Name(s) in English and in Hebrew (phonetic).
Rachel Fauber, she/her (Raḥel Fayga)
Martin Joseph “Joe” Brophy III, he/him (Yosef)
Leora Mae Brophy, she/her until informed otherwise - Leora Mae

Where were you born and which places have you lived in?
Rachel: Born in Silver Spring, Maryland. I have lived in Maryland, Washington, DC, Jerusalem and now Pittsburgh. We have been here since August 2022.
Joe: Born in Illinois, brought up in Oregon, college in Ohio and Germany, lived in Washington, DC and Israel post-college.
Leora: Born in Jerusalem, moved to Pittsburgh at 8 months old.

How long have you been members of Congregation Beth Shalom?
We actually joined Beth Shalom and enrolled Leora in the ELC [Early Learning Center] while we were still in Israel. And we started joining in-person when we moved to Squirrel Hill in August of 2022. We are newbies!

If you could be a fly on the wall in Jewish history, where would you want to land and why?
Joe: As a teacher of Jewish History, this is an exceptionally hard question to answer. So here’s three: in Kaifeng, before the great flood of 1642; in Rabbi Akiva’s Beit Midrash sometime in the early second century; and (a tie) learning with Moses Mendelssohn in the 18th century or Rabbi Zacharias Frankel in the 19th.
Rachel: I would like to travel back in time to become a student of the Maharal of Prague and learn how to fashion a Golem out of clay.

When do you feel the most Jewish? And why?
Rachel: I feel most joyful and Jewish when singing zemirot [songs praising G-d and Shabbat] with friends around a Shabbas table.
Joe: I feel most Jewish on Shabbat mornings, when the Torah is removed from the ark, and the Shaliach Tzibbur calls out Shema Yisrael. The communal repetition of that line gets me every time. Sometimes I just listen to those around me, feeling their voices and prayers swell up with mine in an incomparable harmony.

What’s something that you feel passionate about? A hobby, a belief, your work, family, etc.
Joe: Outside of my work in Jewish Education, I’m very passionate about biking and bike infrastructure. I helped organize massive social bike rides in DC for many years, and then in Jerusalem for a few years after that. I haven’t yet gotten into the Pittsburgh bike scene, but I hope to soon!
Rachel: I love my job. I spent many many years working to build a career that is aligned with the contributions I want to make in the world. I work on narratives and social impact storytelling at Ashoka, the largest global network of social entrepreneurs. I am so lucky I have been able to travel the world and meet hundreds of these innovators over the years.

For Leora: What’s your favorite thing is about being Jewish?
Leora’s probably too little to fully understand the question, but we can tell you her favorite things. She loves seeing her friends — especially Ira [Frank] — at shul each week. She loves the Torah and plays “open ark” with our curtains at home. She loves the songs she learns from Rabbi Adelson at the ELC’s Shabbat each week. And she really really loves grape juice.