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Our Rabbi

Rabbi Samuel L. Spector

Rabbi Spector was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. He attended the University of California, San Diego, where he was an active brother of the Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity. Rabbi Spector graduated with Cum Laude honors with a B.A. in Judaic Studies, a minor in Behavioral Psychology, and was elected Phi Beta Kappa. He received his Masters in Hebrew Letters and Rabbinic Ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles.

 

While in rabbinical school, Rabbi Spector served for three years as the student rabbi of Congregation Etz Chaim in Merced, California; a member of the Chaplain Candidate Program for the United States Navy; and as a chaplain intern at Los Angeles County/USC General Hospital. While in school, he led several teen trips to Israel and Eastern Europe.

 

Prior to coming to Congregation Kol Ami, Rabbi Spector served as the Associate Rabbi of Temple Judea in Tarzana, California, where he became recognized for his creation of young professional programming. While there, Rabbi Spector was an Edah Fellow through the Los Angeles Jewish Federation and the President of the West San Fernando Rabbinic Task Force and a delegate to the Jewish Welfare Board. He is currently a member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and on the board for the Pacific Area Reform Rabbis.

 

Rabbi Spector brings his love of working with children and young families to Congregation Kol Ami. He is passionate about adult education, Israel advocacy, social action and social justice. He is an avid fan of baseball, Jewish history, and traveling, having been to over 40 countries. In his free time, you can find Rabbi Spector hiking, skiing, or playing with Nezek, his Brittany Spaniel.

 

rabbi@conkolami.org

801-484-1501 x24

Our Cantor/Educator

Cantor Wendy Bat-Sarah

Cantor Wendy Bat-Sarah earned a Master of Jewish Sacred Music and was ordained by the Academy for Jewish Religion, CA in May, 2014. She received her commission from the Conservative Movement’s Cantors Assembly in May of 2018.

 

Cantor Bat-Sarah earned a B.A. in Social Anthropology with minors in Spanish and Russian from San Diego State University. Before coming to Kol Ami, she served the Jewish community in a wide variety of positions, including: ESL instructor in a Chabad Day School; Hillel Songleader in San Diego; teacher of Hebrew, Jewish Studies, Music, Tefillah, and Theatre in both day schools and supplementary schools; Chaplain at the Jewish Home for the Aging; Religious School Assistant Director; and Cantor.

 

The Cantor and her husband, Lev Mallinger, have six children between them: Natan, Avishai, Avidan, Eitan, Shoshanah, and Benyamin.

 

Cantor Bat-Sarah is committed to creating and sustaining an intellectually and spiritually vibrant experience of Judaism for people of all ages.

 

cantor@conkolami.org

801-484-1501 x28

Our Rabbi Emeritus

Rabbi Emeritus Frederick L. Wenger

Rabbi Frederick L. Wenger was born in Davenport, Iowa and raised in Rock Island, Illinois. He received his AB from the University of Chicago and his Rabbinic ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati, Ohio. He served as a U.S. Army Chaplain in Fort Jackson, South Carolina and Vietnam. After his discharge from military service, Rabbi Wenger served as Assistant Rabbi at Congregation Emanuel-El B'ne Jeshurun, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There he met and married his wife, Rochelle in 1973.

After leaving Milwaukee, Rabbi Wenger and Rochelle studied in Israel for a year, after which Rabbi Wenger accepted the position of Rabbi at B'nai Shalom Congregation, Huntington, West Virginia. Their two children, Haim and Miriam, were born in Huntington. Over his extended career, Rabbi Wenger progressed to pulpits of increasing responsibility at Temple Beth-El, Overland Park, Kansas and Temple B'nai Israel, Skokie, Illinois.

The Wenger family moved to Salt Lake City in 1987 after Rabbi Wenger assumed the pulpit at Congregation Kol Ami. Rabbi Wenger has served on the boards of major organizations in the Jewish and general communities. In 1994, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Rabbi Wenger retired from Congregation Kol Ami in 2003.

Following his retirement, Rabbi Wenger and Rochelle volunteered four months a year for several years at Hadassah Neurim and Nahalal Youth Villages in Israel. He also served as Rabbi-in-Residence at Congregation Beth Sholom, Anchorage, Alaska from 2004 to 2007. Rabbi Wenger has been teaching World Religions at Westminster College in Salt Lake City since 2001. He also served on the faculties of Marshall University, Huntington, West Virginia and Brigham Young, University, Provo, Utah. Rabbi Wenger currently teaches and provides rabbinic services to Congregation Kol Ami, the place the Wengers call home.

Our Cantor Emeritus

Cantor Laurence Loeb

Cantor Loeb has been in the Cantorate for over 50 years. He was the youngest graduate ever from the Cantor's Institute at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. He continued graduate study at the Jewish Theological Seminary in Ethnomusicology and received a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Columbia University.

Using his background in Jewish music and anthropology, he studied the music and culture of the Jews of Iran. Based on that study, he published a book titled, 'Outcaste: The Jews of Southern Iran'. His subsequent anthropological research involved a Yemenite Community which now resides in Israel.

A member of organizations which reflect his interests in Jewish music, Anthropology, and Jewish culture, he has written and spoken extensively about these subjects.

After serving as Cantor for ten years on the East Coast, Laury moved to Utah, with his family over 40 years ago. Cantor Loeb retired from the University of Utah where he was a faculty member of the anthropology department and served as Department Chairman for six years.

At Kol Ami, Laury is grateful to have been able to serve as Cantor of the Congregation for over 40 years. He finds special joy in having taught over 400 successful B'nai Mitzvah.

Cantor Loeb is married to Nomi. Their three children grew up in Salt Lake City and graduated from our Religious School. Their daughter Roni lives in Israel with their four children. Their son, Gabi, lives in California with his family. Their youngest daughter, Adina, lives in Washington, D.C. with her family.

Thu, September 20 2018 11 Tishrei 5779