Rabbi Jonathan L. Hecht, Ph.D.
Rabbi Hecht has served Temple Chaverim since 1992. He was ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, New York, in 1987, and received his doctorate in Jewish History from New York University in 1993. In 2012, Hebrew Union College awarded Rabbi Hecht a Doctorate of Divinity, honoris causa. He was named Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute in 2013. Very active in the Jewish and general community on Long Island, Rabbi Hecht is a past President of the Long Island Board of Rabbis and currently serves on the Board of the Mid Island-Y-JCC. Rabbi Hecht served as a Chaplain of the 106th Air Rescue Wing of the New York Air National Guard, where he held the rank of Major.
Rabbi Hecht is very involved with the Union for Reform Judaism Northeast Camps (Eisner Camp in Great Barrington, MA and Crane Lake Camp in West Stockbridge, MA.) Rabbi Hecht has also appeared on television on Channel 21 and was a consultant and featured expert in the History Channel’s production, Bible Battles. He has taught courses on Jewish History, Literature, and Holocaust at major universities, including Hebrew Union College, The Jewish Theological Seminary, Hunter College, SUNY Stony Brook and Hofstra University.
Rabbi Debra Bennet
Rabbi Debra Bennet was born and raised in New Jersey. She graduated from Brandeis University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and Women’s Studies. She attended Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC) from which she received rabbinic ordination in May 2007. During her time at HUC, Rabbi Bennet served in a number of communities including: North Fork Reform Temple, Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple in New Brunswick, NJ, and Overlook Hospital in Summit, NJ. She was also the intern to the Associate Dean and on the committee of the HUC-JIR Soup Kitchen. HUC awarded her The Rabbi Herbert Hendel Memorial Prize (Awarded for General Excellence) and The Rhoda Malino Memorial Prize in Modern Hebrew Literature.
After ordination, Rabbi Bennet served as the Rabbi Educator at Temple Beth Torah. In addition to leading the religious school, shaping new curriculum and planning exciting learning opportunities, Rabbi Bennet worked to create a new, innovative high school program bringing together experiential and more formal opportunities for learning.
Rabbi Bennet also participated in the Second Cohort for the Leadership Institute for Jewish Educators. With educators from around the tri-state area, Rabbi Bennet delved into the study of educational principles, leadership development and pedagogic skills and created new programming for religious schools.
Cantor Bradley Hyman
Cantor Hyman came to Temple Chaverim in 2004, after previously serving a congregation in Glendale, CA. He is a graduate of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion’s School of Sacred Music. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Michigan State University. He has served as a Student Cantor in Mobile, AL, Charlottesville, VA, and New York City’s historic Central Synagogue. At Temple Chaverim, the Cantor is the keeper of our Jewish musical traditions. Cantor Hyman is also responsible for maintaining our very special Bar and Bat Mitzvah program, where our students are prepared to read and chant liturgy, Torah, and Haftarah portions. While not every student will begin their process with the cantor, he works personally with each and every student during the final 4-6 weeks of their preparation ensuring a strong relationship between the students and their Cantor.
Cantor Hyman is a product of the North American Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY) and has dedicated a large part of his cantorate to youth and youth work. The cantor has served as a song leader for three URJ summer camps, including the prestigious high school leadership academy, Kutz Camp in Warwick, NY. Currently, Cantor Hyman serves each summer as faculty at Crane Lake Camp in West Stockbridge, MA. Cantor Hyman is a recognized and published past board member of the American Conference of Cantors, is a member of the CCAR-ACC Joint Commission on Youth and has served as a frequent editor of music for Transcontinental Music, the publishing arm of the Reform Movement and the largest distributor of Jewish choral music in the world.