I Am Here Because. . .
I love teaching Torah to learners of all ages. I am here because I love sharing my love of Judaism with others and watching their hearts and eyes sparkle with the light of Torah. I am here because I am privileged and honored to walk the journey of life with families and individuals as they celebrate the highs of life and mark the lows. I am here because I believe that Judaism has something to say to us about our lives today; and by living a Jewish life, my life is richer and more meaningful. I am here because Temple Adat Elohim is a warm welcoming community, committed to embracing Jewish families (married, single, interfaith, lgbtq, with or without children). I hope that you will join me in building a community of meaning, a community that will care for each other and will work to repair our world.
My Favorite Things
I enjoy spending time with my family (my wife Karen and I have been married for over 25 years, and we have three children). Together we enjoy going for hikes in the beautiful Conejo valley, and enjoying the beaches of our nearby communities. We enjoy theater and music. I also enjoy riding my bike (mainly street) and hitting an occasional tennis ball. I also enjoy reading.
Prior to arriving at Temple Adat Elohim, Rabbi Straus had been the interim Rabbi at Central Synagogue of New York City. Central is one of the preeminent congregations in the Reform movement today. At Central, Rabbi Straus served in a dual capacity as part of the pulpit team and as the director of education. He worked with the staff during a period of significant transition at Central.
Prior to joining Central Synagogue, Rabbi Straus was the senior rabbi at Temple Sinai in Oakland, California, a congregation of about one thousand households. Prior to this position, he served for thirteen years as the spiritual leader of Temple Emanuel of Tempe, Arizona, where, under his leadership, the congregation grew substantially, in terms of both membership and depth and quality of programs. He also served as associate rabbi and director of education at Peninsula Temple Sholom of Burlingame, California, and as assistant/associate rabbi at Temple Beth Sholom in New York. He was ordained at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, and is a graduate of Brandeis University. In 2012, he was awarded a doctor of divinity honoris causa from HUC.