Rabbi S. Robert Morais

  • 8 Howden Ave, Ottawa ON Canada K2G 3H4 • 613-862-1968 • moraisr@usa.net

Robert Morais

Make me a Sanctuary – a sacred place, so that I may dwell amongst you.
(Shemot / Exodus 25:8)

In the midst of the wilderness of Sinai, God challenged us to create a Mikdash, which I understand as sacred time and experience – openings for us to become aware of God’s presence in our lives. That challenge is as relevant today as it was so many millennia ago.   Vision Statement.


Rabbi S. Robert Morais

Professional Experience
Ottawa, ON Canada
Senior Rabbi

Provide a full range of congregational rabbinic leadership.

  • Create new Shabbat worship models.
  • Train and mentor Shabbat and Holiday cantorial soloists in new liturgical music.
  • Design curriculum and teach adult and youth education classes.
  • Supervise and mentor education and youth program staff.
  • Create Tot-Shabbat program and Jewish music program for very young children and parents.
  • Guide the creation of a Temple Israel program oversight committee that facilitates speakers, concerts, arts programs and community celebrations.
  • Work with the Temple Israel Foundation leadership to help articulate fundraising vision and goals.
  • Led congregation in visioning process to develop new mission statement and begin to function as a mission driven organization.
  • Initiated the creation of the Ottawa Rabbinic Council.
  • Regular participation in communal Jewish and interfaith activities.
  • Serve on the board of Multifaith Housing Initiative to provide low cost rental housing.
  • Faculty at Camp George.
Temple Emanu-El
Rochester, NY
Interim Rabbi

Provide a full range of rabbinic and institutional leadership to guide the congregation through their rabbinic transition.

  • Created and implemented a reflective rabbinic transition process to establish short, medium and long term goals for the future of the synagogue.
  • Created new Torah study model
  • Developed a series of new programmatic opportunities for unengaged members.
  • Hired and trained cantorial soloist.
  • Active role in re-defining and creating new development/fundraising opportunities.
  • Provided guidance for the continued evolution of the religious/Hebrew school program.
Temple Beth Israel
Jackson, MI

Involved in all aspects of congregational life, including leading services, life cycle, counselling and community programs.

  • Provided institutional guidance by working with lay leaders to help set priorities for the congregation.
  • Partnered with lay leaders to achieve fundraising goals.
  • Created programs for families and children.
  • Participated in various synagogue events and interfaith programs.
Shalom Street Museum
West Bloomfield, MI

Director of Jewish children’s museum of Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit.

  • Developed and oversaw creation and installation of museum exhibits.
  • Led museum through a process of institutional re-imagination of its mission and vision.
  • Key member of the JCC department director’s team.
  • Worked closely with the executive director to create new vision for Jewish content throughout the agency.
  • Created and implemented Jewish educational programming for JCC pre-school and summer camps.
  • Responsible for raising funds by stewarding donors, writing grant proposals, conducting presentations and obtaining sponsorships.
  • Managed $200,000 budget.
  • Supervised maintenance and repair of the physical plant.
  • Hired and supervised staff and guided lay leadership.
Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit
Bloomfield Hills, M
Congregational School Initiative, Organizational Consultant

Facilitated process of institutional change for the education department of Temple Emanu-El in Oak Park, MI.

  • Guided the task force to develop new education mission and vision statements.
  • Advised committee on organizational development, structure and process.
  • Created presentations to engage the greater synagogue leadership in the change process.
Temple Israel
West Bloomfield, MI
Director of Education and Lifelong Learning

Responsible for education-related strategic and administrative activities

  • Provided institutional vision and direction for education programs, redesigned curriculum and professional development initiatives.
  • Supervised and mentored a staff of department heads and 120 teachers.
  • Officiated at life cycle events.
  • Provided pastoral care and counseling.
  • Led worship services for adults, families and children.
  • Delivered sermons and Divrei Torah at services, events and meetings.
  • Developed and taught classes for adults, families, teens and children.
  • Hired, trained and supervised administrators, teachers and support personnel.
  • Oversaw development of communication materials for all educational programs and events.
  • Counseled families, children, teens and adults.
  • Designed electronic registration/communication systems.

Served on various community committees, task forces and think tanks.

Hillel of Rochester Area Colleges
Rochester, NY
Executive Director

Spiritual and executive leader of six college campuses, including both private and public schools with a total Jewish population of over 2000 students.  Developed and provided campuses with religious and spiritual elements of Jewish life.

  • Oversaw an array of formal and experiential opportunities for Jewish events on campus.
  • Recruited, hired, trained and supervised professional and administrative support staff.
  • Created and implemented fundraising initiatives for $250,000 annual campaign.
  • Provided pastoral support and guidance to help meet the emotional needs of students and staff.
  • Developed, articulated and promoted a vision for Jewish life on Rochester area campuses.
  • Oversaw the fiscal operations of Hillel through budget planning and management processes.
  • Provided leadership in marketing, public relations and promotional activities.
  • Created programmatic quality control mechanisms, including program-based and annual evaluations.
Temple Beth Am
Henrietta, NY

Spiritual leader of 50-family congregation.  Led Shabbat services, life cycle events and adult education classes, and provided pastoral care.

Temple B’rith Kodesh
Rochester, NY
Associate Rabbi

Key member of clergy team for 1300-family congregation.  Led services, life cycle events and adult education classes, and provided pastoral care.

  • Established The Rochester Kollel (Center for Adult Jewish Learning) which offered classes, programs and events to the Rochester Jewish community.
  • Created and implemented a variety of age-appropriate youth programs, providing an opportunity for Jewish youth to develop and enhance their Jewish identity and knowledge.
  • Administered youth programming budget and supervised youth advisory staff.
  • Engaged young people in planning and leadership roles.
  • Created interfaith teen and social justice programs.
  • Trained lay leaders to lead services, deliver sermons, and read Torah and Haftarah.
  • Served as faculty member for local and regional youth group and camp programs.
  • Involved with all aspects of family and educational programming.
  • Implemented Synagogue 2000 program.
  • Served as Scholar in Residence for Hillel Day School.
Lecturer and Presenter
  • Guest lecturer at Jewish and non-Jewish institutions.
  • Presenter, North American Alliance for Jewish Youth Convention and URJ Regional Biennial.
  • Panel Member, Jewish Home of Rochester – end of life issues panel.
  • Presenter, Strong Hospital and Jewish Hospice Chaplaincy students.
Member Affiliations
  • Ottawa Rabbinic Council (inaugurated 2017)
  • Metro Detroit Board of Rabbis and (2006-2015)
  • Metro Detroit Board of Jewish Educators (2006-2011, chair 2010-2011)
  • National Association of Temple Educators (2006-present)
  • URJ Camp George Faculty and Steering Committee (1999-present)
  • Central Conference of American Rabbis (1997-present)
  • Rochester Board of Rabbis (1997-2007, president 2005-2007)
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI
Master of Education in Educational Psychology
  •  coursework (4.0 GPA)
Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
Cincinnati, OH
Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters, Rabbinic Ordination
  • Rabbinic Thesis: A Comparative Study of Responsa on the Jewish Wedding Ceremony
  • Referee: Dr. Mark Washofsky
York University
Toronto, Ontario
Bachelor of Arts in History, Honors Degree
  • Honors Thesis:  Nineteenth Century Jewish Toronto: A Quantitative Analysis
  • Referee: Rabbi Moshe Silberstein
York Finch General Hospital
Toronto, Ontario
Chaplaincy Internship
  • 200 hours of Clinical Pastoral Education
Continuing Education
University of Rochester
Rochester, NY
Professional Mentorship in Adolescent Psychology and Counseling

Dr. Stephen Munson, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics

Brandeis University: Institute for Informal Jewish Education
Waltham, MA
Leadership Seminar Inaugural Fellow
Personal Information

I was born in Toronto, and became a US citizen several years ago. My children – Sarah – 21, Noah – 19, Yael – 16 and Nathan -13 all live in the Metro Detroit area.

My hobbies include: classic cars, photography, graphic design, wood working and aquariums.

Available upon request