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Welcome to Temple Avodah

Rabbi Jeshayahu 'Shai' Beloosesky

Cantorial Soloist Steven Wagner

Steven Wagner became our Cantorial Soloist in June 2024, after his graduation from NYU, where he majored in vocal performance with a minor in Hebrew & Judaic studies.  He grew up in a Reform synagogue in the Rockaways. Having come from a family of musicians, music has always been a core part of him. Starting at a young age, he played guitar, piano, trumpet, and drums. Above all, he loves to sing.

In addition to singing, he loves to tell stories and make people laugh, so theatre became a passion of Steven’s. While getting more involved in theatre, he also spent more and more time singing in temple. He found his true passion was using music to foster connection and community between people. He feels blessed that Jewish music, and the communities he grew up in, have always allowed him to do just that.

He has led High Holy Day services as cantorial soloist at West End Temple, where he was a member from nursery school, through religious school, becoming Bar Mitzvah, and beyond.

He has a good sense of what Temple Avodah is all about; it’s a congregation that prioritizes community, values hard work, and is deeply passionate about the constant betterment of the temple.

Here is an inspiring piece of artwork, with accompanying poem, by Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss) that Steven would like to share with you:

“From here on earth, 
From my small place,
I ask of you way out in space:
Please tell all men In every land
What You and I both understand .
Please tell all men that peace is good.
That’s all that need be understood
In every world in Your great sky.
We understand. Both You and I."


Rabbi Uri Goren - Rabbi Emeritus



Rabbi Uri Goren was Rabbi of Temple Avodah for over 26 years, from 1997- 2023! He became Rabbi Emeritus as of July 1, 2023. Temple Avodah continues to be the religious, social and spiritual center for him and his wife, Peppy.  Rabbi Goren makes himself available here when he is needed.



Tue, July 23 2024 17 Tammuz 5784