Sign In Forgot Password

Clergy and Staff

Clergy

Rabbi Nathaniel Ezray

As spiritual leader at Congregation Beth Jacob since 1995, Rabbi Nathaniel Ezray has played a fundamental role in building a Jewish community that fosters meaningful relationships among congregants, while deepening each individual’s personal connection to Judaism.

He has led by example to shape a community where intergenerational relationships are nurtured, where love of learning and Israel can thrive, and where personal stories, in all their diversity, are elevated and respected.

Members appreciate Rabbi Ezray’s deep capacity to bring Jewish scripture, liturgy, and commentary to life with stories and interpretations that help people make personal connections and find deeper meaning in our tradition. He has set the tone and expectation that Jewish learning is accessible for everyone, and services are participatory.

Rabbi Ezray received his Rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City, while spending time in Rabbinical school at American Jewish University in Los Angeles. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Los Angeles in political science.

He has served on the boards of the Ronald C. Wornick Jewish Day Schoolthe American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)New Israel FundJewish National FundBay Area Jewish Healing CenterBay Area Friendship Circle, and Peninsula Clergy Network. He serves on the Rabbinic Advisory Board of Shalom Bayit and has been active in the Synagogue-Federation Partnership. He has been a leader with Beyond Silence, a Rabbinic response to sexual abuse in Northern California.

Rabbi Ezray was born and raised in Sacramento, and is blessed with a wonderful wife, Mimi, and two children, Emily and Ethan.

Rabbi Ilana Goldhaber-Gordon

Rabbi Ilana Goldhaber-Gordon joined Congregation Beth Jacob in 2015, initially as School Director and now also as Associate Rabbi. Rabbi Ilana connects to people of all ages with joy, honesty, and empathic listening. Leading by example, she has ensured that Religious School hours are filled with love and with happy children, who feel at home in the synagogue and who know that the adults care for them as individuals. She is a supportive presence for adults and children alike, both during formal lifecycle events and for the more private ups and downs of life.

Rabbi Ilana engages deeply with Jewish tradition, using creativity sharpened by knowledge to draw the past into our lives today. She enjoys teaching a “Mondays with Meaning” class at 10:30am every Monday, currently focusing on Pirkei Avot (The Ethics of the Fathers), and a Hebrew-text class on Wednesday mornings. The Wednesday schedule shifts, so if you are interested check in with her directly. She teaches in other forums throughout the year, both within CBJ and beyond, and often offers a sermon on Shabbat mornings. She is deeply involved in the synagogue’s Social Action work and Israel engagement.

Rabbi Ilana received Rabbinic ordination from the Academy of Jewish Religion, California, a post-denominational school with a spiritual bent. She also studied in the Kollel of the Conservative Yeshiva. The Rabbinate is a second career for her; she received her PhD in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Harvard University.

Rabbi Ilana and her husband, David, moved to the Bay Area in 2002, and their home has been a center for Jewish community ever since. They are blessed with three children.

Cantor Barbara Powell

Barbara Powell, Beth Jacob’s Cantor since July 2007, leads services and teaches music and tefillah to adults as well as in the Religious School. She coordinates lay service leaders and Torah/Haftarah/Megillah readers with an eye on making the services accessible and participatory. Contact her at the above address if you would like to get involved in chanting Torah or Haftarah at Shabbat or holiday services. Prior to CBJ, Barbara taught and led services at congregations in Northern California and the East Coast, taught music privately and at San Francisco public schools, and did extensive social service work. Her singing career spans many genres, from jazz to liturgical. Barbara holds a BA in community studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz, studied in Israel, and grew up on the Peninsula.

Bill Futornick, Ritual Director

Bill Futornick has served as a clergy partner at Congregation Beth Jacob since 2002. In this role, he is a teacher and mentor to all ages, and especially to the youth of CBJ. One of his chief contributions and joys, is to create connections and form relationships with the people of our community. To that end, Bill maintains contact with the vast majority of B’nei mitzvah students he has taught, staying in touch through college, and post-college years.

Bill works with each of our B’nei mitzvah students individually as a mentor. He oversees our teen, college, and young adult outreach programs. Bill has a love of learning and teaches all ages, from preschool to seniors, including Adult B’nei Mitzvah students and alumni of our Adult B’nei Mitzvah classes. For him, there’s nothing better than finding new meaning in our texts and helping others connect with the tradition in meaningful ways. Bill has led several synagogue groups to Israel and is a passionate supporter of Israel. Bill especially loves the humanitarian and research projects that CBJ supports in Israel, including Adi Negev, the Central Arava Medical Center, AICAT, Project Leket, and the Arava Institute, to name a few.

Bill has been actively involved in the broader Jewish community, serving on the Board of Directors of the Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School, Advisory Committee of the Peninsula Jewish Teen Foundation, and in the American Jewish World Service.

Before coming to CBJ, Bill worked in the corporate world as an executive search consultant. He remained involved in synagogue leadership throughout, reading Torah, and serving on synagogue boards. He has a degree in history from Princeton University. Bill was born in the Bronx, raised in New Jersey, and is blessed with a wonderful family.

Rabbi H. David Teitelbaum, z"l Rabbi Emeritus

Cantor Hans Cohn, z”l Cantor Emeritus

Staff

Rosa Whitten, Executive Director

Rosa joined the CBJ staff in 2015 with responsibilities in our office supervising administration and operations. In 2021, Rosa was appointed our Executive Director, after filling in for a year as Acting ED. She strategically runs the administrative aspects of the synagogue in close collaboration with the staff and leadership. She spent ten years managing an independent digital publishing company that specialized in small business and entrepreneurship, and developed a broad set of knowledge as the Director of Finance & Operations. She previously worked in the floral industry and early childhood education. She has been part of the CBJ community since 2002. Rosa has volunteered for her children's schools, education foundations, and Cub Scouts. She has a Bachelor’s degree from CSU Chico in Humanities and currently lives in Burlingame with her husband and 2 children.

Ann Cauterucci, Preschool Director

Ann Cauterucci is the founding director of the Beth Jacob Preschool. Her more than thirty years in Jewish early childhood education include twenty years at Ta’Enna Preschool at the Palo Alto Jewish Community Center, where she taught and ultimately directed the program.

Ann has led numerous teacher-training workshops both locally and nationally, and coordinated a mentor teacher program for Palo Alto Community Child Care.

She received the prestigious Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award for Excellence in Jewish Education in 2003.

Rebecca Schwartz, Membership Engagement Director

Rebecca Schwartz has been working in the Jewish community for more than twenty years. Raised in Michigan, she spent a post-college year in Israel and pursued joint Masters degrees in social work and Jewish studies. Rebecca spent seven years at the Union for Reform Judaism, serving as a primary resource for lay leaders on the West Coast and advising synagogues on program development and community-building.

As our Membership Engagement Director, Rebecca is responsible for engaging congregants in planning and implementing programs, connecting new members to the synagogue community, and building ways for members to deepen engagement and connection with CBJ.

Rebecca lives in Belmont with her husband and two daughters.

Laura Bahbout, Controller

Natalya Martyushova, Director of Family Educational Programs

Deborah Wahnich-Reitman, Operations and Experience Manager

Kate Provance, Office Manager

Nicole Nogueira, Youth Coordinator and Teen Director

Talia Banarie, Young Adult Coordinator

Martin Hernandez, Facilities Manager

Mon, August 15 2022 18 Av 5782