Our Rabbi – Marc Kraus
I believe that Temple Emanuel embraces the many ways in which we express our Jewishness and our spirituality. Whether you are looking for spiritual sustenance, a supportive social network, powerful prayer experiences or classic cultural events, Temple Emanuel is a warm and accepting Jewish home. Located just four blocks from the ocean front we offer a relaxed, informal atmosphere.
I was raised in the suburbs of London as part of a close-knit family and lived in Israel for several years. I graduated from Oxford University with a degree in Hebrew Literature and was ordained as a rabbi by the Ziegler School in Los Angeles.
I love teaching the bar and bat mitzvah students at Temple Emanuel, both in the classroom and one-on-one. I delight in telling and performing stories, especially making movies that creatively retell the stories of our people with contemporary twists, such as our two Purim movies: “Oceana” and “Rise of an Empress”.
I am very proud that since arriving at Temple Emanuel, I have helped to establish new, accessible and engaging models of worship service. These include Friday Light and Shabbat Shirah, which incorporate group-led joyous singing, participation from our religious school and interactive storytelling, while simultaneously being accessible to newcomers.
Since arriving in Tidewater I’ve also established a free “Pluralistic Introduction to Judaism Course” offered at the JCC and endorsed by the Board of Rabbis and Cantors. For me, our personal spiritual journeys – which I believe are a process of constant seeking and personal development – are deeply important, and I am an avid student of a variety of meditation techniques.
My wife and partner, Alicia Cohen Kraus, is the Program Director at the Simon Family JCC and Hillel Director at ODU. Together we share a young son, a grey tabby cat and a passion for hosting people for dinner on Friday nights.
My vision is that Temple Emanuel be a community of unconditional welcome to those of all ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identities and family situations, with compassion as a core value; where strong ties of friendship embrace and bind together the newcomers and old-timers, young and old. A community where Judaism is expressed passionately in all its varied social, spiritual and cultural forms.
Contact Rabbi Marc at firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Outreach & Engagement – Mindy Berger Johnson
My mission is to connect with the entire community. I seek to learn what kinds of events and programming are most important to you, and help bring those ideas to life by connecting you with others who have similar interests, strengthening the bonds that bind our community together.
I’m originally from New York and came to Virginia after having lived in a number of locations around the world including Israel, England, Hawaii and Germany. I’ve worked with small and large companies, non-profits, in the performing arts, with the military, and am also a “foodie.” I’ve worked in business development, media, marketing, and a variety of other areas.
This experience helps me market Temple Emanuel to the wider community, using both our existing web and social media presence, as well as using a bevy of new tools to connect personally with those looking for a new Jewish home.
I’m eager for your input and suggestions, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I know that together we can continue our community’s evolution, because there are so many exciting and different ways to be Jewish!
Contact Mindy at email@example.com
Office Manager – Gail Gogan
I was born and raised in Norfolk, Virginia. After graduating from Kee Business College, I began my career as a secretary/legal assistant at the young age of 19. I moved to Virginia Beach in 1981. Shortly thereafter I met the love of my life, Don Gogan. I became a military wife and endured many deployments throughout Don’s 21+ years in the Navy.
Don and I have been married for 30 years and have two sons, Andrew 28, and Travis 23. Temple Emanuel has been my place of employment and home away from home since January 2009. I am most grateful and honored to be the Office Manager of Temple Emanuel and have developed many friendships which I will treasure always.
Contact Gail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Caterer – Sue Adler writes
I grew up in Oklahoma city and attended the University of Oklahoma. Later, I moved to New York and lived at the Hebrew Y on 92nd in NYC. There I met my first husband. We got married in the Tidewater area and opened up a flower shop near the old JCC. When my husband passed away, I opened up a kosher bakery with my brother-in-law. I was later invited to become Temple Emanuel’s caterer, a position I have now held for twenty-two years.