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.
Congregation Temple Beth'El
Rabbi Debra A. Bowen
Rabbi Earl Bowen, Jr.
Earl Bowen Jr. received his Ph.D. in the School of Human Service Professions from Widener University and MSW from the School of Social Administration at Temple University. He currently works as a Behavioral Therapist in the Office of Student Affairs at Lincoln University and previously as Lecturer at Bryn Mawr College in the Graduate School of Social Work & Social Research. In 2018 he worked at Gratz College as Instructor of the course, Historical Origins and Developmental Patterns of African American Jewry, In January 2016, he was appointed as an Affiliate Professor at the University of Haifa. Dr. Bowen’s research background focus addresses the psychosocial implications of prostate cancer among African American men.
In January 2015, his work on prostate cancer survivorship among this population was published in The Journal of Research and Development and subsequently in the International Journal of Neurorehabilitation. He is a former member of the University of Pennsylvania’s Prostate Cancer Academy, and current member of the African Caribbean Cancer Consortium’s prostate cancer initiative in Philadelphia. He served as a member of the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Prostate Cancer Coalition from 2014-2018. From 2015 -2018 was a program consultant in a Philadelphia neighborhood based intervention project to reduce prostate cancer disparities in collaboration with Thomas Jefferson’s Medical Oncology Division. His research findings on community-based approaches that address prostate cancer health disparities, health care access, and the influence of culture on health behaviors have been presented at the 2018 Science of Global Prostate Cancer Disparities in Black Men Conference at the University of Llorin in Llorin, Nigeria and the National Association of Social Work Oncologists annual meeting in San Diego, California.
He is actively involved in programmatic activities sponsored by the Philadelphia branch of the American Jewish Committee and literary contributor to Scholars for Peace in the Middle East. Based on the recommendation of the Credentialing Committee Dr. Bowen received ordination as an Associate Rabbi at Congregation Temple Beth El on April 25, 2011, corresponding to the Twenty-first of Abib, 5771. He is co-founder of the Israelite Men’s Association and serves as president of Congregation Temple Beth EL’s the board of directors. Dr. Bowen is married to Rabbi Debra Bowen. They are the proud parents of 5 sons and 10 grandchildren.