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Clergy and Professional Staff

Have a question about Judaism, the study of Torah, Jewish life, or Jewish values (or, let's be real, any other topic?!)? Then you need to talk to one of our team members! We invite you to meet our clergy -- Rabbi Edwin Goldberg and Rabbi Jan Brahms, Emeritus -- or our professional staff -- Helen Richard and Jen Orozco.  

Rabbi Edwin Goldberg

Rabbi Jan M. Brahms, Emeritus

Rabbi Jan M. Brahms began serving Congregation Beth Shalom of The Woodlands in 2004. Rabbi Brahms was formerly the rabbi of Temple Beth El in Madison, Wisconsin for 19 years. He also served congregations in Nashville, Tennessee, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and received his Rabbinic Ordination, Masters Degree in Hebrew Letters, and Doctor of Divinity degree from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio. He and his wife Ann Dee are parents of two adult children, Lisa and Steven, who both work and live in Brooklyn, New York.

Rabbi Brahms has been active in the general and Jewish communities where he has lived including The Woodlands. He has taught on college campuses, was a member of the Institutional Review Board of the University of Wisconsin Hospital, is past president of the Midwest Association of Reform Rabbis, and has served on the Board of the Central Conference of American Rabbis. Currently, Rabbi Brahms serves as the national rabbinic chair of the Joint Commission on Rabbinic Mentoring Institute and is a member of the National Commission on Rabbinic-Congregational Relationships.

Congregation Beth Shalom is a dream come true as a Jewish spiritual home. He loves the intimacy of the congregation where everyone knows one another and feels as if they are members of an extended family, sharing in celebrations and comforting in times of challenge. He also rejoices in the extensive volunteer involvement of the members of CBSW in all aspects of programming and activities from teaching in religious school to cleaning up the building; from planning functions to serving on committees that work for the enrichment of all.

Email Rabbi Brahms

Helen Richard

 

Director of Lifelong Learning, Congregational Engagement, and Tenant Relations 

 

Helen Richard's love of Judaism and people make her central to the warmth of our congregation. Her strong interpersonal skills and close work with people from teens to leadership have greatly enhanced everything that we do. Wherever there is an educational, programming, or social activity, Helen will have played a key role in its creation and development. And you'll be hard-pressed to find someone in our congregation that Helen doesn't know!

Helen was born and raised in Israel and came to the United States in 1988, where she has served Jewish communities in Los Angeles, New Jersey, and Las Vegas. In 2002 Helen and her sons, Travis and Troy, moved to Texas and she has been a treasured staff member of our CBSW family ever since. 

The greatest influences in Helen's life are her grandfather and father. Helen's grandfather was known as “The Great Rabbi” of Cairo, Egypt during the 1930s through the 1940s who helped smuggle Jews to Palestine before Israel became a state. Upon relocating to Israel her grandfather and father built a synagogue in their new hometown, Herzliya, where they served as Rabbi and Cantor. As a result, Helen's mission in life is to help people of all ages understand our traditions, religion, and to motivate them to experience Israel. “Am Yisrael Chai” (The Jewish People Live!)

Email Helen Richard

Jen Orozco

 

Temple Administrator

 

Jen Orozco serves as the Temple Administrator for CBSW. She is the friendly voice who will answer the phone or greet you and help with your questions and anything else you may need.

Jen was born in Missouri but migrated with her family to Southern California at an early age. There, years later, she met and married Tony, her handsome husband. An employment change for Tony brought them to Houston in 2004. Though California boasts some pretty nice weather, the Orozcos love the people, crazy rain, and big open skies of Texas. Jen has worked in office administration for many years, primarily in a non-profit or church environment. Spending 12 years with Nightlight Christian Adoptions in Southern California, she garnered a variety of administrative skills and two delightful and cherished adopted children. Now she can proudly add that the newest addition to the Orozco family has made her a very happy grandmother!

Jen joined the staff of Congregation Beth Shalom in 2014. Her welcoming manner is wonderful for all.

Email Jen Orozco

Wed, December 7 2022 13 Kislev 5783