Rabbi Roger Lerner has been spiritual leader of Temple B’nai B’rith since July 2008, Rabbi Lerner has sought to exemplify not only some of the basic tenets of Reform Judaism, which includes a pluralistic and egalitarian approach to community, but also has heeded the prophetic call heralded on the front of our building; “Do Justice, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly with thy God.” Under Rabbi Lerner’s leadership and in concert with our vibrant Social Action Committee, we have taken this message to the heart of our congregation, expressing it in a varity of community-wide social action projects that truly make a difference in the lives of the less fortunate in our small community. In September of 2010, Rabbi Lerner became President of the Wyoming Valley Interfaith Council and has been integral in having spear-headed panel discussions on “hate” and “compassion” with the hope of inspiring our community.
Among his many responsibilities, he is also the father of three beautiful children, Lily, Noah, and Ziva. They are beacons of light who continually remind him of the Native American proverb that teaches us, “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” Rabbi Lerner also enjoys a variety of activities that include, hiking, rafting, cycling, crocheting, movies, books, sports and more. He also spends time at the JCC Day Camp during the summer leading services as well as facilitating games on the JCC’s Holiday House ropes course.
Prior to rabbinic school, Rabbi Lerner was an outdoor adventure therapist in Georgia where he worked with students and adults in a variety of settings. He states, “The skills that I learned have proven to be an asset in my life and in my work. I enjoy bringing outdoor experiences to groups wherever I am.” A graduate of Brandeis University in 1994, he earned his MA in Hebrew Letters in 2005 and was ordained by Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati, OH in 2007.
Rabbi Lerner is thrilled to be at Temple B’nai B’rith. “When I interviewed at Temple B’nai B’rith, I knew it was the right place for me. The congregation is warm and welcoming and the community is a great place to raise a family. I respect the great history and traditions of Temple B’nai B’rith and the Jewish community of Wilkes-Barre and look forward to growing and changing with the congregation, as well.”