Our Clergy

Rabbi Pinchas Klein came to Shaare Shamayim in July 2008 after serving since 2001 on the pulpit at the Mount Freedom Jewish Center, Randolph, NJ.  Rabbi Klein is a gifted pastoral counselor with an outstanding reputation as an adult educator. His wonderful abilities arise from his interesting background.

Rabbi Jean Claude Klein

Rabbi Klein was born Jean Claude in Paris, France to parents who survived the Holocaust and raised in Montreal, Quebec.  His educational journey took him to the Talmudical Yeshiva High School in Philadelphia and the Ner Israel Rabbinical College in Willowdale, Ontario. He received his rabbinical ordination from Rabbi Pinchas Hirchprung z”l, Canada*s preeminent Halachic authority of his generation.  Rabbi Klein also studied with other leading rabbis; including Rabbi Yaakov Weinberg z”l, and Rabbi Uziel Milevski z”l.

Rabbi Klein received a M.S.  (Masters of Science) in Counseling Psychology and a Psy.D. (Doctor of Psychology) in Clinical Psychology from Nova SouthEastern University.  He had a counseling practice with an emphasis in marriage and family counseling. Rabbi Klein successfully integrates his rabbinical knowledge and professional therapeutic skills to nurture the needs of the community.

Above all, Rabbi Klein is a teacher.  He has taught Graduate courses for several Universities and he has been a visiting professor at the Institute for Traditional Judaism.  For over thirty years, Rabbi Klein has been inspiring people of all ages and diverse backgrounds with Torah. 

Though very well educated, Rabbi Klein gives some credit for his wisdom to his years as a hack (cab driver) during the non Shabbat portions of weekends and summer vacations in Miami, Florida.  He met fascinating people, heard intriguing stories, and became a sort of *counselor on wheels*.

While in New Jersey, Rabbi Klein was President of MORASHAH, the rabbinical fellowship of the Union for Traditional Judaism (UTJ) where he currently serves as a Director and is also a Board Member of the UTJ.

Rabbi Klein loves spending down time with Miriam, his wife, life partner, and coach. Miriam and he are proud and have great joy in their children and grandchildren. Yael (Livingston, NJ), Aviva and her husband Erik Cooper (Pittsburgh, PA) who are the proud parents of Noah and Ari, David and his wife Batsheva (Hollywood, Fl), Rafi studying Talmud, and Abigail (NYU Master’s Program).

According to Webster’s definition, “Emeritus” comes from the French e+merere meaning to “earn,” “deserve,” “serve” holding an honorary title corresponding to that held last during active service.

Rabbi Feldman “earned” his s’michah at Yeshiva University in l955.  He completed his candidacy for PhD at Dropsie College in Education and Rabbinics. In 1984 he graduated from Rutgers School of Law.

Rabbi Arnold H. Feldman PLC— Rabbi Emeritus

Rabbi Feldman “deserves” our recognition and appreciation.  In l968 from his pulpit at B’Nai Yitzchok, formerly at B and Roosevelt Boulevard, he assumed the leadership of a fledgling, yet unbuilt Greater Northeast Jewish Congregation.  He was a driving force in making our synagogue the outstanding Jewish house of worship for the Northeast Philadelphia community.  He guided the growth and expansion of our synagogue center and supervised our entire educational complex.  The naming of the Arnold H. Feldman Religious School reflected the Congregation’s appreciation of these efforts.  He worked tirelessly on behalf of the construction of our beautiful Sanctuary.  He held the position of vice president of the Board of Rabbis of Philadelphia and was a founder of  “The Bridge,” a drug rehabilitation center for the youth of our area.  He was officially installed as Rabbi Emeritus March, 1985.

 

Rabbi Feldman continues to “serve” our synagogue sharing the pulpit during High Holiday Services and being available whenever called upon as evidenced by his assuming the Rabbinical responsibilities during Rabbi Klein’s absence.  He continues to “serve” as a reminder of our past and a guidepost for our future.

   Rabbi and his wife, Carole, are blessed with four children and nine grandchildren, seven girls and two boys ranging in age from nine to twenty.

A Cantor’s function in a synagogue is a complex role that requires the ability to span all human emotions.  A skilled cantor brings to his congregants the ability to listen and a desire to be heard.

Cantor Don Samuels embodies the best of these qualities reflected in his compassion for our sick, and the joy he evokes in his liturgical music.  His dedication to serve all our congregants, through the best and worst of our lives is a testament to a good and noble man.  His gentlemanly ways are evident in his enthusiastic participation with our Nursery children at their Friday morning programs, his devotion to preparing out Bar/Bat Mitzvah students and his clear love of our Jewish heritage, as his voice echoes the music and prayer of our ancient tradition.  As our ambassador of good will, Cantor Samuels conducts Shiva visits, makes hospital calls and leads our daily minyons.

Cantor Don C. Samuels

At an early age, Cantor Samuels recognized that his love of music would be demanding. It was music and theater that took him as student, teacher and performer throughout Canada, his birthplace.  With his unique wit and theatrical background, he toured the United States, Europe and the Soviet Union before becoming a cantor.  He received his cantorial training from Yeshiva University.

 

This endearing man, with a twinkle in his eye, and that ingratiating smile, has served our congregation for over twenty years.  He is “our man for all reasons,” and we look forward to a continuing long-enduring relationship with Cantor Don and his wife Sylvia, and their children and grandchildren.

While attending our Conservative Service, one cannot miss the gentle, sephardic chanting in the voice of Cantor Michael Bitton.  Born in Israel to a traditional Moroccan family, Cantor Bitton has lived in the United States for 22 years and comes from a family of musicians.  As a young man, his love of the synagogue, Shabbat and holidays lead him to Yeshiva University where he attended the cantorial program with an emphasis on Ashkenazi liturgy. 

Cantor Michael Bitton

In our Shabbat and High Holiday Conservative Services, Cantor Bitton brings a combination of upbeat Ashkenazi and Sephardic tunes that are inspirational and are easy for everyone to follow and enjoy together.   He would like to encourage all congregants, regardless of their background or knowledge of the service, to attend services regularly.  Cantor Bitton hopes to attract non-members to our shul by training our children to participate in our Friday night service.  This will attract parents, grandparents, and friends.   This will also make a fun evening of inspiration, socialization, and learning.

 

Cantor Bitton is pleased that the traditional service and Conservative service co-exist creating a unique experience for all.   He has received a warm welcome from our staff and congregants and is honored to be a part of our community.  Cantor will be assisting our Bar and Bat Mitzvah candidates with their preparation in the Conservative service. 

 

Cantor Bitton is honored to be welcomed to our synagogue community and is looking forward to getting to know us all. 

Cantor Bitton and his wife Lisa have two daughters, Abigail, and Rachel.  He enjoys spending time with his family and cooking together.  He plays the guitar, likes to exercise, play basketball, racquetball, soccer, and swim.

Congregations of Shaare Shamayim

BETH JUDAH-BETH TEFILATH ISRAEL-RODEPH ZEDEK-

                 BETH CHAIM-BETH EMETH-B'NAI YITZHOK

Rabbi Daniel Wolpe was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1996.  He has served synagogues in Boca Raton, Orlando, Detroit and   Albany.  He has served on the Orlando Cabinet of JNF and as President of the Greater Orlando Board Of Rabbis.  Additionally, he served on  Governor of Michigan Jennifer Granholm's commission on faith based initiatives. An experienced educator, Rabbi Wolpe has taught all ages from  preschool children

to adults and was an adjunct Professor at Rollins College for five years.  Rabbi Wolpe is also a produced playwright whose shows have been run in Philadelphia, New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Albany and Jerusalem. 

As a “hometown boy,” who comes from a distinguished family of Rabbis, he is delighted to return to his “roots” as Associate Rabbi at CSS.

 

 

Daniel Wolpe — Associate Rabbi