Debra was born in Philadelphia, PA. She was educated in the Philadelphia Public School System. She achieved her undergraduate degree in Accounting from Temple University with honors. At graduation she received the Emily Mulholland award for having achieved outstanding scholarship, while working her way through school.
She worked for the Internal Revenue Service where she was a member of the Instructor Corps that was responsible for both pre-employment and on-the-job training for both subordinates and Center Directors. She later worked as Field Manager of Administration and Support for General Electric's Government Education Division. As a result of her work, she was chosen as Manager of the Year.
When GE closed Debra's division, she achieved a PA Real Estate License, opened her own accounting firm, and proceeded to survive. Eventually she accepted the position of Director of Dailey Care, Inc., the non-profit organization founded by her Mother. Their first project was to build a state-of-the-art Day Care Center for underprivileged children in North-Central Philadelphia. She negotiated the building contract, supervised the construction and staffing, and personally oversaw the initial day-to-day operations.
Debra is the daughter of the late Rabbi Louise Elizabeth Dailey who was a brilliant teacher of Torah and the spiritual leader of Congregation Temple Beth'El in Philadelphia for 50 years. Debra worked closely with her mother during her lifetime, and assisted in many of her religious duties. She received her ordination after years of studies under her tutelage. She was an instructor for the Bethel Academy, director of the Bethel Mass choir, and President of the Rabbi's Aide Committee, to name just a few of her duties. She was responsible for arranging Youth seminars, to address issues teens encountered while upholding Jewish values in their non-Jewish environments. She was greatly respected throughout her community, and upon her mother's passing in 2001, she was chosen to carry on her work. She brings to the position almost 35 years of business expertise and professional management skills, coupled with undeniable dedication to the upbuilding of Congregation Temple Beth'El.
Debra is currently a member of Bechol Lashon, a Think Tank, sponsored by the Institute of Jewish & Community Research in San Francisco, dedicated to finding ways to create a culture of welcoming in the Jewish Community. She has been privileged to take classes at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Wyncote, PA and is the first African American to do so.
Debra is married to Earl Bowen, Jr. He is an Adjunct Professor in the African American Studies Department, and The School of Social Administration at Temple University. He also teaches in the School of Human Service Professions at Widener University. He is a certified Functional Family Therapist, and provides counseling for students at Lincoln University. They are the proud parents of a blended family that consists of four sons. They have seven grandchildren. They live quietly in the sprawling hills of Bucks County, PA.
Earl Bowen, Jr., (Buna ben Yosef), serves as associate rabbi receiving ordination April 25, 2011, corresponding to the Twenty-first of Abib, 5771. Prior to that he served as President of the Council of Elders. Currently serves as President of the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Credential Committee. His formal education entails a BA in Sociology from St. Paul’s College, MSW in Social Administration from Temple University, and PhD from the School of Human Service Professions at Widener University. Additionally, he serves as chief administrator and instructor at Beth’EL Hebrew Academy.
His professional career has involved teaching at the collegiate level. He has taught as an Adjunct professor in African American Studies at Temple University and in the Social Work Department at Widener University. He is currently Assistant Professor at Bryn Mawr College, in the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research. Prior to that, he worked as a Functional Family Therapist in the Psychiatry Department at Temple University and as head of clinical supervision in Functional Family Therapy at Family Service Association of Bucks County. His professional career extends over 30 years, also working as National Field Director for OIC of America and President of the Black United Fund of Pennsylvania. In 1998, he was elected to Council in Chalfont Borough in Chalfont, Pennsylvania.
He is married to Rabbi Debra A. Bowen and they are the proud parents of 4 sons and 8 grandchildren.
Congregation Temple Beth'El
Rabbi Earl Bowen, Jr.
Rabbi Debra A. Bowen