman of Valor Award, presented by the Women’s Branch of the Greater Hartford Federation. In 2011, Cantor Levine became a member of the Executive Board of the American Conference of Cantors. She also formed a Retired Cantors Network for the American Conference of Cantors.

Cantor Levine is a graduate of the Hartt School of Music with degrees in Vocal Performance and Music Education. She received her Cantorial Certification from Hebrew Union College, Jewish Institute of Religion, School of Sacred Music. She has a Masters Degree in Pastoral Counseling from St. Joseph College and is a Connecticut Licensed Professional Counselor. Cantor Levine was in private practice with Bethany Pastoral Counseling Services for 15 years. She also spent some time facilitating the JACS (Jewish Alcoholics, Chemically Dependent Persons and Significant Others) group at Jewish Family Services in West Hartford.

Cantor Levine has begun a counselling practice in Simsbury and facilitates an employment transitions support group for Jewish Family Services.


Email: slevine@womenreshapinglives.com