Rabbi Mark Cooper, a native of Los Angeles, graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles and was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1985. Following ordination he became the Associate Rabbi of Temple Israel of Natick, Massachusetts, where the senior rabbi was Harold Kushner. Reflecting on his experience in Massachusetts, Rabbi Cooper says “My years in Natick were very impactful on my rabbinate as I had a wonderful opportunity to learn from one of the truly great rabbis of our generation.” After living in Natick for six years, Rabbi Cooper and his family moved to New Jersey, where he became the rabbi of Temple Beth Ahm.
In 1998, Rabbi Cooper came to South Orange to assume the pulpit of Oheb Shalom Congregation, where he has focused his energy and attention on Jewish education and creating programs that help people of all ages and families to feel connected to the rhythm and beauty of Jewish life. When asked about his vision for the congregation, Rabbi Cooper says: “I want Oheb Shalom to be a place where every member feels drawn into our congregational family, a place where each person is challenged and inspired to move forward on their Jewish journey, motivated not by guilt or routine but by an active, vibrant passion to learn and to do more as a Jew. Our synagogue should be the catalyst in the search for meaning and relevance in Jewish life, tantalizing each member to grow Jewishly.”
Rabbi Cooper is active as a mohel in New Jersey and New York. He is married to Amy Skopp Cooper and is the proud father of five sons.