Rabbi Gary Ezra Oren joined Temple Aliyah in 2006, serving as Rabbinic Intern for two years. He was officially welcomed as Rabbi in July 2008, just a few months after his ordination from The Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles. Before training to be a rabbi, he spent ten years working for the Walt Disney Company and pursued his graduate studies in Middle Eastern History at Tel Aviv University. Rabbi Oren’s journey to the rabbinate and to Temple Aliyah has been a long and interesting one. Gary, his wife Sharone, and their children Ya’ara, Elan and Nadav love being at Temple Aliyah and are looking forward to their relationships, which continue to strengthen and deepen.
Traditionally a synagogue has three functions: Beit Tefillah (a house of prayer), Beit Knesset (a house of meeting) and Beit Midrash (a house of study). I am proud to say that Temple Aliyah fulfills all three of these roles. We are a vibrant community, full of heart and soul.
As a Beit Knesset, a house of meeting, we offer all kinds of events, projects and programs to which our membership enthusiastically commits, including various social action projects and a whole range of communal gatherings and celebrations. We are especially proud of our Community of Caring which strives to provide communal support during all of life’s moments of transition – we are there to share in life’s joys and in life’s sorrows alike. And guests are always warmly welcomed.
As a Beit Midrash, a house of study, we offer educational opportunities that speak to our entire community of learners – from our Early Childhood Education families to our many opportunities for continuing adult education classes. We are engaged in a rich dialog with Torah and the Jewish tradition, with classes and study sessions that integrate textual analysis with an urgent sense of relevancy and spirituality. There is always a fascinating blend of subjects from traditional texts to creative and interactive learning.
As a Beit Tefillah, a house of prayer, we are blessed to live in an environment which allows us to offer a variety of formats in which to conduct services and other prayer – from what might be considered more traditional to gospel, jazz, family and other formats which engage, enhance and deepen our congregants in their spiritual journeys. We are a vibrant community, full of heart and soul and I believe we fulfill the words of the Psalmist who instructs us to “serve God with joy and to come before God with song.”
-Rabbi Gary Oren