Our Religious Leaders
Rabbi Bernard Barsky has been the spiritual leader of Beth Abraham Synagogue since 2003. Before coming to Dayton, he served congregations in New York and New Jersey, and was the founding rabbi of Shaarei Tikvah Synagogue in Scarsdale, N.Y. In 2002 Rabbi Barsky completed a residency in pastoral chaplaincy at the Jewish Institute of Pastoral Care in New York City, and interned at a Brooklyn day care center for the mentally ill.
From 1989 to 1992 he was Executive Director of the World Council of Synagogues, the international organization of the Conservative Movement. Rabbi Barsky was ordained in 1993 at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, where he also earned his M.A. in Judaic Studies with an emphasis in Jewish philosophy. Prior to his rabbinical career, he taught English literature at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Baruch College in New York, and Freiburg University, in Freiburg, Germany, where he lived for twelve years. He is a native of Kansas City, Missouri, and has academic degrees in philosophy and English literature from New York University and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He also spent several years as a post-graduate scholar at the University of Freiburg.
Rabbi Barsky has three children, Jacob, Sarah and Leah.
Cantor Andrea Raizen has been the Cantor and Director of Education at Beth Abraham since 2007. Since 1989 she has held positions as Education Director, Teacher, B’nai Mitzvah Tutor, Cantor and Ritual Director at several congregations in Southern California and Colorado. She was mentored into the cantorate and was accepted as a member of the Cantors Assembly in 2001. She is also a member of the Jewish Educators Assembly.
Cantor Raizen received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, attended the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem and earned her Master’s Degree in Jewish Education from the University of Judaism in Los Angeles.