Rabbi Claudio J. Kupchik became the Rabbi of Temple Beth El in 2009.
He brings to Temple Beth El a wide range of experience, knowledge, energy and a beautiful singing voice.
Previously, he served congregations in Leonia, NJ and Peekskill, NY, the Brandeis School in Lawrence, NY and the East Midwood Hebrew Day School in Brooklyn.
Throughout his rabbinical career, Rabbi Kupchik has initiated many innovative programs including the “Rabbi’s Rovers” –a group that combined prayer and singing with nature walks; an interfaith/interracial group promoting friendship and cooperation called “Project Dialogue;” and a Shabbat experience geared to nursery school age children entitled “Shabbateeny.” Rabbi Kupchik also implemented a program called “Spark-Heartaction” that included teenagers and adults in Jewish learning at the synagogue combined with visitations to residents of the NYS Veterans Nursing Home in Montrose, NY where he also served as Chaplain.
Rabbi Kupchik has always been very involved in interfaith dialogue and community affairs having served as both vice-president and president of the Peekskill Area Pastors’ Association (PAPA) . He also served as co-chair of the Task Force on Diversity appointed by the Supervisor of the Town of Cortlandt Manor, NY.
Rabbi Kupchik was ordained at the Seminario Rabinico Latinoamericano in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he was born. He also earned an M.D. degree from the University of Buenos Aires Medical School.
Rabbi Kupchik also studied at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York, where he earned an M.A. in Talmud and Rabbinic Literature and was awarded the Saul Lieberman Graduate Fellowship in Talmudic Studies.
On July 10, 1999, the New Jersey State Senate and Assembly passed a joint resolution honoring Rabbi Kupchik for his: “meritorious record of guidance, dedication and devotion” to his congregation and the community. On June 8, 2008 the Mayor of Peekskill, NY issued a proclamation commending Rabbi Kupchik “for his many contributions to the First Hebrew Congregation and the residents of Peekskill.”
Rabbi Claudio J. Kupchik is married to Ann-Rebecca Laschever and they have two children, Jacob and Simon.