Beth Emek chooses new rabbi

Rabbi Laurence Milder has been named to lead Congregation Beth Emek in Pleasanton. He replaces Rabbi David Katz, who has served as the Reform synagogue’s interim rabbi since August 2011. Milder will assume his duties on Monday,  July 1.

Rabbi Laurence Milder

A native of St. Louis, Milder was ordained at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in 1983. He went on to earn a Ph.D. at Brandeis University and later served congregations in Indianapolis; Bangor, Maine; and Westborough, Mass. He was an assistant professor at the University of Maine and a lecturer at the Bangor Theological Seminary. Milder also served the Union for Reform Judaism as a regional director in its social action and youth divisions.

The new rabbi is married to Janet Elis Milder. They have three children, Miriam, Avi and Alex.

“I am thrilled that we’ve made such a wonderful match,” said Skylar Cohen, Beth Emek’s president. “Rabbi Milder brings skills and talents that will be highly valued by Beth Emek members and the broader Tri-Valley Jewish community.”