Kids for Kol Nidrei Pledge

The children at Temple Beth Orr participate in High Holiday Tzedakah by donating to the Kids For Kol Nidrei pledge.

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Sing Along, S’mores and Havdalah

Temple Beth Orr recently had children of all ages to Sing Along, S’mores and Havdalah as part of the temple’s Open House Weekend.

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Temple Beth Orr Welcomes New Cantor

Temple Beth Orr is excited to welcome Cantor Karen Braunstein. Cantor Braunstein, born and raised in the New York metropolitan area, has always been steeped in both Judaism and music.  The granddaughter of a cantor, she was exposed to the sounds of traditional davening and Chazanut.  She began studying music at age 8, attended the Usdan Centre for the Arts on Long Island for five summers, and went on to the Manhattan School of Music Preparatory Division.

Cantor Braunstein completed her undergraduate studies at the New England Conservatory of Music, earning a Bachelor of Music in Voice. During that time, the Klezmer renaissance was taking off in Boston and together with a few classmates, she formed the Shirim Klezmer Orchestra and began research on Yiddish song and traditional Cantorial music.  In 1988, Cantor Braunstein received her Masters of Sacred Music, and Ordination as Cantor from the Hebrew Union College in New York.  That summer, she toured Israel with a group of ten cantors, performing throughout the country. While serving as cantor in various synagogues in the Northeast, Cantor Braunstein continued concertizing, and performing with her band, KlezMechayeh!.

Since coming to Florida in 1997, she has continued performing and teaching, and has served both Reform and Conservative congregations in Palm Beach County.  Many of her summers have been spent working in the northeast summer camps, including the Workmen’s Circle’s “Circle Lodge,” where she was program director/artist-in-residence.  During her many years as the cantor of Temple Shaarei Shalom in Boynton Beach, Cantor Braunstein directed and produced many shows and reviews, including her own comedic parodies, working with casts of adults as well as children.  She recently founded the Wellington Children’s Theatre, to bring theatrical and vocal training and performance to Wellington youth.

Cantor Braunstein is the very proud of mother of Alex, a professional magician, studying Theatre in college in New York, and Emily, talented singer/dancer, a Junior at Wellington High. In addition to her involvement in music and the arts, she loves to cook and bake healthy, vegetarian cuisine, go Israeli Folk Dancing, and is an advocate both for animals and the environment.  Cantor Karen Braunstein is thrilled to be serving Temple Beth Orr and is greatly looking forward getting to know her new temple family and joining together in prayer and song!

“I already hit it off with Cantor Braunstein, in our initial planning for the upcoming program year, and anticipate engaging and uplifting worship celebrations with her on the bimah,” said Rabbi Mark Gross.

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Temple Beth Orr Early Childhood Announces New Director

Temple Beth Orr is thrilled to announce Naomi  Gordon as the new director of its Kuhn Early Childhood Center. Gordon was born in New York and raised in Bucks County Pennsylvania and moved to Florida five years ago.

Her formal education in early childhood began at Temple University where she holds a National Childhood Development Associate Certificate and a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services and Management from the University of Phoenix. The combination of early childhood, social services and management classes provided her with a wealth of knowledge to prepare her for her job as an early childhood director.

Her past experience includes Temple University’s child development center, teaching in a synagogue preschool, Mommy and Me, 2’s, 3’s, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten enrichment which included a full Hebrew enrichment program. Gordon also worked as a camp and early learning center director in both the secular and Judaic setting since 2000 and as a provider consultant and trainer to visiting child care centers and offer directors action plans for improving the quality of child care.

Gordon has extensive experience with the Reggio Emilia Early Childhood model which is based on the principals of respect, responsibility and community through exploration and discovery in a supportive and enriching environment based on the interests of the children through a self-guided curriculum.

“The early childhood environment should be a ‘home away from home’ for our children and their families,” said Gordon. “I look forward to collaborating with the entire Temple family to provide your children with a warm, loving, educational and high quality environment that will become my new home away from home.”

“Naomi Gordon brings to our already stellar early-childhood program respectable credentials, impressive experience, and a warm and caring temperament that promises to make for a wonderful school environment,” added Rabbi Mark Gross.

The Kuhn Early Childhood Center at Temple Beth Orr provides a developmentally appropriate program with a secure nurturing environment for children six weeks through five years. Working closely with parents, they instill a sense of confidence, a love of learning and a commitment to Jewish values. Families of all religious and ethnic backgrounds are welcome and the school participates in the state’s VPK program. The program is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and has earned a Gold Seal of Excellence awarded by the Board County Board of Commissioners for more than 15 years.

Registration for the school year that starts on August 19, 2013, is still open to new and returning families. The school’s web site is

South Florida Web AdvisorsTemple Beth Orr Early Childhood Announces New Director
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