Our Rabbi – Marc Kraus
I believe that Temple Emanuel embraces the many ways in which we express our Jewishness and our spirituality. Whether you are looking for spiritual sustenance, a supportive social network, powerful prayer experiences or classic cultural events, Temple Emanuel is a warm and accepting Jewish home. Located just four blocks from the ocean front we offer a relaxed, informal atmosphere.
I was raised in the suburbs of London as part of a close-knit family and lived in Israel for several years. I graduated from Oxford University with a degree in Hebrew Literature and was ordained as a rabbi by the Ziegler School in Los Angeles.
I love teaching the bar and bat mitzvah students at Temple Emanuel, both in the classroom and one-on-one. I delight in telling and performing stories, especially making movies that creatively retell the stories of our people with contemporary twists, such as our two Purim movies: “Oceana” and “Rise of an Empress”.
I am very proud that since arriving at Temple Emanuel, I have helped to establish new, accessible and engaging models of worship service. These include Friday Light and Shabbat Shirah, which incorporate group-led joyous singing, participation from our religious school and interactive storytelling, while simultaneously being accessible to newcomers.
Since arriving in Tidewater I’ve also established a free “Pluralistic Introduction to Judaism Course” offered at the JCC and endorsed by the Board of Rabbis and Cantors. For me, our personal spiritual journeys – which I believe are a process of constant seeking and personal development – are deeply important, and I am an avid student of a variety of meditation techniques.
My wife and partner, Alicia Cohen Kraus, is Temple Emanuel’s Director of Outreach & Engagement. Together we share a young son, a grey tabby cat and a passion for hosting people for dinner on Friday nights.
My vision is that Temple Emanuel be a community of unconditional welcome to those of all ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identities and family situations, with compassion as a core value; where strong ties of friendship embrace and bind together the newcomers and old-timers, young and old. A community where Judaism is expressed passionately in all its varied social, spiritual and cultural forms.
Contact Rabbi Marc at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Director of Outreach & Engagement – Alicia Cohen Kraus
Judaism is more than just a religion. While religious practice is widely believed to be the most authentic way to live a Jewish life, I believe that there is so much more to being Jewish and community is at its core. Temple Emanuel
offers more – captivating cultural events, inspiring worship services, and engaging educational opportunities for all ages. Everyone has a passion and those passions can connect to Judaism in amazing ways.
Raised in Los Angeles, I have degrees in Theatre from Occidental College, Post-Secondary Administration from the University of Southern California and Jewish Communal Service from Hebrew Union College. The majority of my career has been focused on the growth and strengthening of Jewish communities on college campuses.
Community is built by individuals: my goal as the Director of Outreach and Engagement is to build relationships with each unique member of our community and help to connect individuals with similar passions to one another, to their Judaism and to our community.
My husband and partner, Rabbi Marc Kraus, and I are committed to radical hospitality and invited congregants and friends to join us in our home for Shabbat dinner nearly every week since we arrived in Virginia Beach in July 2012. Our goal is to create a space where every individual feels welcome, comfortable and an integral part of our thriving community. I am thrilled to expand the reach of our hospitality in this role.
Beyond my passion for community building, I enjoy yoga, knitting, cooking (#beachbalabuste), living near the ocean and, most importantly, spending time with Marc, our young son and loving tabby cat.
Our Office Manager – Gail Gogan
I was born and raised in Norfolk, Virginia. After graduating from Kee Business College, I began my career as a secretary/legal assistant at the young age of 19. I moved to Virginia Beach in 1981. Shortly thereafter I met the love of my life, Don Gogan. I became a military wife and endured many deployments throughout Don’s 21+ years in the Navy.
Don and I have been married for 30 years and have two sons, Andrew 28, and Travis 23. Temple Emanuel has been my place of employment and home away from home since January 2009. I am most grateful and honored to be the Office Manager of Temple Emanuel and have developed many friendships which I will treasure always.
Contact Gail at email@example.com
Our Caterer – Sue Adler
I grew up in Oklahoma city and attended the University of Oklahoma. Later, I moved to New York and lived at the Hebrew Y on 92nd in NYC. There I met my first husband. We got married in the Tidewater area and opened up a flower shop near the old JCC. When my husband passed away, I opened up a kosher bakery with my brother-in-law. I was later invited to become Temple Emanuel’s caterer, a position I have now held for twenty-two years.