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Rabbi Donald Rossoff

Rabbi RossoffRabbi Don Rossoff comes to Temple Beth Am after having served as Interim Rabbi for the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation in Evanston, Illinois. Prior to that, he was spiritual leader of Temple B’nai Or in Morristown, NJ, from 1990 – 2015, and was an Associate Rabbi at Temple Sholom, Chicago, from 1981-1990. Rabbi Rossoff served two non-consecutive terms as President of the Morris Area Interfaith Council, was Chair of the MetroWest Rabbinic Cabinet, was on the Board of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and chaired its Israel Committee, Resolutions Committee, and 2009 Israel Convention. He received the “Ohev Yisrael Award – Lover of Israel” by the national Association of Reform Zionists of America Rabbinic Counsel. He also served on the Jersey Battered Women’s Shelter Clergy Partnership Advisory Board and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Committee which awarded him for his dedication to the community.

 

Rabbi Rossoff was ordained from the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in 1981. He holds Masters Degrees in Hebrew Letters and Hebrew Education from HUC-JIR, a Bachelor of Arts from Northwestern University, and a Bachelor of Jewish Studies from Spertus College of Judaica. He received his certification as an Interim Rabbi from the national Interim Ministry Network and the CCAR and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from Capella University.

Rabbi Rossoff published a children’s book on spirituality, The Perfect Prayer, and contributed chapters to The Jew in the Modern World: A Documentary History edited by Paul Mendes-Flohr and Jehuda Reinharz, and Chosen Tales: Stories Told by Jewish Storytellers, edited by Peninnah Schram. His latest publications, an article entitled “Visions for a New/Old Reform Yizkor Service” and a poem, “What If…” appeared in the Journal of Reform Judaism and was adapted for use in Mishkan Hanefesh (CCAR). As a musician, he published Adonai Li, a musical setting of Psalm 118:6 (with Cantor Bruce Benson), and the lyrics for “You Can Change the World” (with Cantor Jeff Klepper). He has performed on flute with Debbie Friedman, Craig Taubman, and Mattan Klein, and performed and recorded with “Kol Sasson” and “Kol B’Seder.”

His wife, Francine Rossoff, RN, served on the Morris School District Board of Education and received a number of honors for her service to the community. They have four grown children, Marc, Jenna, Ilana and Nathaniel.

Says Rabbi Don, “I am so very honored to be serving as Interim Rabbi at Temple Beth Am for this coming year! I have found Beth Am to be a warm, welcoming, and engaged community with a great heritage of outstanding clergy and lay leadership.   I look forward to working with the Temple’s members and its dedicated staff as together we build for the exciting and inspiring future which surly lies ahead for this sacred community!”

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Rabbi Marcie Kamerow, Director of Education

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Rabbi Marcie Kamerow grew up in Florida with a love for warm weather and wearing sandals year round. She attended the University of Florida (GO GATORS), where she received her degree in Religion and Jewish Studies in 2007. During her time at UF she was an active member of Hillel as well as Alpha Phi Omega, a coed community service fraternity. Rabbi Kamerow also spent five summers working for Camp  JRF-The Reconstructionist Jewish Summer Camp.

Making her way up the east coast, she served at the Jewish Service Campus Corp Fellow at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Looking to expand her knowledge about Jewish text and Israel, she studied for two years at the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. Rabbi Kamerow moved to the Greater Boston area in 2010 to pursue her rabbinic studies. In 2012, she returned to Israel for her third year of rabbinical school where she studied at the Conservative Yeshiva and The Shalom Hartman Institute.

Rabbi Kamerow was ordained at the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College in 2015. She also received her Masters of Jewish Education at the Hebrew College Shoolman School of Jewish Education. During her time in rabbinical school, she served as the Rabbinic Intern for Prozdor and worked as an educator in local synagogues and summer programs.

As Director of Education, Rabbi Kamerow believes that the most important aspect of her job is working as team alongside parents and teachers in order to help students reach their full potential and create meaningful and life-long connections to the Jewish community. She regards students and families as not being consumers of Judaism, but rather co-creators.

 Dara Sage Rosenblatt, Cantorial Student

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grew up in Trumbull, Connecticut and is currently in her second year of Hebrew College’s Cantor-Educator program. Dara attended Muhlenberg College and graduated with a degree in Music, with a concentration in vocal performance, and English. In the past ten years she has been a cantorial soloist in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, Charleston, South Carolina, and Bridgeport, Connecticut. Dara also currently teaches at Temple Shalom in Newton and tutors B’nai Mitzvah students in the Boston area.

Prior to starting her graduate studies she worked for the Hillel at the College of Charleston in South Carolina engaging students in Jewish life on campus. During the summer months she traveled to Israel and studied at the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies in Jerusalem.

Dara’s Jewish journey is rooted in her love for Jewish music and the joy that it brings not just to her, but everyone around her. She is excited to bring music and her love for singing to the Temple Beth Am community.

 

 

Rabbi Emeritus Donald M. Splansky, D.D., PhD.

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Born and raised in Chicago, Rabbi Splansky did his undergraduate work at Columbia College in New York City and was ordained a rabbi at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion.

While serving at two different congregations in Cincinnati, he earned a Ph.D. in rabbinics there at the main campus of H.U.C.-J.I.R. Rather than serve in some academic position, however, he preferred the joy of working and learning with lay-people in the full variety of life-cycle events and congregational life.

Since his retirement from the active rabbinate, Rabbi Splansky has been teaching at St. Marks School in Southborough. As Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Beth Am, he is an active part of the life of community.  He also leads our Saturday morning minyan group twice a month, teaches in our Lifelong Learning program and teaches a class on Yom Kippur afternoon.

 

Cantor Emerita Jodi M. Schechtman, D.M.

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Cantor Jodi Schechtmen attended the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion School of Sacred Music and was invested in 1988. 

Prior to her recent departure to a congregation in Albany, NY, Cantor Schechtman served for 28 years at Temple Beth Am in Framingham, Massachusetts. She was named as the Spiritual Leader of the congregation in 2010 and led each service and assisted families with each life-cycle event..

As the first full-time ordained cantor of Temple Beth Am, she had the privilege of working on all aspects of temple life, including worship services, officiating at weddings, funerals, b’nai mitzvah ceremonies and baby namings, and visiting our congregants in the hospital.  She also conducted the Adult, High School and Junior Choirs, taught in the Hebrew School, the High School and the Lifelong Learning programs, and prepared all of the B’nai Mitzvah students for their special day.

Cantor Schechtman is the Cantor of Congregation Beth Emeth in Albany, NY, she serves as Director of Organizational Partnerships for the American Conference of Cantors and she is a member of the Board of the URJ.