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Our Rabbi

"My approach as a rabbi is tied to my vision of Judaism as a relational religion. Judaism is ever in conversation with itself, and we as Jews are encouraged to be in conversation with it, with one another, and, as an extension, with the larger community. I endeavor to understand Judaism through the lens of intellectual curiosity, and I encourage my congregants, young and older, to do the same. To that end, I recognize that every interaction is an opportunity to listen, teach, inspire, share, and grow connections as well as an opportunity to enhance the connection to Judaism, to the community, and to that which is sacred.

My work as Temple Beth Or's rabbi extends out from the congregation.  Like many of our members, I am actively engaged in the larger Montgomery community.  I have and continue to serve on community-based committees which address issues of civil rights, community safety, and ethical responses regarding the unhoused.  My interest in interfaith relations has led me to represent the Jewish community at city-wide events, to present Jewish faith and practice to the public, in churches and in mosques, as we as co-lead a trip to Israel with a local Episcopal minister.  

As a Jewish resident of Montgomery I have sought to understand, through reading and engagement, the history of Jews in the South, and their experience and response pre-Civil War to the present.  I have done so for my own edification, and so that I might address my community and the many Jewish visitors to Montgomery in an honest, sincere, and educated manner." 

Temple Beth Or welcomed Rabbi Scott Looper to Montgomery in July of 2018. Prior to moving to Montgomery, Rabbi Looper served for 20 years as Rabbi at Or Shalom in Vernon Hills, IL, and before that, as Associate Rabbi at Am Shalom in Glencoe, IL.

Highlights of his previous posts include engaging in creative congregational outreach programs, and the introduction of worship services that encouraged active communal participation, conversation, and engagement. He initiated or collaborated with others on a variety of projects, including a new “Caring Committee,” a community-wide Interfaith project to address hunger, varied cultural events, and congregational trips to Israel.

In his previous post, he also connected with the larger community in many ways, acting as an on-call chaplain for the Mundelein Police department, being a founding member of a grass-roots organization designed to identify and address the needs of the community, and also serving on a panel of religious and business leaders for the United Way of Lake County.

Sun, December 3 2023 20 Kislev 5784