Jonathan Kupetz, the youngest of four children, grew up in the west San Fernando Valley and graduated from Calabasas High School and U.C. Santa Cruz. He studied rabbinics and education at Hebrew Union college-Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York.
After ordination in 1999, Rabbi Kupetz became a member of the Stephan S. Wise Temples's rabbinical staff where he helped to create and lead diverse opportunities for Jewish engagement. Rabbi Kupetz also served as the coordinator of a Los Angeles area 12-step recovery retreat co-sponsored by Jewsh Family Service of Los Angeles.He began his tenure as rabbi of Temple Beth Israel in Pomona on July 1st 2004. He enjoys the warm relationships he is developing with congregants and the many opportunities he has to teach about Jewish life.
Rabbi Kupetz is a strong advocate of Jewish residential summer camps and has sharply increased the participation of TBI youth in Jewish summer camping. He has a passion for Israel where he met Karen, his wife, when they were both studying there during their Junior year of college. They have three children: Sam, Eli, and Abby.
Hazzan (Cantor) Paul Buch has served Temple Beth Israel's since 2003 and is a graduate and ordainee of the Academy for Jewish Religion/California in Los Angeles (www.ajrca.org).
Cantor Buch leads music at religious services and life cycle events, teaches liturgy, scriptural chanting and music in our Beit Sefer (religious school) and mentors students preparing for Bar/Bat Mitzvah. He contributes musically throughout our congregation, and his soulful, energetic approach has been described as both “deeply spiritual” and “cheerleading for G-d”. He participates regularly in our Adult Jewish Learning program and with our Tarbut seniors group.
Cantor Buch comes to the cantorate after a 25 year career in television and film production in Los Angeles, New York, and Portland, OR which he embarked on after his graduation from Boston University with a degree in journalism. A native of Buffalo, NY, Cantor Buch credits his parents, David and Drena (z”l) with inspiring a love for Judaism and especially Jewish music in him at a very young age.
Motivated by his own upbringing in a diverse religious community, Cantor Buch is deeply engaged with community interfaith activities. He is currently President of the Claremont Interfaith Council and serves on the Faith-Based Roundtable of the Pomona Unified School District. He is also Chair of the City of Claremont's Human Relations Committee, a member of the Upland Interfaith Council and serves on an advisory committee at the Claremont School of Theology.
Cantor Buch is married to Lisa, an urban planner who is part of the management team for the Foothill Gold Line transit project. They have two sons; Sam, who attends elementary school in Claremont and in our Beit Sefer, and Benjamin, who is following in his brother's path by attending our TBI Preschool. Cantor Buch is committed to inspiring a love and appreciation of music and its role in Jewish life throughout the community and is excited to share ways in which we can integrate this beautiful tradition into our daily life.
Art Beckerman became the TBI Executive Director in October 2005. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Art has a diverse background in both industrial and synagogue positions. Art has a BS degree in Chemical Engineering and an MBA degree. After serving as a USAF officer, Art worked in a variety of engineering and supervisory positions in the chemical and mining industries for 25 years in California and West Virginia.
While in the USAF and in industry, Art became very active in the local synagogues, serving in a variety of synagogue board and program positions. It was this involvement in synagogue leadership that led Art to become a synagogue administrator, first at Temple Adat Shalom at Poway, CA from 2001-2005 and now at TBI. In 2006, Art earned the status of Senior Member of the National Association for Temple Administrators.
As Temple Administrator, Art is responsible for the management of TBI’s office, physical plant and grounds, and accounting operations. Please stop by the TBI office and meet Art.
From her Jewish beginnings at Temple Beth Israel in Chicago to adult participation at Temple Beth Israel in Pomona, Deborah Pruitt has been involved with the Jewish community. Deborah and her family have been members of Temple Beth Israel since they moved to the Pomona Valley in 1988. At that time, Deborah joined the staff of Temple Beth Israel Preschool and Daycare, where she has been the Director since 1989.
Deborah’s first involvement with young children began the year she lived and worked on a kibbutz in Israel. Her educational background includes a B.S. in Applied Behavioral Science and a M.A. in Human Development. Deborah has worked in the field of early childhood education as a teacher with young children, a Parent Education leader and a community college instructor. Deborah is always happy to speak with parents about their children, working together to provide a quality environment for their development.
Leah Zimmerman holds an M.S. from the Bank Street School of Education in New York City, and has been Director of Education at Congregation Kolot Chayeinu in Brooklyn, NY and Congregation Beth Chayim Chadashim in Los Angeles, where she continues to direct the children's learning program. She has worked in formal and informal Jewish contexts as a mentor, teacher, education director, and tutor, integrating Jewish learning with the arts and family and community education.
Leah worked as an Elementary school teacher in the public schools in New York City and Round Rock, Texas, where she learned how meaningful learning takes place by listening givingly to her kindergarten and second grade students. She also studied at The Actor's Institute in New York City and has been featured in solo and ensemble performances in diverse theater and cabaret venues.
Leah lives in Claremont, California with her two beautiful daughters, Leila and Bella, and her husband, Jeff.
Temple Beth Israel
3033 North Towne AvePomona, CA 91767Main Office: (909) 626-1277Preschool Office: (909) 626-6937
For questions/commentsabout the website, contactthe Webmaster.