Rabbi Aaron Schonbrun

 Rabbi Aaron SchonbrunRabbi Aaron Schonbrun hails from San Diego, CA, where his family was very active in the local Jewish community and in their Conservative congregation.  As a child and teen he was an active participant (and eventually a staff member) in both Camp Ramah and USY.  Outside of the Jewish community he spent many years singing in his school choir and training in Tae Kwon Do.

Rabbi Schonbrun graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with degrees in Psychology and Jewish/Near Eastern Studies.  In addition to his three years in St. Louis, he spent a wonderful junior year at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  At “Wash U” Aaron was a leader in the university’s Jewish community, and also enjoyed singing as a part of the campus a cappella group “The Amateurs.”

Rabbi Schonbrun was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in May 2004, at which time he also received a Masters Degree from the William Davidson School of Education.  His rabbinical school career was enhanced by experiences as a student rabbi in several congregations, as a religious school educator, as a hospital chaplain, and as the Jewish Life Director of a JTS/Columbia undergraduate residence hall.

From 2004 to 2010 Rabbi Schonbrun served as one of the rabbis of Congregation Beth David in Saratoga, CA.  In addition to his pulpit work, Rabbi Schonbrun was active in the greater San Jose community, serving as the rabbinic advisor to the Yavneh Day School (local K-8 Schechter school) and as a member of the Saratoga Interfaith Ministerial Group. He is an alumnus of the PEER Executive Leadership Program, an initiative of STAR (Synagogues: Transformation and Renewal) and he serves as a member of the National Board of Professional Advisors to the Jewish Outreach Institute (JOI).  Rabbi Schonbrun also had the opportunity to serve as “Rabbi-in-Residence” at Camp Ramah California, and as “Scholar-in-Residence” for the Northern California USY region.

Rabbi Schonbrun and his wife, Jane-Rachel, met in Jerusalem and were married in 2001.  They have been blessed with four beautiful children: Aviva, Gavriel, Leora & Isaiah.  “Outside of the Office” Rabbi Schonbrun enjoys playing with and reading to his children, doing family genealogical research, reading biographies and historical non-fiction, watching baseball, and going on “dates” with his wife.

In the summer of 2010 Rabbi Schonbrun becomes the first spiritual leader of the unified Congregation Torat El.  He is excited about the opportunity to work with the members of this community to build and nurture a vibrant, educated, caring and inclusive Kehilah Kedosha, holy congregation.  Rabbi Schonbrun looks forward to growing with the community, and to helping support and shape its vision.  Through engagement with Jewish values, tradition, and practice, Rabbi Schonbrun aims to bring wholeness & holiness, meaning & purpose into the lives of the members of Torat El, the greater Jersey Shore community, and the world.