Temple Sinai has two full-time rabbis, Rabbi Jacqueline Mates-Muchin and Rabbi Yoni Regev; and one cantor, Cantor Ilene Keys. We are blessed to have such spiritual and visionary leaders enrich our congregational life.
To learn more about them, please see below:
Rabbi Jacqueline Mates-Muchin
Rabbi Jacqueline Mates-Muchin joined the Temple Sinai community in 2005. She takes particular pride in Sinai's dedication to learning, inclusivity and social justice and feels blessed to be a part of such a dynamic and warm community.
Rabbi Mates-Muchin has been active in the leadership of East Bay Jewish life, currently serving as the immediate past president of the East Bay Council of Rabbis. She strongly believes in the importance of supporting and serving our greater community as well and works with the Oakland Fire Department as a volunteer chaplain amongst other civic and interfaith involvement.
Prior to her service at Temple Sinai, Rabbi Mates-Muchin served as the Assistant Rabbi in Buffalo, New York. She was ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, having received awards for liturgy, history, bible, homiletics, religion and humanities. She also received awards for pastoral excellence and for excellence in service of a congregation. Her thesis entitled "The Analects of Confucius and Its Parallel in Early Rabbinic Thought" was a reflection of her Chinese and Jewish traditions. She is the first Chinese American Rabbi.
Rabbi Mates-Muchin is a native of San Francisco and enjoys connecting with those who attended her alma mater, Lowell High School. She graduated from UC Santa Barbara with high honors and while in Santa Barbara met her husband, Jonathan. They live in Oakland with their four wonderful children.
Rabbi Mates-Muchin was elected as our new Senior Rabbi by the congregation in 2015. Click here to read her message to the congregation and read more about her in the j. weekly article: Temple Sinai has a new senior rabbi.
Cantor Ilene Keys
Cantor Ilene Keys is a native of California and aspired to become a cantor since her Bat-Mitzvah. She studied Jewish music from a young age under the tutelage of her own cantor in Los Angeles, Cantor Nathan Lam. Cantor Keys received an undergraduate degree in Jewish Studies and Hebrew from UCLA, and spent a year in Israel studying at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. After graduating UCLA, Cantor Keys attended the School of Sacred Music-Hebrew Union College where she received a Master of Sacred Music and Cantorial Ordination in 1995.
As a cantorial student, Cantor Keys served Temple Beth Shalom of Arnold, Maryland, Temple Beth-El of Hillsborough, New Jersey and Beth Haverim of Mahwah, New Jersey. While studying in Jerusalem, she was actively involved with Kol Haneshama Synagogue, a progressive Israeli congregation. Cantor Keys began serving in 1995 as cantor of Temple Sinai, First Hebrew Congregation of Oakland and is now the longest serving cantor in the congregation's history.
Cantor Keys has served as board member and past president of the Northern California Board of Cantors. In addition, she has acted as the American Conference of Cantors Representative to the Union of Reform Judaism of the Northern California Council. She is a member of both the American Conference of Cantors and the Cantors Assembly.
Cantor Ilene Keys and her husband David Bobrowsky are blessed with three children: Seth, Stella, and Solomon.
Rabbi Yoni Regev
Rabbi Yoni Regev joined the Temple Sinai community in 2014. He is proud to serve the dynamic and diverse Sinai community, and share its dedication to lifelong Jewish learning.
A native of Jerusalem, Rabbi Regev served in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) before pursuing his graduate education in the United States. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland where he majored in Vocal Music Performance, and received his Rabbinic Ordination from the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in 2014. He is also a proud graduate of the Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management at HUC-JIR.
As a rabbinical student, Rabbi Regev was privileged to serve communities in Utah and Southern California, and trained as a chaplaincy intern at the Skirball Hospice in Los Angeles. He has served on the staff and faculty of URJ camps OSRUI, Kutz, and Newman.
Rabbi Regev's wife is also an ordained rabbi and educator. Rabbi Lara Regev is the Director of Jewish Living and Learning at Congregation Rodef Sholom in San Rafael. They reside in Marin County.
Rabbi Samuel Broude
Rabbi Samuel G. Broude, b.1924
Chicago Public Schools
Herzl Junior College
U. of Chicago, B.A. '47
Hebrew Theological College (Chicago Yeshiva) - 8 years
Cantor, Pasadena, '49-'51; University Synagogue, L.A., '51-'58
Rabbinic Ordination, HUC-JIR, Cincinnati,1960
Associate Rabbi, Fairmount Temple, Cleveland, '60-'66
Rabbi, Temple Sinai, Oakland, '66-'89
Married Judith Ferse (Former Executive Officer, Israel Consulate, L.A.), 1950
Rabbi Steven Chester
Rabbi Steven Chester is married to Leona. They were married in 1969 and have two children, Adam and Shira. Adam and his wife, Keng, are the parents of Rabbi and Leona's granddaughters, Anna and Amanda. Shira and her husband, Daniel, are the parents of Rabbi and Leona's granddaughter, Trinity.
Before coming to Temple Sinai in 1989, Rabbi Steven Chester served congregations in Jackson, Michigan (where he also served as the prison chaplain for the Jewish prisoners of the State of Michigan) and Stockton, California. He has taught Hebrew at Jackson Community College, Bible at Spring Arbor College and Bible and Judaism at the University of the Pacific, where he was named Adjunct Professor in the Religious Studies Department.
Rabbi Chester received a B.A. in History from UCLA (1965), a B.H.L. from Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles (1967), an M.H.L. from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati (1971), and an honorary doctorate from HUC in 1996. He was ordained in 1971. His Rabbinic thesis was "Eli Wiesel: Rebbe for our Generation."
Rabbi Chester retired in June 2011, and along with Rabbi Samuel Broude, is a Rabbi Emeritus of the congregation.