Meet Our Clergy
Rabbi Steven W. Engel
As the Rabbi of Central Florida’s largest Reform Jewish congregation, Rabbi Engel is also actively involved in the Greater Central Florida community. He presently serves on the Board of New Hope for Kids-Grieving Center for Children in Maitland, Florida, is involved in Impact Homelessness, and is a co-founder of Building US, a major interfaith organization in Central Florida. He has served as an adjunct professor of religion and a guest lecturer at Rollins College and University of Central Florida.
Rabbi Engel received a B.A. in Physics from Rutgers University and a Masters Degree from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles. He received Rabbinic Ordination in 1988 and a Doctorate in Divinity in 2013 from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati. His Rabbinic thesis was entitled “A Critical Psychobiography of Kivie Kaplan Against the Backdrop of Black-Jewish Relations in the 20th Century”.
Rabbi Engel 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, Larry King Live and on the Today Show. He is a co-creator and one of the co-hosts of the radio show “Friends Talking Faith with The Three Wise Guys” along with his friends, a Reverend and an Imam. This popular radio program airs on public radio station WMFE in Orlando on Tuesdays at 6:30 pm, where “The Guys” speak in interesting ways about today’s issues through a faith perspective.
Rabbi Engel is married to Beverly, a gerontologist and they have three children. He is an avid cyclist, woodworker, baseball card collector, and loves his work as a Rabbi as he finds it challenging and invigorating.
Cantor Jacqueline Rawiszer
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 was recently elected as Vice President of Member Relations and External Partnerships for 2016-2019. She 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 is proud to be the conductor and co-founder of the New HaZamir Orlando chapter.
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, Chai-er Learning programs and the new Rosh Chodesh Group at CRJ. 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.