Cantor Emeritus Cory Winter

Cantor Cory Winter, a native of Chicago, received his Bachelor's Degree in Music from the University of Wisconsin--Madison and his Master's Degree in Music from Northwestern University, where he was assistant to Margaret Hillis, the renowned conductor of the Chicago Symphony Chorus. He was Chorus Master and Assistant Conductor of the Sacramento Opera for ten years. He founded and conducted the Bay Area Jewish Chorale for the Northern California Board of Cantors, of which he is a Past President.

Cantor Winter studied Chazanut with Max Janowski and Todros Greenberg and is a member of both the American Conference of Cantors and the Cantors Assembly. During his career, he has served both Reform and Conservative synagogues and seeks to combine the best of both traditions in his chanting.

As a soloist, Cantor Winter has appeared with several orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra on numerous occasions. He appeared as soloist with the Oakland-East Bay Symphony in the Sacred Service by Ernest Bloch and received much critical acclaim.

Even with his extensive performing background, Cantor Winter's first love was teaching children and adults, especially B'nai Mitzvah.

Rabbi Emeritus Mark Shapiro

Rabbi Mark S. Shapiro was born in Chicago. He did his undergraduate work and received his B.A. from the University of Chicago. In 1960, Rabbi Shapiro received his Master of Hebrew Letters, with honors, and a rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati, OH. He began his rabbinic career with Temple Beth Zion of Buffalo, NY and served that congregation for two years. He received his honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree from Hebrew Union College in 1985.

Rabbi Shapiro became rabbi of Congregation B'nai Jehoshua in 1962 and when B'nai Jehoshua merged with Beth Elohim, he came to the suburbs. Over the years, Rabbi Shapiro has been influential in both the community at large and in our own BJBE Family.

He is a past president of the Glenbrook Clergy Fellowship and the Rabbinical Fellowship of the Northwest suburbs. He has served as Chairman of the Rabbinic Advisory Committee to Olin-Sang-Ruby-Union Institute. In 1982, he visited refuseniks in the Soviet Union and is a part of the Chicago Action for Soviet Jewry.

Over the Years, Rabbi Shapiro has inspired and influenced many of BJBE's young adults to pursue Rabbinic and other Jewish related careers.

The Searcher's Program, which Rabbi Shapiro initiated, is now being pursued in other congregations by the Chicago area as well as across the country.

Rabbi Karyn D. Kedar

Rabbi Karyn D. Kedar, Senior Rabbi of Congregation B’nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim in Deerfield, IL, is widely recognized as an inspiring leader who guides people in their spiritual and personal growth. Rabbi Kedar has created liturgical work which appears in the new prayer book for the Reform Movement, Mishkan T’filah. 

You can reach Rabbi Kedar at

Follow Rabbi Kedar on twitter @kkedar




Rabbi Karyn D. Kedar, World-Renowned Author


Rabbi Karyn D. Kedar is an author, poet, spiritual counselor, and inspirational speaker. Her published books include God Whispers, The Dance of the Dolphin (Our Dance with God), The Bridge to Forgiveness, and Omer: A Counting. She is also published in numerous anthologies and has created liturgy, rituals and ceremonies.

Rabbi Jason Fenster

Rabbi Jason Fenster is honored to join the clergy team and serve the BJBE community! His Jewish roots come from his amazing rabbis and community at Temple Sinai in Rochester, NY. Jason was active in NFTY; he also attended and worked at the URJ Eisner Camp. Rabbi Fenster earned a B.A. in Politics and a minor in Law & Legal Studies at Brandeis University. While in college, he was actively involved in Jewish communal life and acted in and directed musicals.

After graduating, he moved to Washington, D.C. for a year-long fellowship as an Eisendrath Legislative Assistant at the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism. There, he represented the Reform Movement in interfaith and secular progressive coalitions on a variety of policy issue areas including civil rights, gun violence prevention, and LGBT equality. He also spent two years as a research and communications associate at the Justice Policy Institute before attending rabbinical school.

Rabbi Fenster was ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in May 2017. As a student, he served as the rabbinic intern at Woodlands Community Temple in Greenburgh, NY. He was blessed to have powerful learning and professional experiences with T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, Mt. Sinai Medical Center, the URJ's Leadership Institute, and Temple Judea in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. While in school, he received many honors, including the prestigious Tisch/Starr Fellowship directed and taught by scholar Rabbi Larry Hoffman.

He is excited to bring his passions for social justice, study, and Jewish community building to BJBE.

Rabbi Fenster lives in Northbrook with his wife, Gavi Young Fenster, and their son, Benjamin Samuel.

Click here to watch Rabbi Fenster's introductory video!

You can reach Rabbi Fenster at: