A RABBI IS A TEACHER, A LEADER, AND A FRIEND.
A native of New England and an avid Red Sox fan, Rabbi Berger attended Emory University in Atlanta where he earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology. After living in Jerusalem for the first year of rabbinical school, he was ordained as a rabbi by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati.
Rabbi Berger served as the associate rabbi of Temple Chai in Long Grove, Illinois. He then led Temple Emanuel of Worcester, Massachusetts where he successfully integrated the city’s two Reform synagogues - Temple Emanuel and Temple Sinai.
Rabbi Berger is an accomplished musician who composes Jewish music and loves to sing and play guitar. He especially enjoys leading services with the congregation’s prayer band, Veggie B & The Lone Stars. Every summer, he serves for a week as a faculty member at Greene Family Camp, the regional summer camp of the Union for Reform Judaism. He is active in The Woodlands interfaith community and volunteers his time at Interfaith of The Woodlands and Faiths Together.
He is honored to lead the vibrant and growing community of Congregation Beth Shalom of The Woodlands with his wife, Ida, and two children, Avi and Meital, by his side.
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.
Rabbi Brahms is frequently called upon by Jews and non-Jews for his knowledge of Judaism and religious texts. He shares his love and admiration for the history of Jewish faith and the richness it adds to life. He finds no greater pleasure than to see a sense of spirituality blossom in the soul of a one who seeks Jewish wisdom and understanding.