Rabbi Darryl Crystal

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Rabbi Darryl Crystal is one of the leading interim rabbis in the Reform movement. He has traveled the United States, serving twelve congregations ranging in size from 230 to 975 households as an interim rabbi since 2004. His pulpits have been in Georgia, Maryland, Wisconsin, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Texas, North Carolina, Massachusetts and Nebraska.


Prior to his work as an interim rabbi, Rabbi Crystal served North Shore Synagogue in Syosset, New York for eighteen years from 1985 to 2003, as assistant rabbi, associate rabbi and senior rabbi. He established to synagogue youth program which began with 20 members and eight years later had over 400. He created the Center for Adult Jewish Learning, which brought renowned speakers to the synagogue and led the congregation’s participation in the national project to revitalize worship and congregational life, Synagogue 2000.


Life-long learning is a passion for Rabbi Crystal. He was ordained at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in 1985 and has a BA degree from the University of Maryland. He studied at the PARDES Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem in 2003-04 and he was one of the first rabbis to train with the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, which teaches rabbis, educators, and lay leaders about spirituality through study of classic texts and Jewish meditation. Rabbi Crystal trained as a hospital chaplain at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, and was an Eisendrath Intern at the Religious Action Center, the legislative office of Reform Judaism in Washington, D.C.


NFTY and Reform Camps have been an important influence in Rabbi Crystal’s life. He is a past chair of the Committee on Youth for the Central Conference of American Rabbis and was a member of the Youth Coordinating Committee that oversaw all of the youth programs for the Union for Reform Judaism.


As an interim rabbi, Rabbi Crystal will fulfill all of the responsibilities of a congregational rabbi and work with Congregation Emanu El during this transition year as we work to develop a vision for the future and search for a settled rabbi. Rabbi Crystal says in his personal statement, “As an interim rabbi I help synagogues affirm their ideals and learn about how to build a sacred relationship with their new rabbi.”


Rabbi Crystal is the manager of the interim Rabbi Program for the Reform movement. He is responsible for training and consulting with all of the interim rabbis for the Reform movement. He has pursued advanced training in the area of organizational development at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, the Hauser Institute at Harvard University, the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western University and Gratz College in Philadelphia.


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Cantor Jennifer Bern-Vogel

A member of the American Conference of Cantors [ACC] Cantor Jennifer Bern-Vogel served Ohef Sholom Temple in Norfolk, Virginia, the largest and oldest reform congregation in southeastern Virginia from 1996-2009. Cantor Bern-Vogel feels blessed to have transitioned from one historic congregation to another; and was honored to be part of the transitional team helping Congregation Emanu El relocate from San Bernardino to Redlands. Cantor Bern-Vogel is proud to be part of Congregation Emanu El in Redlands, a warm and diverse community, which she has 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 reflection, contemplation and celebration throughout the yearly calendar cycle from Shabbat services to Life Cycles, Festivals and the High Holy Day season. Cantor Bern-Vogel works with congregational committee chairs to heighten awareness of important social justice issues, with particular emphasis on the promotion of the URJ [Union of Reform Congregations] BRIT OLAM pledge. While serving Congregation Emanu El on a ‘part-time’ basis, Cantor Bern-Vogel produces annual Cantor’s Concerts with many of her talented colleagues and friends from across southern California. One of her greatest joys is teaching Torah chanting skills and other sacred texts to students of all ages. In addition to offering pastoral counseling, presiding at Life Cycle events, creating Healing Services, and sacred transitional rituals, Cantor Bern-Vogel is a Board-Certified Chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains [APC] and is currently a hospice Chaplain for the Jewish Healing and Hospice Center of Los Angeles. [JHCLA] 

Previously trained in opera at the State Conservatory of Music and Theater in Hannover, Germany, Bern-Vogel was Ordained as Cantor from Hebrew Union College - Debbie Friedman Sacred School of Music in 1995 in New York City. While in New York, she performed off-Broadway with the Folksbine Yiddish Theatre from 1995-1996. Bern-Vogel was in the second cantorial cohort at the Institute of Jewish Spirituality in 2006; Programming Co-chair of the national ACC conventions for two years after moving to California, and participates in regional conference planning for the ACC, CA [Cantor’s Assembly] and GTM [Guild of Temple Musicians.] Cantor Bern-Vogel has been an adjunct faculty at Hebrew Union College and has tutored B’nai Mitzvah students at Temple Isaiah and Pressman Academy [Temple Beth Am] in Los Angeles, where she lives with her husband, Ira and son, Sam. 

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Jerry Ripley, accompanist
RipleyJerry Ripley has served Congregation Emanu El since August 1983.In addition to being our accompanist (on organ, piano, or harp), he directs our volunteer choir and instrumentalists (volunteer and professional) who participate in the music life of CEE. He is also the organist for First Church of Christ, Scientist, Redlands. 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 lever (aka celtic/folk) harp and pedal (classic) harp. 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. 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.