Senior Rabbi Peter W. Stein
Rabbi Stein began his tenure at Temple B’rith Kodesh in July 2014. He is the sixth senior rabbi of the congregation. He previously served as rabbi of Temple Sinai in Cranston, RI and as associate rabbi of Rodef Shalom Congregation in Pittsburgh, PA.
Rabbi Stein was ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, studying in New York City and Jerusalem. His undergraduate studies were at Cornell University, and he also completed the Jewish Leaders Program at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Rabbi Stein is an alumnus of the Rabbis Without Borders Fellowship of CLAL and the Brickner Fellowship of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. He has also completed the Professional Affiliates training of the Jewish Outreach Institute.
Rabbi Stein has a commitment to interfaith endeavors. He participated in a dialogue program at the Vatican in 2007 and has been involved in significant relationships with the Catholic, Christian, and Muslim community.
Rabbi Stein’s rabbinate is defined by a love of learning and teaching and engagement in social justice. As he begins his tenure in Rochester, he hopes to create a joyful, accessible, and creative tone. He looks forward to engaging with the members of the congregation and community in study, worship, and social activities that honor our tradition in innovative and engaging ways.
Associate Rabbi Kelly Levy
Rabbi Kelly Levy comes to Temple B’rith Kodesh following her rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion New York Campus in May 2014. Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Rabbi Levy earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Texas Tech University in 2007. During her time at HUC-JIR, Rabbi Levy served as the student rabbi of Temple B’nai Israel in Albany, Georgia for two years. She also completed one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at Scott and White Hospital in Temple, Texas in the summer of 2011. She also worked as a Chaplain Intern for the Mount Sinai Hospital Palliative Care unit during her final year of school.
Rabbi Levy was a Unit Head at the URJ’s Greene Family Camp (located in Texas) in the summer of 2010, as well as a Unit Supervisor for the 92nd Street Y’s Camp Yomi in the summer of 2012. During the summer of 2013, Rabbi Levy participated in the Schusterman Summer Residency program and served as Rabbinic Intern for Temple Israel of the City of New York.
Rabbi Levy joins the greater Rochester community with her new husband, David, and their cat Bean. She enjoys building strong relationships with the TBK community and helping to provide a spiritual home for people of all ages. She welcomes visitors in her office and hopes to expand her own knowledge of Judaism in the classroom, during Tefilah, and around the city of Rochester.
Rabbinic Scholar and Senior Advisor for Lifelong Jewish Learning Rabbi Laurence A. Kotok
Rabbi Laurence A. Kotok, DD, is TBK’s Rabbinic Scholar and Senior Advisor for Lifelong Jewish Learning. In 2014, Rabbi Kotok retired from his post as Senior Rabbi. He served the community for 18 years. Prior to arriving in Rochester in the summer of 1996, Rabbi Kotok served the North Country Reform Temple Ner Tamid of Glen Cove for 22 years. He expresses a love for the People and Land of Israel and has served as National Chair of the ARZA Rabbinic Cabinet. Additional involvement includes the Board of the Jewish Child Care Association, both the New York and National UJA/Federation. His long-standing involvement with interfaith understanding has been recognized by numerous local and national associations. His founding of the Rochester Kollel, a groundbreaking community-wide adult study program, continues to inform, enlighten and enrich Jews and non-Jews in the Rochester area.
Cantorial Soloist & Director of Music
Keri Lopatin Berger
Keri Lopatin Berger is the Cantorial Soloist and Director of Music at Temple B'rith Kodesh, where she has served the congregation since 1999. In addition, Mrs. Berger also teaches kindergarten, first and second grade general music at Mendon Center Elementary School in Pittsford. Mrs. Berger has a master’s degree in Music Education and Voice from the Eastman School of Music. While at Eastman, Mrs. Berger studied in the studios of Seth McCoy and Dale Moore. Mrs. Berger received her bachelor's degree cum laude in music and Jewish studies at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. During her final year at W.U., Mrs. Berger devoted her senior honors recital to Jewish music of the 20th century. Prior to living in Rochester, Mrs. Berger sang professionally at Temple Israel in St. Louis, and her home congregation of Temple Beth-El in South Bend, Indiana. In addition, she has an eclectic musical performance background, ranging from musical theater, opera, vocal jazz, to acappella music. Mrs. Berger has been instrumental is strengthening the music program at TBK to include Klezmer Shabbat, Musical Study Programs, Rock Shabbat, and Jazz Shabbat, as well as numerous collaborations with the Eastman School of Music faculty and students. In 2011, Mrs. Berger worked with the Music Advisory Committee to craft TBK’s Music Vision statement, one of the first of its kind.