About Us

Members of TBS at annual meeting 2020

Who We Are

Temple Beth Sholom is dedicated to being a vibrant, diverse, and inclusive center for Jewish life in Salem, Oregon, and its surrounding areas. Whether you are looking for religious, social or life-cycle events, TBS is here to meet your needs. Our membership is diverse in practice and varied in observance. Our congregation includes about 180 membership units (families, seniors, couples and singles) from all corners of the United States and around the globe, and from many different backgrounds.  As an affiliate of  Reconstructing Judaism, Temple Beth Sholom facilitates the search for meaning in Jewish heritage through the discovery and observance of Jewish values and practices within a contemporary setting.

Whether you are looking for a place to pray, learn, or come together socially, we hope that you will become part of our family.

We want to be YOUR Jewish home in Salem! 

For more information, please contact the temple office.


Our Staff

Rabbi Eli carrying Sephardic Torah

Eli Herb


Rabbi Eli (pronounced L.E.) is a graduate of Hebrew College in Boston and began his new life in Salem, Oregon as the full-time spiritual leader of TBS in July 2016. Born and raised in Carbondale, Colorado, he studied Music Composition at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design and Theological Studies at the University of Denver. In 2010, Eli received ordination as a Maggid, a Jewish Spiritual Storyteller and the following year began rabbinical school.

Amber Giddings

Amber Giddings

Operations Manager

Amber was hired as the TBS Office Manager in 2003 and was promoted to Operations Manager in 2018. She has five children that range from 8 into adulthood. In her small amount of free time, Amber enjoys cross-stitching, skating, camping, and geocaching with her kids and partner, Michael. They also run their company, Crunchy Mamas, making organic skin and body care products.
Amber says she enjoys working at TBS because it is a stress-free job that lets her “serve kind and caring people”.

Mara Cook and dog

Mara Cook

Youth Education Director

Mara grew up at Congregation Beth Israel in San Diego, where she developed a passion for Jewish learning.  This love led her to several years of experience teaching at Hebrew schools, directing youth education programs, and being a private writing, art, and music teacher.  She graduated from Willamette University in 2019 with a degree in Anthropology with a focus in creative spirituality.  During her college years, she found a second home at TBS.  She plans to attend Rabbinical school to deepen her spiritual path.  She enjoys painting and making devotional music with her partner Jeremiah and their dog Farrah in their little home in the woods of Eugene.

Board of Directors
President | Judah Kelber
Exec. Vice-President | Rebecca Kueny
Treasurer | Paula Markovitz
Secretary | Andrew Toney


Craig Cowan (Religious Practices)
Sarah Dessert (Library)
Carol Goldfarb
Karen Konick (Holiday Observance)
Jessica Rehfield
Marv Sweeney

Past President | Kirsten Parsons
Teen Representative | Jacob Howard

Reconstructioning Judaism affiliate logo

Reconstructing Judaism

TBS has been affiliated with the Jewish Reconstructionist Movement since the mid-90’s. The diverse nature of our membership required us to find a way to meet the needs of a group of people with wide-ranging levels of Jewish practice and observance. Reconstructing Judaism’s philosophy and approach to practical Judaism makes it possible for our members to practice and participate at their own comfort level. In 2012, our affiliation task force explored the options of affiliating with another movement or disaffiliating altogether. After researching all of the options, the task force determined that affiliation with Reconstructioning Judaism continues to be the right choice for our community.