4408 North Stanton Street, El Paso , TX 79902
915-532-5959
info@templemountsinai.com

Our Rabbis

Both Rabbis

Yes, that's right "Rabbis"... plural!

The members and friends of Temple Mount Sinai celebrated a special milestone in our 113-year history on September 9, 2011 when we held the installation of a new rabbi for our community. On that evening, Rabbi Sandra Bellush was formally welcomed as Temple Mount Sinai’s ninth rabbi and first woman rabbi, joining Rabbi Larry Bach in leading our growing congregation. Rabbi Sigma Faye Coran of Cincinnati joined Rabbis Bach and Bellush, and Rabbi Emeritus Ken Weiss, in conducting the historic installation.

 

Rabbi Larry Bach

Rabbi Larry Bach has served Temple Mount Sinai of El Paso, Texas since his ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, in 1998. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Judaic Studies from the University at Albany, and a Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters, from HUC-JIR. Larry came to El Paso with his wife, Alanna, and their eldest daughter. Their family grew in July 1999 with the birth of another daughter, and in March 2003 with the birth of yet another girl!

Nothing brings Rabbi Bach more joy in the rabbinate than the connections that he has forged with member families over his years at Temple Mount Sinai. As his "longevity" with the congregation brings him to the point where babies named are becoming B'nai Mitzvah, Confirmands are becoming brides and grooms, and "congregants" have become dear friends, he rejoices in the many relationships that nourish his soul.

bach Rabbi Bach works passionately on issues of interfaith understanding and social justice. He is among the founders of Border Interfaith, a broad-based community organization affiliated with the Industrial Areas Foundation. He serves on the boards of Project Arriba, a jobs-training program, and Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, a non-profit provider of low-cost legal aid for immigrants. In 2007, he was named “Racial Justice Ambassador” by the YWCA in recognition of his work in these areas and others.

Israel holds an important place in Rabbi Bach's consciousness, and he and Alanna frequently lead congregational trips. He believes in a Jewish state where democracy thrives and justice is available for all people, and is a proud supporter of Rabbis for Human Rights and the New Israel Fund.

Rabbi Bach is also committed to scholarship and the inner life. He is an alumnus of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality’s Rabbinical Leadership Program, where he developed a passion for the study of Hasidic Torah commentary, and deepened his prayer life and meditation practice. In 2012-13, he is studying in the IJS's "Jewish Mindfulness Teacher Training Program." He is a participant in the "Manchim" training program of The Mussar Institute, and leads a Mussar "Va'ad" at Temple. In 2010-11, he was a member of the second cohort of “Rabbis Without Borders,” an interdenominational project of the National Center for Learning and Leadership. He is also an alumnus of the Shalom Hartman Rabbinic Torah Study Seminar.

Music is a central part of Larry's rabbinate, and he composed and performed the songs on the 2008 album Kivvunim.

Rabbi Bach is a member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and currently serves on the leadership team for "Rabbis Organizing Rabbis," as well as the Editorial Board of the CCAR Journal.

 

Rabbi Bellush Rabbi Sandra M. Bellush

Rabbi Sandra M. Bellush joined Temple Mount Sinai directly after rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in 2011. Earning a MAHL in 2010, Rabbi Bellush received the Nathan Stern Prize for the student completing the Master of Arts degree with the highest academic standing in the graduating class and the Cora Kahn Prize for outstanding sermon delivery and oratory.

Rabbi Bellush sees the purpose of her rabbinate to create excitement and appreciation for Jewish life. Whether working with the young, or not-so-young, Rabbi Bellush looks to educate, excite and thereby empower Jewish living. She is as likely to be found telling a story to preschoolers at Sunday morning religious school, as she is teaching an Adult B’nai mitzvah class. As the first woman rabbi in Temple’s more than 115-year history, one of Rabbi Bellush’s goals is to highlight the voice of women in our tradition. She facilitates a weekly Torah Study class studying our tradition from the perspective of women in ancient times as well as modern women of today.

Called by the prophetic vision of social justice and tikkun olam, Rabbi Bellush serves on the Board of Directors of the Kelly Memorial Food Pantry of El Paso, and coordinates Temple’s fund raising and volunteers at the Pantry.

Rabbi Bellush recently served on the Union of Reform Judaism's Leadership Council Think Tank, a collaborative, 2-year effort of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Union for Reform Judaism and the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion to craft a vision for the future of Reform Judaism in North America. She is also a member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis.

As a student Rabbi Bellush served congregations in Petoskey, MI, and Terre Haute, IN, and at Cedar Village in Mason, OH. She also served as the student rabbi at DePauw University Hillel in Greencastle, IN and taught at the Cincinnati Reform Jewish High School.

As a rabbinic intern Rabbi Bellush developed LGBT and 20s-30s outreach programs for Rockdale Temple in Cincinnati, and had the privilege of leading worship, teaching adult education and tending to congregants’ pastoral needs at Temple Shalom in Louisville, KY.

Although born in Montevideo, Uruguay, Rabbi Bellush grew up in New York City. Fluent in Spanish, she is a graduate of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a B.S. in civil engineering. Rabbi Bellush entered rabbinical school after a successful professional career in management consulting, project finance and investment banking.

Rabbi Bellush has been married to her husband Arnold since 1985, and has two step children. She and Arnold have four grandchildren; two live in New Jersey and two in Atlanta.