Rabbi Jeffrey Abraham just a vote away from becoming senior rabbi at B’nai Amoona



Members of Congregation B’nai Amoona will decide during a May 15 vote whether Rabbi Jeffrey Abraham will be the synagogue’s next senior rabbi. The role has been vacant since longtime Senior Rabbi Carnie Rose stepped down in October to become the CEO of the Jewish Community Center in Cleveland.

B’nai Amoona Board President Jeff Singer said the synagogue’s personnel committee recommended Abraham for the role, and the board unanimously agreed to move forward with a vote at the congregation’s annual meeting in May. Singer feels confident that the congregation will give their approval.

“Rabbi Abraham has been engaged from day one with our congregants, reaching out to all ages,” Singer wrote in a note to congregants. “He has brought to life programs for young couples and families. His vision to bring in young families to the congregation is starting to come to life. His family has had a positive impact and involvement in St. Louis. Rabbi Abraham has proven to be a great communicator, as well as responsive to the needs of our congregants.”

Singer also noted that Abraham, 39, has successfully collaborated with the remaining clergy, Cantor Sharon Nathanson and Rabbi Neal Rose, father of Carnie Rose.

In an interview Thursday with the Jewish Light, Singer said that despite stepping into his role as associate rabbi right before the start of the pandemic in 2020, Abraham has done an incredible job getting to know — and reaching out to — the roughly 750 families that make up B’nai Amoona, the largest Conservative congregation in St. Louis.

“I think if you identify what the congregation needs over the next 10 years, he checks off all the boxes,” said Singer. “He’s good and engaged with young families, he’s very open in terms of his communications with all demographics and generations, he’s got a lot of great, creative ideas. Some say Conservative Judaism is dying, but in reality we think we can rekindle Conservative Judaism at B’nai Amoona under his leadership.”

Abraham said he was extremely pleased at the prospect of becoming senior rabbi and continuing to serve the congregation.

“We’re extremely excited for this opportunity. We’ve really loved our three years already at B’nai Amoona,” said Abraham. “And we’re really looking forward to moving B’nai Amoona into the next few years and continuing to be part of this wonderful community.”

Abraham, who grew up in Albuquerque, N.M., attended the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York and has been in the rabbinate for 12 years. His wife, Lauren, is director of Student to Student, a school-based teen peer program run by the Jewish Community Relations Council that teaches non-Jewish high school students about Judaism. The couple has three sons, Benny, 12, Henry, 10, and Joey, 5.

Over the next few weeks, Abraham will host a series of “Ask the Rabbi” sessions so that B’nai Amoona congregants can ask questions and get to know him better.