Meet Our Leadership

Pastoral Care

Our clergy are committed to providing pastoral guidance and support through the joys and struggles of life’s journey. Whether celebrating a simcha, making wedding plans, converting to Judaism, or seeking comfort during times of loss and difficulty, we are here to help.

Rabbi Stephen Wise

Rabbi Stephen Wise

Rabbi

Rabbi Stephen Wise is the spiritual leader of Shaarei-Beth El Congregation of Oakville. He is excited to be part of a congregation as diverse, storied and unique as SBE; leading meaningful worship experiences for all, teaching thought provoking courses for adults and children, providing inspiring programming and being a catalyst for social activism.

Before joining SBE in 2007, Rabbi Wise spent two years as the assistant Rabbi at Temple Beth El in Boca Raton, FL. Rabbi Wise was ordained from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in May of 2005, has a BA from the University of Toronto and an MA from Brandeis University.

Rabbi Wise is the chair of the Interfaith Council of Halton, chair of the Reform Rabbis of Greater Toronto, and a member of the Halton Police Service multi-faith taskforce. Rabbi Wise is an author and speaker on Israel and her role in Tikkun Olam, with his first book “Israel: Repairing the World

Rabbi Wise and his wife Cheryl, the director of Education at SBE, have 3 children, Jacob, Talia and Alexa.

Laura Wolfson

Laura Wolfson

Cantorial Soloist

Laura is a dedicated Cantorial Soloist and Jewish Educator with a passion for creating warmth and welcome in the Jewish community, teaching and learning, making music, and inspiring passionate synagogue life. From participation as a camper in UAHC camp (GUCI -1970s) to NFTY-EIE (1980) to over 25 years as a Jewish professional at Anshe Sholom in Hamilton, her commitment to the Jewish people through the Reform movement is unwavering. Laura has also been a faculty member at Camp George since the summer the camp began. We always look forward to welcoming her to our synagogue community.

Cheryl Wise

Cheryl Wise

Director of Education

Jewish education has always been an essential part of Cheryl’s life. She was born, raised, and educated in Toronto, Canada. Cheryl attended Associated Jewish Day, the Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto and Young Judea summer camps as a camper and staff. She received her bachelor’s degree in Jewish studies from York University in Toronto and received a Master’s degree in Jewish Education and certificate in Family Education from Hebrew College of Boston,  and is a certified Reform Jewish Educator (RJE).

Since graduation, Cheryl has been the family educator at Temple Beth Shalom in Needham, MA, the educational coordinator for the Birthright Israel program at Hillel of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the director of Education at Temple Shaaray Tefila in Manhattan, and the Religious School director at Temple Beth Orr in Coral Springs.

She became the director of education at Shaarei-Beth El in 2010 and coordinates all education programs for all ages.

Cheryl is a registered wedding officiant for the province of Ontario.

Cheryl and her husband Stephen (our Rabbi Wise) have 3 children Jacob, Talia and Alexa

 Nancy Freedman

Nancy Freedman

Synagogue President

Nancy, along with her husband Nathan and daughters Roxy and Isabelle have been members for close to a decade. Nancy has served as vice president for many years and in November 2021 became our president.

“I have had the privilege of attending a few in person services lately and the community Chanukah celebrations. What an incredible joy to see people safely back in our synagogue. It is also incredible to now have the capacity to be hybrid and have those at home join us via zoom. If we talk about silver linings of Covid our virtual capacity is certainly one. The behind the scenes work that has happened to make sure it’s seamless and interactive is nothing short of amazing. These positive experiences at our shul is what they will remember and look back on. I’m thrilled we are offering in person school for those comfortable attending. We are ensuring our kids make memories that will shape their Jewish identities. As incoming President I want to once again extend our gratitude to Mark Steiman who led us through some difficult times in the last 4 years. He is in my opinion the true definition of a mensh. This last year we worked closely and because of this I feel confident picking up where he left off. I also know he will continue to support both myself and the synagogue. As a community we will continue to adapt as needed as Covid continues to lead us in different directions. I think most of us would agree that as a shul we have proven that we are strong and resilient with lots of heart and soul!  We will be reaching out shortly to ask you about your skills and talents. We all have abilities that we might be willing to share if called upon; I have always felt we have untapped potential within our own community. Please reach out with any thoughts or ideas.”