Professional Staff

Rabbi Joshua Breindel (he/him)

Rabbi Josh Breindel joined Beth El on July 1, 2018. Previously, he served nine years as rabbi of Temple Anshe Amunim (TAA) in Pittsfield, Mass. He earned a B.A. in philosophy with a minor in classics and a concentration in legal studies from Brandeis University. Settling in the Boston area, he served as education consultant at Kerem Shalom in Concord, core instructor for 11th-grade students at Prozdor of Hebrew College in Newton, and assistant director of education at Temple Shir Tikvah in Winchester. After completing master’s degrees in Jewish studies and Jewish education, he was ordained at Hebrew College in 2009.

Rabbi Breindel has particular interests in Jewish storytelling, theater and folklore and is passionate about Jewish science fiction and fantasy. He and his wife, Stephanie, spend their free time playing Legos with their two children, Elijah and Eliana. He’s delighted to return to the Boston area and is excited to partner with the congregation’s staff to bring blessing to the Beth El community. You can follow him on Facebook at RabbiJoshB.

Cantor Vera Broekhuysen (she/her)

Cantor Vera Broekhuysen joined Beth El on July 1, 2023. She served Temple Emanu-El of Haverhill as spiritual leader from 2018-2023 (and as cantor from 2016-2023). In 2016, she was ordained, and earned her master’s degree in Jewish education at Hebrew College in Newton. A native of Cambridge, she graduated from Commonwealth High School of Boston in 2002 and earned her bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Toronto in 2007.

Cantor Broekhuysen pursues social justice and interfaith work as cornerstones of her Jewish life. She uses guitar and drum in services, song sessions, educational settings, and out on the street in protests. She is also passionate about exploring and leveraging the beauty and vocal connectivity of early music and folksong. Cantor Broekhuysen lives in North Andover with her husband Mike and their two sons. In her free time, she loves to hike, knit, bake, and read.