Leadership

Our Clergy

Rabbi Ron Koas

“I believe that the main role of a rabbi is to teach; education is the key for building a strong and vibrant Jewish community”

Rabbi Ron Koas became the Senior Rabbi of Congregation Beth El, Norfolk, VA in July 2021. Raised in Israel, Rabbi Koas served as a Captain in the Israeli Defense Forces and studied at the prestigious Beit Tzvi Theatre Academy before deciding to enter the field of education. He received his bachelor’s degree in Education from Levinsky Teachers College and his master’s degree in Educational Administration from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He received his Rabbinic ordination from the Rabbinical Academy.

Rabbi Koas was selected to represent Israel as a shaliach, or emissary, for the Progressive Zionist Movement in Melbourne, Australia, where he coordinated and facilitated synagogue, school, and youth group community programs. Following his three-year term in Australia, Rabbi Koas moved to the United States, serving for six years as the Director of Education at the Park Avenue Synagogue in Manhattan. He simultaneously served as Editor-in-Chief of the Hebrew-language newspaper supplement “Here and There”, and made guest appearances on the Israeli “Voice of the Heart” radio-broadcast talk show.

Rabbi Koas came to Norfolk from Marlboro Jewish Center, NJ where he served eight years as Associate Rabbi and Education Director.

Rabbi Koas is a lover of the outdoors and is particularly fond of hiking and water activities. His favorite place is the Tel Aviv Beach and his favorite food is Shakshuka.

Rabbi Koas has three children: Daniel, Yair and Talia.

Rabbi Koas believes that we all need to work together toward a vision of inclusion, striving to make our synagogue a place where everyone feels welcome to experience the power and beauty of Jewish tradition. What he loves most about his work is the opportunity to get to know people of all ages, help them discover the meaning and direction that Judaism can provide, and show them how beautiful Judaism can be.

Rabbi-Arthur-Ruberg

Rabbi Arthur Ruberg

Rabbi Arthur Ruberg became Beth El’s rabbi in 1988. He is a graduate of Haverford College in suburban Philadelphia as well as the Jewish Theological Seminary where he received a master’s degree in Jewish studies and rabbinic ordination in 1974. He was named Beth El’s Rabbi Emeritus in 2011.

Prior to coming to Norfolk, Rabbi Ruberg served congregations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey as associate rabbi and religious education director. He also directed Camp Ramah in the Poconos, one of the youth leadership summer camps associated with Conservative Judaism.

Rabbi Ruberg is married to Miriam Brunn Ruberg. The Rubergs have two children — Jeremy, who lives in New York with his wife Rebecca, is following in the “family business” by graduating from the Jewish Theological Seminary and is now an assistant rabbi at the New City Jewish Center in New York, and Adina, a graduate of Ohio State University who lives in Chicago with her husband, Ben Kozberg, and their sons.

Rabbi Ruberg welcomes calls and e-mails from those who want further information about Congregation Beth El – its religious and educational approach, ongoing activities, and programs.

To reach Rabbi Ruberg by email, write to RabbiAR@bethelnorfolk.com.

Beth El Board of Directors
(2022-2024)

President – Deb Segaloff

Deborah (Deb) Bernstein Segaloff was born and raised in the Meadowbrook Terrace neighborhood of Norfolk, nicknamed Little Israel in the 1970s and 80s. As a young child, she attended the Hebrew Academy of Tidewater on Thompkins Lane and was active in many Jewish youth organizations. Deb has worked as a Jewish professional and lay leader for over 25 years, including past president of the Hebrew Academy and past chairman of the Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. Deb also served on the Council of Human Rights for the Commonwealth of Virginia for 2 terms. Deb enjoys her family—daughters Sabine and Emma and her husband Peter, as well as painting, cooking, walking, reading, and her involvement with Beth El. She values and appreciates the warmth and caring of the Beth El community.

Our Staff