The following announcement was provided by Congregation Brothers of Israel:
Rabbi Aaron Gaber has accepted the position of Senior Rabbi at
Congregation Brothers of Israel. He will assume the pulpit in August. Rabbi
Gaber has served as the spiritual leader at Congregation Beth Judah in Ventnor,
N.J. for 14 years. He replaces Rabbi Aaron Philmus who, after two years at
CBOI, has decided to pursue other opportunities.
Rabbi Gaber is known at the shore for his warmth, kindness and compassion. His personal style fits well with CBOI which openly welcomes new members. Rabbi Gaber has served on the Jewish Federation Board, the Jewish Family Service Board, Downbeach Clergy Ministerium and was president of the South Jersey Board of Rabbis and Cantors where he also serves as the Rav HaMachsher (chief kashrut supervisor). Rabbi Gaber was very involved with the founding of the Jewish Community Day School and is an active advocate for education. When asked about his new position, Rabbi Gaber said, “I am excited at the new opportunities to help individuals and families to enhance their Jewish life and to demonstrate to people that Jewish values help us live with purpose and compassion for others.”
The CBOI lay leadership looks forward to collaborating with Rabbi Gaber. The congregation, which is growing and vibrant, hopes to make greater positive contributions to the Newtown and Bucks County communities. CBOI likes to think of itself as one of those places where everyone “knows your name”. It has a reputation – earned during the leadership of Emeritus Rabbi Howard Hersch – as being “hamish”, warm and welcoming, to every person who walks through the doors regardless of their religious background or past experience.
“From the moment my family and I visited Brothers for the first time, we were welcomed as honored guests and we look forward to joining the community welcoming others in the same way,” said Rabbi Gaber, Synagogue Co-Presidents Leslie Floyd and Brandon Wind believe they have found their partner in continuing that tradition as an engaging place to learn and meet others with similar interests and values.
CBOI moved to Newtown from Trenton, N.J. in 2007. In Trenton, the congregation grew and then declined as members moved to the suburbs, many to Bucks County. The synagogue followed. With new members from Newtown, the CBOI community has partnered with local groups for events, such as walks to benefit juvenile diabetes. In November CBOI sponsored a Chanukah program at the Newtown Bookshop. In May the synagogue will have a table at Newtown Welcome Day and in June it will host a community yard sale. Because CBOI has served both the Trenton and Bucks communities, it partners with both Princeton-Mercer-Bucks and Philadelphia Jewish Federations to support many local causes.
Rabbi Gaber will work closely with the synagogue’s education director, Joan Hersch to grow and expand the programs already in place for children preschool through high school. Holiday programs in particular are always creative and open to guests. As a father of four children with wife Sharon Bromberg, Rabbi Gaber will bring his personal and professional experience to enhance the CBOI religious school tradition of meeting the needs of all students. Prospective families will have an opportunity to learn more about CBOI at Welcome Day on May 4th, at the religious school Lag B’Omer celebration and open house on May 18th and at open house sessions that will be planned in the fall with Rabbi Gaber and publicized on the synagogue website.
Rabbi Philmus will become the Rabbi at Torat Yisrael in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. “I learned a lot here. We met wonderful people. It was not an easy decision to leave. Having met Rabbi Gaber, I feel confident the synagogue will be in very good hands. I look forward to hearing from him and my friends about their continued growth in Bucks County.” Rabbi Philmus said. The Synagogue invites friends and family of Rabbi Philmus to join them to honor Rabbi Philmus for his contributions to CBOI in a service and oneg on June 27th at 8 p.m.