A Conservative Congregation that is anything but...


Clergy | Administration | Board of Trustees


Clergy : Rabbi Wayne M. Franklin, Senior Rabbi


Rabbi Wayne Franklin, Senior Rabbi at Temple Emanu-El since 1981, is a 1965 graduate of Yeshiva University and was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 1970. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity by the Seminary in 1996.In addition to his pastoral duties, his leading services and his teaching all aspects of Judaism to people of all ages, he has served as chair of the Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of RI and has chaired the Rhode Island Interfaith Commemoration of the Holocaust for thirty years. He is a member of the Miriam Hospital's Ethics Committee and its Jewish Traditions Advisory Committee. He chairs the Mayor's Task Force Youth Engagement and has been a leader in various interfaith endeavors, including the Rabbis and Priests Dialogue and the Abrahamic Accord. He currently serves as the Secretary/Treasurer of the National Council of Synagogues, a multi-denominational Jewish group which engages in interfaith dialogue with the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and the National Council of Churches. He was the recipient of the Jewish Federation's Never Again Award in 2003, and is a recipient of the 2004 NCCJ Interfaith Leadership Award. To email Rabbi Franklin, Click Here


Clergy : Rabbi Elan Babchuck, Rabbi

Rabbi Babchuck

Upon earning his rabbinic ordination from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies and an MBA in Nonprofit Management from the American Jewish University, Rabbi Babchuck began his rabbinic career at Temple Emanu-El in July of 2012. While his earlier work experiences include owning a residential painting company and working at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, it wasn’t until his time in rabbinical school that he embarked upon his most exciting and powerful work endeavors.

While there, he worked as a Community Organizer for OneLA, Development Associate for the American Jewish University, and a Volunteer Chaplain at Tarzana Medical Center. He found the most fulfilling aspect of all of these positions was the opportunity to connect – on the deepest of levels – with others. He is grateful for the chance to do so on a regular basis with the warm, welcoming community of Temple Emanu-El. 

Each day, Rabbi Babchuck is blessed by the companionship of his wife, Lizzie Pollock. Both natives of Newton, Massachusetts, they first met at Newton South High School and eventually reconnected while working at the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston. Since then, they have enjoyed making homes in Brookline, Massachusetts, Los Angeles, California, and Jerusalem. Having recently settled down in their new home on the East Side of Providence, they share a collective love of reading, cooking, exploring, and raising their son, Micah.  To email Rabbi Babchuck, [email protected].


Clergy : Cantor Brian J. Mayer, Hazzan

Brian J. Mayer, cantor of Temple Emanu-El since 1989, reorganized the Temple Choir, founded the Choral Club, Kol Kesem Teen Choir, and the Junior Choir, helped foster the Kol Klezmer Band, and established a reputation for innovative, artistic, and participatory, congregant-based concerts. He conducted the adult choirs at the North American Jewish Choral Festival and Kol Kesem at the annual Hazamir Teen Choral Festival in New York's Lincoln Center. A recognized scholar of hazzanut (cantorial music), he taught for 14 years at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York as assistant professor of hazzanut and was featured in the nationally televised ABC-TV documentary "To God's Ear," which was nominated for an Emmy Award. A lecturer at synagogues and conferences throughout the United States, he holds a Doctor of Sacred Music degree from the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he was awarded the Seminary's Arthur Einstein Prize for composition. To email Cantor Mayer, [email protected].


Clergy : Alvan H. Kaunfer, Rabbi Emeritus


Rabbi Alvan H. Kaunfer is a Rabbi Emeritus at Temple Emanu-El, after serving the Temple and Jewish Community for 33 years. Rabbi Kaunfer continues his special interest in education by teaching a weekly Parashah class and continuing his research in midrash. In addition, Rabbi Kaunfer serves as an educational consultant to a number of schools, and he teaches courses in Jewish Education at the Davidson School of the Jewish Theological Seminary, and at Hebrew College in Boston . Rabbi Kaunfer was also the founding Director of the Alperin Schechter Day School in Providence . He is a graduate of Brandeis University , Teachers’ College of Columbia University, and he was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary, from which institution he also holds a Doctoral degree in Education. Rabbi Kaunfer He has published articles on education and on midrash in several professional journals and books.  Rabbi Kaunfer is married to Marcia Lapidus Kaunfer and he has two sons, Elie and Oren and two granddaughters.