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Meet our Clergy

Rabbi Dr. Rachael Turkienicz

Ext. 3723

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Beit Rayim Synagogue and School is proud to have Rabbi Dr. Rachael Turkienicz as our Senior Rabbi.

Born and raised in Toronto, Rabbi Rachael Turkienicz feels a strong connection to the city of Toronto and it’s thriving Jewish community.

Rabbi Rachael’s many years of study began at York University for undergrad, then continued at Brandeis University for a Master’s Degree and a Ph.D. in Talmud and Midrash. She then returned to her hometown and Alma Mater of York University to teach in the faculties of both Religious Studies and Education.  Rabbi Rachael received her rabbinic ordination from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies. 

Building on her passion to bring the wisdom of ancient Jewish texts and making them more accessible in a modern Jewish world, Rabbi Rachael devoted herself to a variety of fields.  From writing a monthly column for the Canadian Jewish News, producing and hosting national television shows on Judaism and spirituality, publishing articles, co-writing a children’s book on Jewish values, as well as expanding access to Jewish learning for adults, Rabbi Rachael opened doors of access. 

As a leader strongly dedicated to Jewish education, and the importance of connecting the next generation to their Jewish legacy, Rabbi Rachael became one of the founders of the Toronto Heschel School, an award-winning, integrated curricular Jewish day school in Toronto, where she continues to mentor and consult.

Rabbi Rachael was the first recipient of the Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University Person of Distinction Award and is a Governor of the Canadian International Peace Project.  She was also featured on CBC’s long-running show Tapestry and was presented with the Kesher Award from Israel Bonds Women’s Division in 2019. 

In July 2022, Rabbi Rachael became the Senior Rabbi at Beit Rayim and is currently the only woman to hold the position of Senior Rabbi at a Conservative synagogue in Canada. Beit Rayim is proud to have Rabbi Rachael as our spiritual leader. Her sermons have become legendary, and she has won the first ever CJN Great Canadian Sermon Slam.

Rabbi Rachael displays a deep understanding of issues large and small, as such, she has become a much sought after speaker and advisor in North America and is considered one of the leading voices of modern Judaism.  

Rabbi Rachael brings to Beit Rayim a wonderful combination of intuition, caring and wisdom that comes from years of studying and teaching Torah, Mussar and Ethics. Her passion is tangible and her vision for the future of Beit Rayim is something that is simultaneously exciting and propelling.

Rabbi Rachael and her husband live in the GTA close to their many children and grandchildren. 

Elliott Michaelson
Ritual Director

Ext. 3202

Elliott Michaelson has been a Jewish educator for more than 25 years in synagogues, overnight camps and youth movements. Elliott has served as the Director of Education at Conservative and Reconstructionist synagogues in Toronto, and has been a Bar/Bat Mitzvah teacher for almost two decades.

A product of Toronto’s Jewish day schools, he holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Jewish studies from York University and Gratz College, a certificate in Jewish Education, and a certificate in Ritual Direction from the Rabbinical Assembly of Ontario. During the week, Elliott serves as the Financial & Administrative Officer at Jewish Free Loan Toronto.

Uriel Bard
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Born in Buenos Aires, Uriel’s journey reflects a diverse and rich background, with experiences in different countries and deep commitment to his Jewish heritage.  He grew up in Israel, and completed his full military services as a tank commander, volunteering an extra 4 years beyond the mandatory age requirements.

He holds a bachelor of science degree (B.Sc) in Computer Science from York University and a master of business administration (MBA) from Tel Aviv University. He brings with him more than 30 years of experience being a cantor, leading services, and engaging congregations especially on high Holy Days at Tiferet Shalom in Tel Aviv.  While living in Israel, he studied Talmud at the Shechter Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, participated in “Kolot”, which is a Beit Midrash for social action and was heavily involved in the Conservative Movement fostering collaboration between the secular and religious groups of people.  

Uriel is passionate about Jewish studies, teaching and bringing people together to share a rich and meaningful Jewish experience.  He is motivated to continue the legacy his parents, Eli and Ester z’l, began many years ago at Beit Rayim to create a meaningful Jewish experience. His enthusiasm for inspiring the congregation reflects a deep commitment to fostering a sense of community and spiritual growth.

Jaclyn Cepler-Klimitz
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Jaclyn’s passions have always been the intersection of Judaism and Music. In her capacity as Cantor at Beit Rayim Synagogue and School, a position she has held since 2011, she leads Shabbat, High Holiday, Yom Tov and lifecycle services, and reads Torah and Haftorah.   

Jaclyn obtained her undergraduate degree in Music Education as a Vocal Major at the University of Western Ontario.  Jaclyn also holds a Master’s Degree in Musicology from the University of Toronto where she focused on the Jewish Liturgical Music in the Italian Renaissance and on musical memorials of the Holocaust in the music of Darius Milhaud.  She completed her Bachelor of Education at OISE in Music and Social Science.  Jaclyn also has her ARCT in Vocal Performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music. 

Jaclyn is currently the head of the Music Department at TanenbaumCHAT and has been teaching there since 2010.  She conducts the school’s bands and its concert choir: the TanenbaumCHAT Singers.   She has substantial experience teaching students of all ages how to explore their singing voices and giving them confidence to perform.


Fri, 21 June 2024 15 Sivan 5784