Temple B'nai Israel
Union for Reform Judaism
Rabbi David Novak
Email: Rabbi.Novak@tbiclearwater.org

The TBI Board is delighted to welcome Rabbi David Novak as our interim rabbi. Rabbi Novak comes to us from Vermont where he served a rural congregation for a decade. He is a second-career rabbi after leaving a prosperous strategic communications business at age 38 to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a rabbi.

Born in Manchester, New Hampshire, Rabbi Novak grew up where most of his waking moments outside of school were consumed by Jewish life at his synagogue and the JCC. To this day he affirms that almost all of his blessings have come from being part of the Jewish People. The rabbi was ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2007. His childhood rabbi presented him for ordination.

The rabbi’s husband Yuval, a Jewish educator, will be visiting him throughout the year and plans to relocate to Clearwater at the end of the academic year.

Please visit rabbidavidnovak.com to read his résumé, examples of divrei Torah, and more.

He looks forward to meeting all of you and being a part of your lives.
Cantorial Soloist Laura Berkson
Email: LauraB@tbiclearwater.org

Laura brings to our congregation a lifetime of engagement with the Reform movement from her own childhood involvement in NFTY and Eisner Camp to congregational work as an adult. For 11 years, she served as the Cantorial Soloist of Temple B’nai Jeshurun in Des Moines, IA, and comes to us most recently as the Cantorial Soloist of Temple Emanuel in Andover, MA. With a strong background and knowledge of Jewish music and a beautiful, sweet singing voice that many of us enjoyed on her visit here, Laura utilizes music as a gateway to spirituality and to connect with congregants. She plays guitar, piano, banjo, and a variety of percussion instruments, and is a nationally recognized and respected songwriter in the Jewish music world.

Laura holds a BA from Vassar in Psychology and an MA in Jewish Communal Service from Brandeis. She loves to connect with members through building relationships, pastoral visits, and delights in working with youth and adults of all ages.

Rabbi Daniel Treiser z"l

Rabbi Daniel Treiser joined the Temple B'nai Israel family as its rabbi in July 2008. Prior to coming to Clearwater, Rabbi Treiser served as the Associate Rabbi of Temple Kol Ami Emanu-El in Plantation, FL. He came to Florida in June 2000, following his ordination at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. Rabbi Treiser was born and raised in Queens, NY, and is a product of the Reform synagogue, youth and camp movements. While earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Queens College in NY in 1993, he worked with various youth groups and was a counselor and senior staff member at URJ Camp Eisner, the regional Reform Jewish camp. Upon graduation, Rabbi Treiser dedicated a year of his life to community service in Israel on Project Otzma, working in various communities throughout the country. When he returned to the States, Rabbi Treiser served as a Hillel program coordinator and Assistant Chaplain at Hofstra University and Adelphi University on Long Island before being accepted to the Hebrew Union College.

After his first year of rabbinic study in Jerusalem, Rabbi Treiser went to the Los Angeles campus of HUC, where he earned his Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters in 1998. While there, he served as student rabbi of Temple Bat Yam in South Lake Tahoe, CA for two years, and was the Wexner Summer Rabbinic Intern at Sha'arei Am: The Santa Monica Synagogue. He also was a part of the Interfaith Chaplaincy Program at the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, CA. Upon transferring to the New York campus of HUC-JIR, Rabbi Treiser became the rabbinic intern for Temple Sinai of Bergen County in Tenafly, NJ.

Inspired by the rabbis who taught him throughout his youth and served as the visiting faculty at summer camps, Rabbi Treiser committed his career to reaching out to Jewish youth, engaging them in creative and informal educational opportunities that demonstrate how Judaism can have a positive impact on their lives. He served on the rabbinic faculty of URJ Camp Coleman for more than ten years, and was a member of Coleman’s Clergy Advisory Board. He also served as a rabbinic advisor to the NFTY-STR, the regional Reform Jewish Youth Group.

Rabbi Treiser shared his passion for Jewish learning with Temple and community members through a wide variety of Adult Education opportunities, and his love and commitment to the State of Israel by leading an ongoing series of congregational trips to Israel. In 2011, he contributed an article to the Union for Reform Judaism’s “Ten Minutes of Torah” Torah commentaries.

On a community level, Rabbi Treiser was involved in a wide variety of activities. Within our own community, Rabbi Treiser was a member of the Pinellas County Board of Rabbis, was an active supporter of the Jewish Federation of Pinellas and Pasco Counties, the JCC Suncoast and Gulf Coast Jewish Children and Family Services, and participated in several different interfaith community programs. He also served for many years on the board of SEACCAR, the South East Association of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, working as Youth Committee Chair, Kallah Coordinator, Newsletter editor and Regional Vice President.

Rabbi Treiser was married to Rachel, a Pinellas County Schools Kindergarten teacher with a Master's Degree in Elementary and Special Education. He was the proud father of Elana and Ethan.

View or Listen To Rabbi Treiser's High Holiday Sermons
2017 Rosh Hashanah Morning - "Hearing The Alarm" View (PDF)
2017 Yom Kippur Morning - "This I Believe" View (PDF)
2016 Erev Rosh Hashanah - "Carrying The Story" View (PDF) Listen (M4A)
2016 Rosh Hashanah Morning - “If Not Now, When?” View (PDF) Listen (M4A)
Temple B'nai Israel    1685 South Belcher Road    Clearwater, FL 33764
Phone: (727) 531-5829    Fax: (727) 530-5159
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