CONGREGATION OF REFORM JUDAISM - 928 Malone Drive • Orlando, FL 32810 • tel: 407-645-0444 • fax: 407-645--2383

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Our Clergy


         rabbi engel


Rabbi Steven Engel currently serves as Rabbi of Congregation of Reform Judaism (CRJ), a Reform synagogue affiliated with the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ). Along with his focus on teaching, pastoral and liturgical responsibilities, he has brought his unique vision for building a synagogue where the rabbi is a partner with the leadership and members andwhere the focus is on meaningful relationships built through study, prayer and action. His congregants note his energy and enthusiasm, benefit from his incredible focus and creativity, and appreciate his wisdom about how religious institutions function. As the Rabbi of Central Florida’s largest Jewish congregation, he is involved outside of CRJ in the Jewish and secular communities as well.

Rabbi Engel received a B.A. in Physics from Rutgers University, a Masters of Arts in Hebrew Letters from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles and Rabbinic Ordination from the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1988. After ordination he served as Associate Rabbi in Columbus Ohio. He then became the spiritual leader of Mississippi’s largest congregation where he was actively involved in local and state civic and political affairs and was often called upon to represent the Jewish community of Mississippi. While there he successfully challenged the Governor on issues related to religious diversity and hate crimes. He received Mississippi’s most prestigious leadership award from the Mississippi Religious Leadership Conference and citations from the Governor and Mayor making May
12th “Rabbi Steven W. Engel Day” in the state of Mississippi and in city of Jackson. He has been prominent on the national scene as well having appeared in national media including The New York Times, USA Today, US News & World Report, CNN and the Today Show.

He has most notably facilitated groups and created programs dealing with issues of support. These groups have included: support groups for interfaith couples, for grieving families, and for parents to deal with teen issues including suicide. He served as adjunct professor of religion at Millsaps College, on various Bio-Ethics Committees, on several committees of his Professional Rabbinic Organization (CCAR), as the Rabbinic Co-Chair of the Reform Movement’s Israel Organization (ARZA), on the Executive Committee of his regional Rabbinic Organization (SEACCAR), and as President of the Greater Orlando Board of Members (GOBOR).

His academic interests include: American Jewish history and American Jewish Fiction in the 20th Century, Jewish Text Study and Ethics. His Rabbinic thesis was entitled "A Critical Psychobiography of Kivie Kaplan. Against the Backdrop of Black-Jewish Relations in the 20tth Century”. Rabbi Engel has also been actively involved in Social Concerns twice serving as President of Stewpot Community Services, Jackson MS’s largest social service agency, and was co-founder of “The Feed The Homeless Breakfast" program in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. He was one of four founders of the Amos Network, an interfaith community organizing group connected to the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), and served on the Board of Mississippi Hearts Against AIDS.

Rabbi Engel is married to Beverly, a gerontologist and they have three children. He loves his work as a Rabbi as he constantly finds it challenging and invigorating.


   cantor jacki



Cantor Jacqueline Rawiszer is honored to serve Congregation of Reform Judaism as a member of its dedicated clergy team. Since 2002, Cantor Jacki has strived to combine her two greatest passions, Judaism and music, to help create vibrant and warm worship, educational, and life cycle experiences for all members of the CRJ congregational family. Cantor Jacki is an active member of the American Conference of Cantors (ACC) and currently serves as Secretary. She is a member of the Guild of Temple Musicians, the Florida Association of Cantors, Associates and Soloists (FOCAS), and the Women Cantors’ Network. She has served as a member of the Community Relations Committee of the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando and the Community Council on Spirituality and Aging. Cantor Jacki is a graduate of the 2010 cohort of the Kellogg School of Management’s Program for Jewish leaders and the 2012 cohort
of Kol Zimra in Albuquerque, NM.

Cantor Jacki feels strongly about the importance of Jewish music and arts education for both adults and young people. Cantor Jacki strives to develop new ways to approach Judaism’s rich and diverse cultural heritage with all members of the community. She is proud to have developed programs at CRJ that offer opportunities for congregants of all ages to explore their creative passions in a Jewish setting including the Temple Choir, Kol Tikvah (Voice of Hope) Junior and Youth Choirs, Shir Joy Teen Ensemble, the Shirim Ensemble, and the Jewish Theatre Collective. Her lifelong love of Jewish learning and spiritual development is evident through her work with B’nai Mitzvah, Adult B’nai Mitzvah and Chai-er Learning programs. Cantor Jacki received her cantorial certification from Hebrew Union College - Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music in 2007 and her B.A. degree from Emerson College.

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Rabbi Steven Engel