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Rabbi Judith Lazarus Siegal is honored to be the senior rabbi of Temple Judea, a warm and inclusive Jewish community, which takes learning and worship seriously and engages in acts of love and kindness and social action all year long. Originally from New Orleans, Rabbi Siegal was ordained from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York in May of 2006 with a Masters in Hebrew Literature. She also has a Masters degree in Social Work from the University of Texas in Austin. She has served as a rabbi at Temple Judea in Coral Gables, FL since her ordination, and became the senior rabbi of Temple Judea July 1, 2014.

Rabbi Siegal enjoys building relationships, leading worship, creating meaningful life cycle moments, counseling, pursuing social justice and teaching students of all ages at Temple Judea, from preschoolers in our Margaux Early Childhood School and their families to adult Torah study groups, new adult Hebrew students, and religious school students of various grade levels.

Rabbi Siegal currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Association of Greater Miami, on the board of the South East Area Council of the CCAR, and as the Vice President of Programming for the Central Conference of American Rabbis. She is a past chair of the Miami Coalition of Christians and Jews Interfaith Clergy Dialogue and was awarded the Clergy Silver Medallion in 2018. She has been a fellow for the Jewish Outreach Institute’s Big Tent Judaism Professional Affiliates and has studied at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center as well as the Mussar Institute and is always looking for new and interesting study opportunities. She received the Clergy of the Year award in 2014 and was selected as one of the 2020 Florida Influencers by the Miami Herald.

Rabbi Siegal is married to Brian Siegal, who is the Director of the American Jewish Committee of Miami and Broward, and they have three children, Ben, Josh, and Ella.

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Rabbi Jonathan Fisch was drawn to Temple Judea’s warm and welcoming atmosphere since first stepping foot inside the synagogue February 2014 when interviewing. Since then he is constantly inspired and driven by the innovative programming and community involvement. Rabbi Fisch has helped create new programs within and outside the synagogue walls, ranging from helping brainstorm and develop programing for J-PLEx (Sunday School) leading creative worship ideas for the Margaux Early Childhood School, helping plan young adult programs and plan opportunities for young families to celebrate Shabbat through the Family Friendly Friday and Making Shabbat MAGICAL services. Rabbi Fisch is most proud of his Torah Tuck-In, and Mezuzah Make-Over, opportunities which allows him to come to your home with a Torah or new Mezuzah to teach, play and hopefully have a few home baked cookies with your children or loved ones. You can often find him on the preschool playground running around playing “tag,” partaking in religious school learning activities, trying to do magic with a Jewish twist, writing random schpeels, and gathering with members of the community for lunch or coffee. 

Rabbi Fisch is grateful for the opportunity to visit Israel with his communities families and has been fortunate enough to go on various trips with teens from Temple Judea and appreciates the unique opportunity of being a part of many of the teens first visit to the holy land. Seeing the look on their faces when they experience Shabbat in the old city is priceless and brings him back to his experience from the two years he lived in Jerusalem. Rabbi Fisch is a proud Zionist and lover of Israel. Some of his favorite memories in Israel have been spending the night talking about God, experiencing and reveling in holy moments, late night cards on the streets of Jerusalem and discussing the proper way to eat falafel!

Chaplaincy work has become an integral part of Rabbi Fisch’s community outreach. In 2016 Rabbi Fisch was sworn in as the second Chaplain for the Coral Gables Police Department (CGPD) and the force’s first rabbi. He finds great meaning in being a part of the CGPD, taking part in trainings, exploring the community through the officer’s eyes, working on safety measures, and seeing to the spiritual health and wellbeing of the officers and personnel. You may see him riding along in a police car from time-to-time, but don’t get worried, he’s in the front seat!

Outside of his work as rabbi and chaplain, Rabbi Fisch enjoys biking, watching movies, eating cookies, and especially his time with his wife, Abby and their two vivacious daughters, Ayla and Yael. His door is always open and looks forward to creating a relationship with you and your family soon. 

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Fri, December 2 2022 8 Kislev 5783