Yom Chamishi, 29 Iyyar 5777
Rabbi Jay Sherwood
Rabbi Jay Sherwood for bulletinRabbi Jay Sherwood took his place as our congregation's rabbi in July, 2015. He received his BA in Jewish Studies from UCLA and received his Rabbinic Ordination and Master of Rabbinic Studies degree from the Academy for Jewish Religion, California.

Before entering the rabbinate, Rabbi Sherwood had a twenty-plus year career in Jewish education and Jewish camping, during which he served as Director of Youth and Informal Educational Programming at Temple Beth Hillel in North Hollywood, CA; Director of Education at Temple Beth Israel in Pomona, CA; and Jewish Educator/Rabbinic Intern at Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services in Los Angeles, CA. He held such positions as Program Director, Education Director and Music Director at Jewish summer camps and travel programs throughout the United States and Israel, as well as over 250 Jewish camp weekends for youth, adults and families.

In 2006 Rabbi Sherwood and a number of friends founded Adat Re'im, a congregation based in Rancho Cucamonga. Many of the former members of Adat Re'im have followed Rabbi Sherwood to Congregation Emanu El and have been welcomed here with open arms.

Rabbi Sherwood is a Life Member of the National Eagle Scout Association, a TV game show champion (Rock & Roll Jeopardy, Trivial Pursuit and Don't Forget the Lyrics!), and once worked on Main Street at Disneyland.

Rabbi and his wife Lisa live in Rancho Cucamonga and are are blessed with two children. Email Rabbi Sherwood at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Cantor Jennifer Bern-Vogel
Cantor Jennifer Bern-Vogel relocated to Los Angeles in 2009 with her husband, Ira, and son, Sam, after serving Ohef Sholom Temple in Norfolk, Virginia from 1996-2009. Ohef Sholom Temple, founded in 1844, is the largest and oldest reform congregation in southeastern Virginia. Cantor Bern-Vogel feels blessed to have transitioned from one historic congregation to another and feels very much a part of the warm and diverse community of Congregation Emanu El in Redlands, which she has now served since 2009.

Cantor Bern-Vogel is passionate about bringing worshippers an eclectic representation of musical genres and inspiring them to greater spiritual heights of prayer, contemplation and celebration throughout the yearly calendar cycle from Shabbat services to Life Cycles, Festivals and the High Holy Day season. Although serving Congregation Emanu El on a ‘part-time’ basis, Cantor Bern-Vogel has produced annual Cantor’s Concerts with many of her talented colleagues and friends from across southern California. One of Cantor Bern-Vogel greatest joys is teaching students of all ages the skills of Torah chanting and other sacred texts. In addition to offering pastoral counseling, Cantor Bern-Vogel is also deeply involved in Spiritual Care and End of Life issues, particularly with Holocaust survivors and first-generational family members and is currently working on becoming a Board Certified Chaplain with the National Association of Jewish Chaplains.

Previously trained in opera at the State Conservatory of Music and Theater in Hannover, Germany, Bern-Vogel was Ordained as Cantor from the Hebrew Union College-Debbie Friedman Sacred School of Music in 1995 in New York City. She performed off-Broadway with the Folksbine Yiddish Theater from 1995-1996, while still in New York. Bern-Vogel studied with the second cantorial cohort at the Institute of Jewish Spirituality in 2006 and was the Programming Co-chair of the national ACC conventions for two years after moving to California. She has been an adjunct faculty at Hebrew Union College and also tutors B’nai Mitzvah students at Temple Isaiah in Los Angeles. Cantor Bern-Vogel continues her chaplaincy work at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles in the ALS clinic and palliative care. E-mail Cantor Bern-Vogel directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Organist Jerry Ripley
RipleyJerry Ripley has served Congregation Emanu El since August 1983. He is also the Director of Music Ministry at First Congregational United Church of Christ, San Bernardino. He holds the degrees Bachelor of Music (Organ and Church Music) from the University of Redlands and Master of Arts (Harpsichord) from Claremont Graduate University. In 1998, he added harp to his musical life, playing both celtic/folk and classic/pedal type harps. All of this makes for an eclectic balance between synagogue, church, freelance performing, a bit of teaching, and maintaining a home life. As for things outside of music, Jerry has a love of sport/tour motorcycles. The two congregations which Jerry serves have a long relationship, reaching back to their beginnings in the 19th century. In fact, a Ner Tamid (Eternal Light) honoring Rabbi Norman Feldheym (z"l) hangs in the narthex of First Congregational United Church of Christ over the doors that lead into the sanctuary. E-mail Jerry directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Rabbi Emeritus Hillel Cohn  

Rabbi Hillel Cohn served as rabbi of Congregation Emanu El in San Bernardino from 1963 to 2001. He has returned to lead our congregation for the 2014-2015 year as we carry on our search for our new rabbi. A native of Germany, he was brought to the United States as an infant by his parents who were refugees from Nazism. Rabbi Cohn grew up in the Pacific Northwest and Southern California. He received a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA in 1959. His rabbinical training was received at Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles and Cincinnati where he was ordained as a rabbi in 1963 and received a Master of Arts degree. He earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Claremont School of Theology in 1984 specializing in ethics and communication. In 1988 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree by the Hebrew Union College.


Rabbi Cohn came to Congregation Emanu El in 1963 to serve as assistant rabbi to Rabbi Norman F. Feldheym. In 1964 he was named co-rabbi. Upon the retirement of Rabbi Feldheym in 1971 Rabbi Cohn became the senior rabbi of the Congregation. During his tenure he compiled numerous prayer books, oversaw the construction of the Norman F. Feldheym Religious Education Center and wrote two national award-winning curriculums for the Congregation’s Jewish education program. On the occasion of his 25th year of service to the Congregation the Social Hall was named the Rabbi Hillel Cohn Social Hall. The Rabbi Hillel Cohn Endowment Fund was also established in his honor. Upon his retirement in June, 2001 Sisterhood established the Rabbi Hillel and Rita Cohn Campership Fund.


Rabbi Cohn has been active in many community organizations in the San Bernardino area. He now serves on the Institutional Review Board at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center. He serves as a member of the Diocesan Health Care Committee of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Bernardino. He was the founding chairperson of the City of San Bernardino Human Relations Commission and currently serves as a member of that commission. He produced and hosted “The Many Faces of San Bernardino: Dialogues on Diversity”, a regular half-hour program on KCSB (Channel 3). He was one of the founders of Inland Congregations United for Change (ICUC). He currently serves as a board member of The Community Foundation of Riverside and San Bernardino, Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties, The Unforgettables Foundation and The Brightest Star. 


Rabbi Cohn served for a number of years on the National Commission on Rabbinic-Congregational Relations of the reform movement, mediating problems between congregations and rabbis. He was the editor of two publications on rabbinic contracts. From 1999-2001 Rabbi Cohn served as Treasurer of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the national organization of reform rabbis. From 2001-2008 he served as editor of the CCAR Newsletter, the monthly publication of all reform rabbis in the world. He has served as president of the Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis and as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. He is a past-president of the San Bernardino Clergy Association, the interdenominational ministerial group of the area. He served as president of the National Association of Retired Reform Rabbis and now serves as editor of its newsletter, Ohr L’Naorrr and webmaster of its website.


Among other current activities he recently completed his second term as the chair of the Inland and Desert Hillel Council which serves Jewish students of the region.  He is an advisory board member of the Morrow McCombs Memorial Lecture Committee, and board member of St. Bernardine Medical Center Foundation.  In 2010 he chaired the Bicentennial Commission of the City of San Bernardino. He is currently a member of the Citizen’s Charter Review Committee of the City of San Bernardino.


For the past 30 years he has been a member of the Priest-Rabbi Dialogue, a project jointly sponsored by the Archdioecese of Los Angeles and the Board of Rabbis of Southern California.


In 1996 Rabbi Cohn was one of 5,000 Americans honored for being a Community Hero by carrying the Olympic Torch. Among mnhy other awards he has received are the "Man in the Spirit of Martin Luther King" Award from the African-American Churches of the Inland Empire ,  the Dale Evans-Roy Rogers Award for a Lifetime of Commitment to the Spirituality of Children from the Loma Linda University Medical Center, Leaders of Distinction Lifetime Achievement Award from the Business Press of the Inland Empire. Community Honoree by the Western Inland Empire Coalition Against Hate. He has also been honored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Bernardino and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at California State University San Bernardino.


A frequent participant on radio and television programs, Rabbi Cohn and Dr. William Loveless co-hosted and produced "Options", a series of televised conversations on contemporary moral and spiritual issue on the International 7th Day Adventist Television Network. He was the producer and host of 50 half-hour television programs on “The Many Faces of San Bernardino.” He is currently one of the three participants on “A Jew, a Muslim and a Christian” produced and shown internationally by Wordnet Productions.


From 2002-2007 Rabbi Cohn served as the interim rabbi of Adat Ari El, a reform synagogue in Las Vegas and wrote a regular column for the Las Vegas Israelite. He currently serves as part-time rabbi of Sun City Jewish Congregation in Palm Desert.


Rabbi Cohn continues to be called on frequently to speak to religious and civic groups locally and throughout the nation. He is the author of Haggadah for Passover. His sermons have been published regularly in various publications. He recently authored a chapter in  “Toward the Future”, a volume on Catholic-Jewish relations.


Rabbi Cohn and his wife Rita live in San Bernardino. They have two children, Elana Cohn-Rozansky and Marc Cohn and four grandchildren, Jeremy and Adam Rozansky and Sarah and Leah Cohn. Contact Rabbi Cohn at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.