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Rabbi Richard Camras

RabbiCamrasRabbi Richard Camras assumed the role of rabbi at Shomrei Torah Synagogue in April of 1999.  Rabbi Camras' passion and focus has been in the area of Jewish education through Torah study.  By learning and living the traditions of our heritage, as highlighted in The Six Pillars of Shomrei Torah Synagogue, our members enrich their lives with greater meaning and engage each other and the larger community with acts of loving kindness.  As founder of the Conejo/West Valley branch of the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning, Rabbi Camras continues to bring new and innovative programming to Shomrei Torah Synagogue and the West Valley.

Equally involved in building our Jewish community, Rabbi Camras serves as President of the Pacific Southwest Regional Rabbinical Assembly.  He served for three years as the Chair of the West Valley Rabbinic Task Force at the Valley Alliance Federation and is a lecturer of Practical Rabbinics at the Zeigler School of Rabbinic Studies as well as oversees the West Valley/Conejo Valley Introduction to Judaism class sponsored by the American Jewish University.

He previously served as Associate Rabbi of Chizuk Amuno Congregation in Baltimore, Maryland for seven years and was ordained from The Jewish Theological Seminary in 1992.  He and his wife Carolyn have two children, Talya and Noah.

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Video Sermons Click to see the library of Rabbi Camras' Shabbat and Holiday Sermons
 
 Contact Rabbi Camras by email: rcamras@stsonline.org or by phone: (818) 854-7650.
  

Cantor Jacqueline Rafii

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Since joining the STS family in July 2017, Cantor Rafii has brought her vision for building, engaging, and invigorating Jewish community through music and spiritual leadership. She has created exciting new initiatives, including Songstruck, the Shabbat Around the World series, the Zamru Friday Night experience, Koleinu Shabbat Morning services, and the STS Adult, Youth and Teen Choirs. She is the B’nai Mitzvah Program Director at STS and oversees the Teen Torah Trainer program. Cantor Rafii conducts our incredible STS house band and guest musicians to bring meaningful music and prayer to our community. She is also a pianist and composer, and in addition to Hebrew sings Jewish music in Ladino and Farsi.

Since the global pandemic, Cantor Rafii has developed STS's virtual community through co-leading interactive online prayer services, teaching adult education classes, hosting and participating in various virtual concerts and programs, and creating and conducting multiple STS virtual choir projects. In the coming year, Cantor Rafii will continue to nurture the vibrant and expanding virtual community at STS, which has drawn members and engagement from all over the country.

Cantor Rafii was ordained as a Hazzan and earned her Master's in Sacred Jewish Music from the Academy for Jewish Religion California. She is a Wexner Graduate Fellow, one of twenty young Jewish leaders in North America selected annually to help strengthen the future of Jewish America. Prior to becoming a cantor, Cantor Rafii earned her J.D. from UCLA School of Law and subsequently practiced entertainment law in Los Angeles for three years. She also served as cantorial soloist at Sinai Temple, Wilshire Boulevard Temple, Temple Emanuel, Kehillat Ma’arav, and other congregations throughout Los Angeles. 

Contact Cantor Jackie by email: jrafii@stsonline.org or by phone: (818) 854-7650.

 

Rabbinic Intern David Helfand

Jackie Rafii head shot

David rejoined the STS community in the summer of 2020, but this time as our Rabbinic Intern. He previously worked in our religious school and youth departments.

He is currently a fifth year rabbinical student studying at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies and is also pursuing a Masters in Jewish Education from American Jewish University. Originally from Kansas City, David holds a degree in Jewish Studies from the American Jewish University.

David has worked in the Jewish youth world for many years: with USY (United Synagogue Youth), Camp Ramah in Northern California, Congregation Har Shalom in Potomac, Maryland, and for three years at Shomrei Torah Synagogue. David has spent many summers in Israel with different groups as well as two 9 month school years in Israel with the Nativ Gap Year Program. David has completed a 400 hour unit of Clinical Pastoral Education as well as a summer as a Spiritual Counselor at Beit T'shuvah - a Jewish rehab and addiction center. David holds a Master’s Concentration Certificate in Israel Education from the iCenter, has written curriculum for the Global Day of Jewish Learning, served as a student rabbi at a B’nai Mitzvah camp in Siberia, is an AIPAC Leffell Fellow, a Hartman Clergy Student Fellow, and was a rabbinic intern at his home synagogue in Kansas CIty for two years.

 Contact David Helfand by email: dhelfand@stsonline.org or by phone: (818) 854-7650.

 

Cantor Ron Snow z"l (1953-2020)

ron snowWe mourn the recent passing of our beloved Cantor Ron Snow, who died on Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 2020, after a long illness. 

Cantor Ron Snow joined the STS community in 1999 after attending regular services and finding STS warm and inviting. What began as a childhood love of Jewish liturgy while growing up in suburban Detroit continued over the years, leading to a place on the STS bimah.

"I never would have imagined the rewarding feeling that is afforded me on a constant basis, here at STS. I look forward to each week with great anticipation."

Cantor Ron's mellifluous voice conveyed the sanctity of Shabbat and our holidays and the warmth of our welcoming community. While leading services and conducting life cycle events, Ron's rich baritone allowed us to transcend the ordinary and transport us to a sacred place. His welcoming smile and generosity of spirit enriched our congregation beyond measure.

While many heard his voice singing and leading services at STS on a weekly basis, it was his speaking voice that fills the airwaves, selling everything from air cleaners to automobiles to beauty products and more.

 

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Shomrei Torah Synagogue
7353 Valley Circle Boulevard
West Hills, CA 91304
 
Main Office: (818) 854-7650
Education Center: (818) 854-7690

 

 

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