Growing up I was taught to see a sunset as a miracle, kindness as a Jewish value, and the synagogue community as a giant family. As a rabbi, these lessons about finding holiness in our world, putting our Jewish values to use everyday, and building and sustaining a warm and welcoming congregation remain my guide.
---Rabbi Joel Fleekop
Rabbi Joel Fleekop became rabbi of Temple Beth El in July of 2012. He is excited to serve such a close knit and welcoming community, one with a rich history and bright future.
Prior to coming to Temple Beth El, Rabbi Fleekop served as Assistant and Associate Rabbi at Congregation Shir Hadash in Los Gatos, CA. Additionally he served as Rabbinic Intern at Congregation Kol Ami in West Hollywood, CA and Student Rabbi at Congregation Bnai Israel in Butte, MT.
Born in Philadelphia, PA, Rabbi Fleekop grew up in Reno and Las Vegas, NV. He attended Brandeis University graduating Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa with High Honors in Near Eastern Judaic Studies. He earned his MA in Hebrew Letters and rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, attending the Jerusalem and Los Angeles campuses.
Rabbi Fleekop has a passion for social justice and views community involvement as an important part of his rabbinate. He currently serves on the Council on Aging for West Florida Board of Trustees and the Pensacola Jewish Federation Board of Directors. He is a member of the Pensacola Area Ministerial Association and Pensacola Young Professionals. Previous community involvement includes serving on the boards of the Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Silicon Valley. He also co-chaired the People Improving Community Through Organizing (PICO) National Clergy Conference.
In 2013 the Pensacola Independent News named Rabbi Fleekop as one of the community’s Rising Young Stars.
Rabbi Fleekop lives in Gulf Breeze with his wife Andrea and their two daughters, Yael and Maya. He enjoys spending time at the beach with his family and playing golf with friends. A huge sports fan, the rabbi’s study is always open to those seeking to discuss college football.