Cantor Angela Buchdahl

Angela Warnick Buchdahl was invested as a cantor in 1999 and also ordained as a rabbi in 2001 from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in New York where she was a Wexner Graduate fellow.  She earned a B.A. in Religious Studies from Yale University in 1994.  Born in Korea to a Jewish American father and a Korean Buddhist mother, Cantor Buchdahl is the first Asian American to be ordained as cantor or rabbi in North America.  Prior to her appointment as cantor at Central Synagogue, Cantor Buchdahl served as associate rabbi/cantor at Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, N.Y.

Cantor Buchdahl has been nationally recognized for her innovations in leading services and has served as faculty for the Wexner Heritage Foundation and for the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) Kallot programs. She has been actively involved in Just Congregations, the Reform Movement’s Congregation Based Community Organizing effort at Central and on a national level.  Cantor Buchdahl has been featured in articles in Reform Judaism, Shema Journal of Jewish Ideas, Newsweek’s 2012 list of “America’s 50 Most Influential Rabbis” and the PBS documentary 18 Voices Sing Kol Nidrei.  She serves on the Board of Auburn Theological Seminary and the Multiracial Jewish Network.

Cantor Buchdahl and her husband Jacob Buchdahl have three children.

Read more

Rabbi Eddie Bernstein

Rabbi Bernstein is thrilled to be a part of the Temple Torah family. He is excited about the opportunity  to serve Temple Torah and help guide it towards becoming a vibrant center of Jewish life in South Florida where people come for engaging services and programs and stay because the personal relationships.

Rabbi Bernstein was ordained in 1999 by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York City. He received bachelor degrees from Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary in

American History and Bible, respectively. Rabbi Bernstein has studied extensively in Israel, including at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Yeshivat HaMivtar in Efrat, and The Schechter Institute in Jerusalem.

Since his ordination, he has participated in several highly selective rabbinic fellowship programs. He is an alumnus of STAR PEER (Synagogues: Transformation and Renewal/Professional Education for Excellence in Rabbis), an executive leadership and management program for recently ordained Rabbis, funded by the Shusterman Foundation. He is also an alumnus of the Legacy Heritage Rabbinic Enrichment Initiative at the Jewish Theological Seminary. He currently is a Greenfaith fellow, North America’s only comprehensive education and training program for clergy and laity as religious-environmental leaders.

Rabbi Bernstein has been recognized nationally for his work advocating for the environment and social justice, and he serves on the Social Justice Commission of the International Rabbinical Assembly . He also writes a blog on Judaism and the environment for the Huffington Post, a renowned online news and opinion journal.

Rabbi Bernstein is passionate in his support for the State of Israel as well as his commitment to a strong and vibrant Conservative Judaism in America, Israel and around the world. In this context, he serves on the board of  MERCAZ USA , the Zionist arm of the Conservative Movement in America, and he has attended two World Zionist Congresses in Jerusalem.

Rabbi Bernstein has previously served for four years as Associate Rabbi of Beth El Synagogue Center in New Rochelle, N.Y. There, he directed the adult education program, which received the United Synagogue Solomon Schechter Gold Award for Excellence. This program included an annual family retreat weekend that Rabbi Bernstein created, monthly adult learning services and an intensive adult B’nai Mitzvah program.

More recently, Rabbi Bernstein served for eight years as Rabbi of Congregation Shaarey Tikvah in Beachwood, OH. There, he spearheaded the formation of the Young Adults Chavura, which launched a significant initiative, City Fresh East at Shaarey Tikvah, a community supported agriculture (CSA) program. This initiative, in conjunction with City Fresh, was created to provide a more just and sustainable food system in Northeast Ohio. Rabbi Bernstein also launched Synaplex™ as a way to enhance Shabbat services and programming and to reinforce in a contemporary context the synagogue’s three-fold purpose as a Beit

Tefillah(House of Worship), Beit Midrash (House of Study) and Beit Knesset (House of Gathering).

During his tenure in Ohio, Rabbi Bernstein served as President of the Greater Cleveland Board of Rabbis. He also served on Community Relations Council of the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland and on the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland.

Rabbi Bernstein has had a lifelong connection to Conservative Judaism. He grew up in a traditional Conservative household in the Hyde Park section of Chicago’s South Side, attending Congregation Rodfei Zedek each Shabbat. As a teenager, he was an active member at the local, regional and international levels of United Synagogue Youth (USY), serving as the organization’s International Executive Vice President in 1989.

Rabbi Bernstein enjoys watching baseball, swimming, biking and playing with model trains.  He especially enjoys spending time with his family. His wife, Ariella Reback, is an attorney and “slow food” entrepreneur. They have three young children — Samuel, Noam and Esther.

Read more

Rabbi Debra Hachen

Rabbi Debra Hachen joined Temple Beth-El in July of 2011 and is dedicating her first year here as a time to hear the stories of our members. She is excited to be living in an urban setting and to serve a growing congregation where differences are celebrated, history is honored, and new ideas are welcome. She brings her passion for story-telling, text study, social justice, and creating meaningful rituals and worship. A member of the Reform movement’s Commission on Membership and Outreach, Rabbi Hachen cares deeply about inviting in those on the edges of Judaism and especially welcoming the Jewish GLBTQ community, interfaith couples, those of all ethnic and racial backgrounds, and all looking to reconnect with or explore their Jewish roots.

Rabbi Hachen believes that God is present in the relationships we build with each other. “Holiness is all around us – and Judaism gives us the texts and rituals to activate the best that is in us so that we can be God’s partners for good.” Some of her social action concerns include domestic violence, economic justice, hunger, homelessness, and the environment.

Rabbi Hachen was ordained at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in 1980 and then served twenty-four years in Massachusetts where she was the founding rabbi of a Reform congregation that grew to 500 households. When her husband’s career brought them to this area, she served several years as rabbi at a Reform congregation in Bergen County before moving to Jersey City to join the Temple Beth-El family.

Rabbi Hachen is married to Peter Weinrobe who is a lifelong active Reform Jew. They have three grown children: Philip, Carrie and Melissa.

Read more at http://rebdeb.blogspot.com/

Read more

Cantor Jack Chomsky

Cantor Jack Chomsky has served at Congregation Tifereth Israel of Columbus, Ohio since 1982. He is a graduate of Brown University and the Cantors Institute of the Jewish Theological Seminary. A baritone, he is an accomplished song interpreter. He has been involved in every facet of Jewish music-making throughout the Columbus Jewish community and has helped plan and implement many community musical and cultural events. He is co-founder and director of KOLEINU, the Jewish Community Chorus of Columbus, and has been a leading activist in social justice and interfaith programs in central Ohio. He is a founding member of the organization We Believe Ohio, dedicated to strengthening the voice of religious communities to work for justice and the common good while maintaining appropriate separation between church and state. (See www.webelieveohio.org)

Cantor Chomsky served as Co-President of B.R.E.A.D. (Building Responsibility, Equality And Dignity), a local community action organization (from 2000 to 2002). He coordinates the Social Action programming of the Congregation. He has served on the Steering Committee of the Columbus Jewish Federation's Partnership 2000 Project with Kfar Saba, Israel, and led KOLEINU on a 2005 tour to Kfar Saba and Israel. He has led members of his congregation and cantors from across the country on trips to Israel, and led a tour to Jewish sites in Eastern Europe in 2005 (along with Rabbi Michael Ungar). He served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Jewish Family Services in Columbus, and is currently on the Board of the Columbus Jewish Historical Society.

Cantor Chomsky is President of the Cantors Assembly, the world’s largest association of professional hazzanim, and served as Editor of the Journal of Synagogue Music, the semi‑annual national publication of the Cantors Assembly, from 1988 until 1994. He also edited a 450-page Jubilee Journal celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Assembly. He was an early and active proponent of accepting women into the Cantors Assembly. (Women were accepted in the Cantors Assembly for the first time in 1990.) He has also been an organizing force in creating a Cantor-in-Residence Program at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin and other Ramah camps across the country.

Cantor Chomsky has become involved in the growing interest in Jewish spirituality. He is an alumnus of the Cantorial Program of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, lectured on Spirituality and the Cantorate at the 2006 Cantors Assembly Convention, which led to a series of programs he coordinated at the 2007 Convention. In Columbus, he has developed Service of the Spirit, a Carlebach-style Shabbat service that seeks to incorporate elments of meditation and yoga along with traditional Jewish prayer. Cantor Chomsky is author of “Pray and Mean It,” a popular (and growing) series of essays on daily prayer, administered to a listserv of over 300 subscribers. All writings to date can be found on the synagogue website www.tiferethisrael.org To subscribe, contact Cantor Chomsky at CantorJC@aol.com

In 2006, he developed PDF – Passionate Davening for Families – a service for families with young children, in conjunction with the Cantors Assembly and the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs – and in partnership with Shirly Benatar of Congregation Tifereth Israel. The PDF Program received a national award from Men’s Clubs and continues into the 2007-2008 year.

Cantor Chomsky served on the Music Advisory Panel of the Ohio Arts Council, has been active in the commissioning and premiering of several musical works, and has presented many concerts of Jewish music in Columbus, both as performer and producer. He has chaired two community‑wide concerts featuring the music of many religious traditions, including Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Baha'i and Moslem. The concerts featured choirs of over 150 singers.

He has also appeared often on the subject of Jewish music, Jewish religion and Israel on local radio and television, and has been featured numerous times as a columnist in the Columbus Dispatch.  Cantor Chomsky starred as Tevye in the sold-out run of Gallery Players’ Production of Fiddler on the Roof at the Columbus JCC in the spring of 2006.

He is married to Susan Gellman, a well-known Columbus attorney, nationally prominent in the area of First Amendment Law. Jack and Susan are the parents of 21-year-old Ben (a Brandeis senior) and 18-year-old Addie, who is actively involved in local and regional USY and teaches 3rd graders in the religious school at Tifereth Israel.

Read more

Rabbi Paul Cohen

Rabbi Paul F. Cohen, D.Min. is originally from Chicago. He became a Bar Mitzvah and was confirmed at Beth Emet in Evanston. Rabbi attended Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute Camp as a camper for many years, eventually serving as a counselor and Unit Head. He graduated with a bachelor's degree from Grinnell College where he studied biology and comparative religion. (For an article about Rabbi Cohen featured in the Spring, 2006 issue of Grinnell Magazine , click here.) Upon graduation, he moved to Minneapolis where he worked for two years in a short-term residential treatment program for delinquent adolescents.


Rabbi Cohen received his Masters of Arts and rabbinic ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio. While there, he served as the student rabbi for the United Hebrew Congregation in Ft. Smith, Arkansas and the auxiliary chaplain at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. Rabbi Cohen's rabbinical thesis was titled "Modes of Divine Communication: Some Aspects of the Rabbinic Views" which focused on some of the less conventional ways rabbis expect to send and receive communication vis a vis heaven. Rabbi Cohen was awarded a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Bangor Theological Seminary in May 2001. His dissertation is entitled "Digging Our Parent's Wells" and deals with congregational renewal.


While in Cincinnati, Rabbi Cohen met his wife, Cathy, and together they moved to Norfolk, Virginia where he served as the assistant and then associate rabbi of Ohef Sholom Temple. Active on many community boards of directors, Rabbi Cohen was the founding president of the South Hampton Roads Campaign for the Homeless. Immediately prior to serving Temple Jeremiah, Rabbi Paul Cohen was the spiritual leader of Congregation Bet Ha'am in South Portland, Maine and served on the boards of the Jewish Federation, Cedars Nursing Home, the Equity Institute and the Cancer Community Center. He was the president of the Greater Portland Interfaith Council, a founding member of the Religious Coalition Against Discrimination and the Maine Interfaith Coalition for Reproductive Choices and sat on its executive board. Politically and communally active, Rabbi Cohen has been asked on several occasions to offer testimony before state legislative committees.


Rabbi Cohen served as chair of the Rabbinic Advisory Committee of Olin-Sang Ruby Union Institute, sits on the board of the Chicago Association of Reform Rabbis and the Interfaith Housing Center of the North Shore, serves as Vice President of the Chicago Board of Rabbis and is a member of the Winnetka Interfaith Council, the North Shore Fellowship of Rabbis and the Ethics Committee of the North Shore Senior Center. He is a marathon runner, completed the 2001 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon and enjoys cycling with his four children.

Read more (14 comments)

Rabbi Steven Moskowitz

Rabbi Moskowitz began his tenure as JCB’s rabbi in the Fall of 1999. After his ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (the Reform movement’s seminary) in 1991, he served as the Assistant Director of the 92nd Street Y’s Bronfman Center for Jewish Life, where he directed the Center’s renowned outreach programs. Under his leadership the introduction to Judaism class, “Derekh Torah,” gained national recognition. In addition the Jewish children’s and family programs grew four fold, impacting hundreds of families on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

 His rabbinate is defined by teaching.  His sermons provide congregants with inspiration and intellectual challenge.  In fact some of his recent sermons were published in Hadassah magazine.  Much of his writing can be found on his blog: rabbimoskowitz.com.  He is actively involved in the bar/bat mitzvah training of the children, offers a regular Rabbi’s Class in the Hebrew School and teaches a multitude of adult education programs at the synagogue.  He also teaches and lectures in the community, offering courses on the Hebrew Bible and Jewish theology. He taught all four sections of the internationally acclaimed Florence Melton Adult Mini School and led the Shalom Hartman Institute’s Global Beit Midrash program.

He has taught at the annual Conference on Alternatives in Jewish Education (CAJE) and Limmud Conference in England.  He served as co-chair of CAJE 29 Shabbat and was actively involved in UJA Long Island’s Adult Education Initiative (J-Learn) and is a member of United Jewish Communities Rabbinic Cabinet.  In addition he is actively involved in national efforts to transform synagogue life, among them those organized by Synagogue Transformation and Renewal (STAR) and the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership (CLAL). 

Rabbi Moskowitz is deeply committed to Israel and travels there every summer to study at the Shalom Hartman Institute. He is one of only two rabbis on Long Island who participated in the Hartman Institute’s Rabbinic Leadership Initiative and last year was named a Rabbinic Fellow of the Institute.  Only 75 rabbis hold this distinction. 

Rabbi Steven Moskowitz is married to Rabbi Susie Moskowitz who is the Associate Rabbi of Temple Beth Torah in Dix Hills.  They are the parents of Shira, a sophomore at the University of Michigan and Ari, a high school senior.  Rabbi Steven Moskowitz’s brother Michael is also a rabbi who serves Temple Shir Shalom in the Detroit suburbs of Michigan.

Read more (39 comments)

Rabbi Judith Siegal

Rabbi Judith Lazarus Siegal, originally from New Orleans, was ordained from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York in May of 2006 with a Masters in Hebrew Literature. She has served as a rabbi at Temple Judea in Coral Gables, FL since her ordination.

Rabbi Siegal enjoys teaching students of all ages at Temple Judea, from preschoolers in our Margaux Early Childhood School and their families, to adult Torah study groups, new adult Hebrew students, and religious school students of various grade levels. Rabbi Siegal is involved in programming, creating and leading worship services, holiday celebrations and life cycle events throughout the synagogue community.

Rabbi Siegal currently serves on the Rabbinical Association of Greater Miami, on the board of the South Dade Federation, as a Board member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and she is the co-chair of the Miami Coalition of Christians and Jews Interfaith Clergy Dialogue. She is also currently a fellow for the Jewish Outreach Institute’s Big Tent Judaism Professional Affiliates.

Rabbi Siegal is married to Brian Siegal, who is the Director of the American Jewish Committee of Miami, and they have three children, Ben (8), Josh (6) and Ella (1).

Read more (7 comments)

Rabbi Shawn Zevit

RABBI SHAWN ISRAEL ZEVIT, (www.rabbizevit.com), serves in numerous venues as a spiritual leader and congregational, organizational and social justice consultant. He worked for the Jewish Reconstructionist Movement for fourteen years as Director of Congregational Service, Outreach and Tikkun Olam, consulting to and supporting dozens of congregations, organizations, social justice initiatives in the Jewish and larger world, including past JCPA-MAZON hunger and poverty programs. Rabbi Shawn is co-director of the award-winning Davennen Leader’s Training Institute (www.davvenenleadership,com) and is a spiritual director and trainer of Jewish clergy in spiritual direction for the ALEPH Hashpa'ah program, working at the nexus of spiritual formation, development and tikkun on a personal, interpersonal and communal level. He is also a recording and performing artist (http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ShawnZevit) and has been an organizer for over twenty years of Jewish men’s programming and retreats (www.isabellafreedman.org/jmr); and co-editor with Harry Brod of the just published Brother Keepers: New Perspectives in Jewish Masculinity (Men’s Studies Press, 2010,http://www.mensstudies.com), as well as Offerings of the Heart: Money and Values in Faith Community (Alban, 2005) and numerous publications in the larger Jewish world. He is currently also the visiting Rabbi of T'Chiyah Congregation in Detroit, MI and is one the Kol Halev core team for community organizing in Cleveland as part of Greater Cleveland Congregations.

Read more (1 comment)

Rabbi Leonard Gordon

Rabbi Leonard Gordon came to Congregation Mishkan Tefila in 2010 after 16 years as rabbi at the Germantown Jewish Centre in Philadelphia, where he is rabbi emeritus. He is an experienced teacher and community builder who has held academic positions in Religious Studies and Humanities at Kenyon College and the Ohio State University. He has also taught rabbinical students at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, the Jewish Theological Seminary, the Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem, and at Hebrew College.


Rabbi Gordon completed twelve years of service on the committee that produced the new Conservative movement High Holiday Mahzor, Lev Shalem, that has been adopted at CMT.  He serves on the executive committee of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. He chairs the USCJ Kehillah Strengthening and Transformation Committee. He also represents the USCJ on the national board of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA). Previously, he co-chaired the USCJ Public Policy and Social Action Committee.


Rabbi Gordon graduated Columbia College in 1976, studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1985 and had Masters degrees in Religious Studies from Brown and Columbia Universities. His wife, Dr. Lori Lefkovitz, is the Ruderman Professor of Jewish Studies at Northeastern University. They have two daughters, Ronya, a museum educator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Samara, an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania

Read more

Rabbi Jay Kornsgold


Rabbi Kornsgold has been with Beth El Synagogue since 1994. He is young, dynamic and filled with boundless energy. His sermons consistently inspire and educate in a warm and welcoming manner.

Rabbi Kornsgold provides leadership consistent with the tenets of Conservative Judaism. He is a natural teacher, always willing to listen and share ideas. And he is highly regarded by our congregation for his caring and compassionate nature, whether it's the youngest or the oldest member of the synagogue.
It is special when an entire congregation can so readily communicate and feel such warmth with their rabbi, and we welcome you to visit us for a service so we can introduce him to you. He somehow manages to make every person in the congregation feel like a friend.

Rabbi Kornsgold's service to the Jewish and general community is extraordinary. In addition to serving as Beth El's Rabbi, Rabbi Kornsgold is the Chair of the Social Justice Commission of The Rabbinical Assembly and a member of the New Jersey State Cemetery Board. Rabbi Kornsgold is a past President of the New Jersey Region of The Rabbinical Assembly, served as Chair of the Resolutions Committee for five years and has been a member of numerous Rabbinical Assembly committees over the years.

Rabbi Kornsgold also serves as an active member of the Board of Directors of the National Rabbinic Cabinet of State of Israel Bonds, the Committee on Religious Ministries at the University Medical Center of Princeton, and the Board of Trustees of the Central Jersey Chapter of the American Jewish Committee.

Rabbi Kornsgold is the Immediate Past President of the Board of Rabbis of Princeton Mercer Bucks and a Past President of the Windsor-Hightstown Ministerium (which promotes inter-faith communication). He served for four years as the Spiritual Advisor of the Northern New Jersey Region of the Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs and was a member of the Board of Directors of Abrams Hebrew Academy, the Advisory Board of the Albert A. List College of Jewish Studies at The Jewish Theological Seminary of America and the Board of Directors of the Center for Jewish Life at Princeton University.

Rabbi Kornsgold was honored with the 2007 Rabbinic Achievement Award by the New Jersey Region of The United Synagogues of Conservative Judaism, and in 1997 was awarded the Rabbinic Achievement Award by the Council of Jewish Federations.

Rabbi Kornsgold received his Rabbinic Ordination, his Master of Arts and Bachelor's Degrees from The Jewish Theological Seminary of America. He also received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from Columbia University.
Prior to coming to Beth El, Rabbi Kornsgold served at Congregation Shaare Zedek in New York City, both as a student and later after he was ordained. During his Rabbinical studies, he also served as a hospital chaplain at New York Hospital - Cornell Medical Center. Before deciding to become a Rabbi, he also interned for the Mayor of Philadelphia.


Rabbi Kornsgold is married to Leslie Ann Kornsgold and they have three children: Noam Ezra, Yona Aryeh and Yaffa Sima as well as a dog, Aviva Austin . The rabbi was born and raised in Philadelphia.

Read more (1 comment)

Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz

For more than eighteen years, Debbie Wasserman Schultz has dedicated her public life to working on behalf of the people of South Florida. On January 4, 2005, she was sworn in as a member of the United States House of Representatives.

Rep. Wasserman Schultz represents Florida's 20th Congressional district, which encompasses parts of Florida as far north as Fort Lauderdale, and as far south as Miami Beach. Before joining the U.S. Congress, she was first a Representative and later a Senator in the Florida State Legislature.

The Congresswoman sits on the House Committee on the Budget, the primary responsibility of which is to draft the annual budget for the United States. The committee sets the aggregate levels of spending and revenue that is expected to occur in a given fiscal year.

Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz also serves as a member of the Democratic House Leadership. She serves as a Vice Chair of the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee where her primary responsibility is working to communicate Democratic priorities to Members of Congress and to the press. She also serves as a Chief Deputy Whip where she works to help advance legislation important to the Democratic caucus.

Read more

Representative Ted Deutch

Congressman Ted Deutch serves Florida's 19th district in the House of Representatives. His priorities in the 112th Congress include strengthening the health and financial security of America's retirees, creating economic opportunity for South Florida families, and advancing the security interests of the United States, Israel, and our international allies. Ted first won election to Congress in a special election held on April 13, 2010 and was then elected for a full term on November 4, 2010.

Ted has quickly established himself as an energetic advocate for the South Florida community. An Assistant Whip to Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, he was recently highlighted the Washington newspaper Roll Call as a young, rising voice in the House Democratic Caucus, and the Forward newspaper named him one of America's "Top 10 Jewish Politicians to Watch in 2010."

Despite his relatively short tenure in Congress, Ted has hit the ground running with several legislative initiatives. The New York Times recently highlighted the Preserving our Promise to Seniors Act, his legislation to improve retirement benefits for all Americans and protect Social Security, for its comprehensive approach to strengthening our nation's most successful domestic program. Ted's commitment to protecting the hard-earned benefits of America's retirees and ensuring seniors have access to quality Medicare benefits led him to join the House Democratic Seniors Task Force.

Read more (2 comments)

Representative Marcia Fudge

Representative Marcia L. Fudge is a committed public servant who brings a hard-working, problem-solving spirit to Congress and to the task of creating jobs, attacking predatory lending, and improving health care, small business, and education. These characteristics were honed while serving as Warrensville Heights’ first African American female Mayor.  As the city’s top executive, Representative Fudge led Warrensville Heights in building 200 new homes and shoring up a sagging retail base. Former Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell described Representative Fudge to The Plain Dealer as “absolutely the hardest worker you have ever seen.”

With appointments on House Committees and Caucus seats, Representative Fudge put her strong work ethic to practice. On the Agriculture Committee, she continues her commitment to ending childhood obesity in a generation, stamping out hunger and monitoring the safety of our food supply. The Science, Space and Technology Committee is an important seat for our area with its robust aerospace industry and the only STEM School in the state of Ohio.

Representative Fudge is past National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Professionally, she earned a Business Administration degree from Ohio State University and a law degree from Cleveland State University.   She served as the chief administrator for her beloved friend and then Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Stephanie Tubbs Jones.  When Tubbs Jones was elected to Congress, Representative Fudge became her first Chief of Staff.      

Read more

Representative Jackie Speier

Jackie Speier (pronounced SPEAR) has lived her entire life inside California’s scenic 12th Congressional District, which she has represented in Congress since April 2008. She previously served the residents of the San Francisco Peninsula on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors and in the California Assembly and Senate.

Jackie was the first California legislator to give birth while in office and, during her time in Sacramento, authored more than 300 bills that were signed into law by both Republican and Democratic governors. These included the nation’s strongest financial privacy law and measures that expanded women’s access to reproductive health services, ended gender-based pricing at retail establishments and safeguarded children from hazardous products. Her law to improve collection of delinquent child support has resulted in tens of billions of dollars being recovered for single parents since enactment. She also led high-profile investigations of fraudulent and wasteful government spending which saved taxpayers many more millions of dollars.

Jackie continues her focus on consumer and taxpayer issues in the House of Representatives. She is an outspoken critic of the earmark process, which allows politicians to direct funding toward favored projects, and was an early proponent of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, created to help level the playing field for American consumers and investors when dealing with banks and credit card companies.

Read more

Representative Donna Christensen

The Honorable Donna M. Christensen is serving her eighth term as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing the U.S. Virgin Islands. She is the first female physician in the history of the U.S. Congress, the first woman to represent an offshore Territory, and the first woman Delegate from the United States Virgin Islands. She serves as an Assistant Minority Whip in the Democratic Caucus.

In the 112th Congress, Delegate Christensen serves on the following House Committees, Subcommittees and Caucuses: She is a Member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and its Subcommittees on Oversight and Communications and Technology. Congresswoman Christensen was the first Delegate to Congress in history to serve on the exclusive Energy and Commerce Committee, which she first did in the 111th Congress.  The Energy and Commerce Committee covers a wide range of issues to include health, energy independence, climate change, telecommunications, broadband and commercial and consumer issues with oversight over many federal departments and agencies to include the departments of Energy, Health and Human Services, Commerce, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Trade Commission, the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Communications Commission.

Read more (1 comment)

Rabbi Sharon Brous

Rabbi Sharon Brous is the founding rabbi of IKAR. She has been noted several times among Newsweek’s leading rabbis and the Forward’s 50 most influential American Jews.  Brous is a panelist on Newsweek and The Washington Post’s “On Faith” and was a guest on Krista Tippet’s Speaking of Faith on NPR.  She serves on the faculty of Wexner and REBOOT and sits on the board of Rabbis for Human Rights.  She is on the rabbinic advisory board of American Jewish World Service, the regional council of Progressive Jewish Alliance, and she is a member of the Task Force to Advance Multireligious Collaboration on Global Poverty.  Brous was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2001 and received a Master’s Degree in Human Rights from Columbia University, where she also received her Bachelor’s Degree.  After ordination, she served as a Rabbinic Fellow at Congregation B'nai Jeshurun in NYC.  She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, David, and three children – Eva, Sami and Levi.

Read more

Representative Jim Moran

Congressman Jim Moran is currently serving his eleventh term as U.S. Representative from Virginia’s 8th District, comprised of the Cities of Alexandria and Falls Church, Arlington County, and portions of Fairfax County, including Lee District, Mason District, Providence District, Mt. Vernon District and Reston. 

A senior member of the Appropriations Committee, Congressman Moran serves as the Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on the Interior and Environment and also serves on the Defense and Military Construction Subcommittees.

Throughout his two decades of service in the House of Representatives, Congressman Moran has demonstrated vigorous leadership in support of regional transportation solutions, the environment, women's issues, technology, fair and open trade, and fiscal discipline. He is also well known for his efforts to protect federal employees and military retirees.

Congressman Moran has left his mark on the region by boosting investments in federal research and development, particularly in Northern Virginia’s defense and technology sector which generate high paying jobs. He has successfully advanced procurement reform at the Pentagon, helped authorize and fund replacement of the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge and played an instrumental role in resolving the 1991 real estate credit crunch.

Read more

Representative Keith Ellison

Keith Ellison has represented the Fifth Congressional District of Minnesota in the U.S. House of Representatives since taking office on January 4, 2007. The Fifth Congressional District is the most vibrant and ethnically diverse district in Minnesota with a rich history and traditions. The Fifth District includes the City of Minneapolis and the surrounding suburbs.

Keith's philosophy is one of "generosity and inclusiveness." His roots as a community activist and his message of inclusivity through democratic participation resonates throughout the Fifth District. His priorities in Congress are: promoting peace, prosperity for working families, environmental sustainability, and civil and human rights.

Keith is a member of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL). He previously served two terms representing Legislative District 58B in the Minnesota State House of Representatives, from 2003 to 2007.

Keith has authored legislation, now law, that protect consumers from the unfair lending practice known as "Universal Default" and gives protections to tenants facing eviction from homes they rent that are being foreclosed.

Keith was elected as co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus for the 112th Congress. Working together with other members of the Caucus, Keith helped shape historic Health Care Reform and Wall Street Reform, raise the federal minimum wage, start the process to end the War in Iraq, strengthen veterans’ benefits, combat hate crimes, and create guarantees of pay equality for women.

Read more

Representative Alcee Hastings

Alcee L. Hastings represents his native state of Florida by serving as Congressman for District 23, which includes parts of Broward, Palm Beach, Hendry, Martin, and St. Lucie Counties.  Congressman Hastings was first elected in 1992 and is currently serving his 10th term in the Congress.  Born in Altamonte Springs, he attended Florida’s public schools, and graduated from Fisk University in 1958.  He earned his law degree from Florida A&M University in Tallahassee.

Known to many as “Judge,” Alcee Hastings has distinguished himself as an attorney, civil rights activist, judge, and now Member of Congress.  Appointed by President Jimmy Carter in 1979, he became the first African-American Federal Judge in the State of Florida, and served in that position for 10 years.  Since his election to Congress as the first African-American from Florida since the post-Civil War period, Congressman Hastings has been an outspoken advocate for Floridians and our nation as a whole.  Throughout his lifetime, Congressman Hastings has championed the rights of minorities, women, the elderly, children, and immigrants.

Read more (1 comment)

Representative Joe Courtney

Congressman Joe Courtney was elected in 2006 to represent the Second Congressional District of Connecticut in the House of Representatives. He serves on the Armed Services and Agriculture Committees.

As a member of the Armed Services Committee, Congressman Courtney serves on the Seapower and Projection Forces and the Military Readiness Subcommittees. Along with Rep. Rob Wittman of Virginia, he co-chairs the bipartisan Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus. Courtney serves on two subcommittees of the House Agriculture Committee: the General Farm Commodities and Risk Management and the Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Subcommittees. Rep. Courtney is the first Connecticut Congressman to serve on the House Agriculture Committee since Henry Stevens served there in the 59th Congress more than 100 years ago.

Read more

Representative Jan Schakowsky

Jan Schakowsky has been a lifelong consumer advocate and a champion for, what she sees as, the disappearing middle class.  From her days as a young housewife who led the campaign to put expiration dates on food products to the 2008 passage of legislation she helped write  making children’s products and toys safe, Jan has worked to make life better for working and middle class Americans.

Jan was elected to represent Illinois’ 9th Congressional District in 1998, after serving for 8 years in the Illinois General Assembly.  She is in her 7th term, serving in the House Democratic leadership as a Chief Deputy Whip and as a member of the Steering and Policy Committee.  She is member of the Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence where she is Ranking Democrat on the Oversight Subcommittee.

For decades, Jan identified her top priority as winning affordable, quality health care for all Americans.  In 2009 and 2010, she played a leadership role in writing and passing the historic Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that finally established health care as a right and not a privilege in the United States.

Read more

Rabbi Ari Weiss

Rabbi Ari Weiss is the Director of Uri L’Tzedek.   A frequent scholar-in-residence, Rabbi Weiss has taught at foundations. synagogues, and on campuses nationwide.  Prior to Uri L’Tzedek, he was Co-Director of the Meorot University Fellowship at YCT Rabbinical School, served as the Rabbinic Fellow at the Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life at NYU, and taught as part of the Judaic Studies Faculty at the Heschel School.  In the summer of 2006, Rabbi Weiss was a JCUA Rabbinical Student Fellow and interned at We The People Media, a Chicago-based public housing advocacy group.  He has served as a Jewish educator for American Jewish World Service, Bnei Akiva, and the Lauder Foundation on missions to Nicaragua, Ghana, Israel, and Hungary.

Rabbi Weiss received his rabbinical ordination from YCT Rabbinical School in June 2007. He is completing a Master's degree in Jewish Philosophy at Yeshiva University where received his B.A. in philosophy and religion. He has studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion and Beit Morasha of Jerusalem. In April 2010, Rabbi Ari Weiss was selected as a Joshua Venture Group fellow, a prestigious honor bestowed upon Jewish leaders that show particular promise for social change and social entrepreneurship.

Read more (1 comment)

Nancy Kaufman

Nancy K. Kaufman

Nancy K. Kaufman is the chief executive officer of the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms.

Kaufman has had a distinguished career as a public servant, advocate, and non-profit leader. Prior to joining NCJW, Kaufman served as the executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Boston for twenty years, where she led the social justice, Israel advocacy, and governmental affairs agendas for Boston’s Jewish Federation and its agencies. She has also held a variety of positions related to health and human services delivery in state and local government and in the nonprofit sector, including being founding executive director of a community action agency and working for the Dukakis administration as deputy director of the Governor’s Office of Social Policy, assistant secretary of Health and Human Services, and deputy commissioner of the Welfare Department for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Read more

Rabbi Julie Schonfeld

Rabbi Julie Schonfeld is the Executive Vice President of the Rabbincal Assembly.  Having occupied the position of director of rabbinic development for the Rabbinical Assembly since 2001, Rabbi Schonfeld is a well-known, respected and much-beloved rabbi. Prior to becoming the executive vice president of the Rabbinical Assembly in July 2009, she oversaw the revision of the placement process for rabbis graduating from North American seminaries and worked on all aspects of their training and placement. She has advanced numerous landmark projects of the Conservative rabbinate, including a study of women rabbis that was released in 2004, and follow-up programs to further the career advancement of female clergy. She has worked on issues of clergy self-awareness and boundaries and launched multiple intervention programs for Jewish communities in crisis following clergy transition, conflict, misconduct and tragedy.

In October 2008 she was named as the RA’s liaison to the Hekhsher Tzedek ethical certification initiative, which has garnered world-wide media attention.

Read more (1 comment)

Rabbi Rick Jacobs

Rabbi Richard "Rick" Jacobs, poised to become the next president of the Union for Reform Judaism, has for 20 years been the dynamic, visionary spiritual leader at Westchester Reform Temple (WRT) in Scarsdale, New York.

During his time as senior rabbi of WRT, Rabbi Jacobs has left an indelible mark on the congregation by dramatically reshaping the communal worship and strengthening the community's commitment to making the congregation vibrant and inclusive. Through a partnership with the WRT leadership, he transformed the congregation into a community of lifelong learners as part of the first cohort of Experiment in Congregational Education. This program of the Rhea Hirsch School of Education at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion guides congregations to revitalization by bringing Jewish learning to every aspect of congregational life. Also, under his leadership, WRT recently completed a new "green" sanctuary, making it one of only a handful of Jewish houses of worship in the nation to carry this designation.

Rabbi Jacobs was ordained in 1982 by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in New York, where he was the recipient of numerous excellence awards. In 2007, he received his Doctorate of Divinity. Rabbi Jacobs is also a senior rabbinic fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem.

Read more

Jay Sanderson

Jay Sanderson is President of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.  He has been professionally active in the Jewish community for twenty-five years and offers a wealth of knowledge and experience in new and old media as well as evolving communications technologies.  Jay is recognized as one of America’s leading entrepreneurs and has 30 years of experience transforming non-profit organizations.

Formerly, Jay was the CEO and Executive Producer of Jewish Television Network (JTN). Sanderson created, produced and wrote over 700 hours of award-winning television programming.  Under his direction, JTN substantially increased its audience and expanded its distribution with programming seen in over 95 million households across the United States on Public Broadcasting stations and outside the U.S., in Canada, Israel, New Zealand, Hungary, China, and Japan.

Jay was the creator and Executive Producer of the PBS landmark series, The Jewish Americans,  and of the upcoming epic genocide documentary, Worse Than War. In 2007, he led JTN’s broadband Initiative, JewishTVNetwork.com, the only fully Jewish video website on the internet, attracting over 1.75 million unique visitors and hosting the largest Kol Nidre service ever.

Jay lives in Encino, California, and has been married for 27 years to Laura Lampert Sanderson. They have two children, Jonah and Isabelle.

Read more

Dr. Conrad Giles

Dr. Conrad Giles is the Chair of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs.  A member of JCPA’s board since 2006 and a past chair of the Israel Advocacy Committee, Dr. Giles became involved in JCPA in 2005 at the request of United Jewish Communities (UJC, now known as Jewish Federations of North America).  He was soon named chair of the Israel Advocacy Initiative and a member of JCPA’s Executive Committee, serving as JCPA Vice-Chair from 2005 to 2008.  Declaring JCPA to be “one of the true quality agencies in the Federation constellation,” Dr. Giles said “The combination of extraordinary professional leaders and the dedication of the lay leadership motivated me to increase my activity in JCPA.  My admiration for this organization makes it a joy to work with them.”

Born in New York City, Dr. Giles received both his undergraduate degree as well as his MD degree at the University of Michigan.  He became active in the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit in 1967.  Working through the ranks, Dr. Giles served as its president from 1986 to 1989.  Subsequently, he served as Chairman of Federation’s Executive Committee, president of the Michigan Jewish Conference, and as regional chairman and national vice chairman of UJA.  After holding various committee and officer posts, Dr. Giles was named president of the Council of Jewish Federations (CJF) in 1996.  Following the merger of the UJA and CJF, he was elected vice chairman of the Board of Trustees of the United Jewish Communities in 2000 and continues to serve on the board of the Jewish Federations of North America.

Read more (2 comments)

Rabbi Steve Gutow

Rabbi Steve Gutow is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the public policy and community relations coordinating agency of the American Jewish community. In this position, Gutow has mobilized the Jewish community and advocated that the government end the genocide in Darfur, reform immigration policy, support Israel, protect individual rights, maintain and enhance anti-poverty programs, and create a sustainable environment. Gutow has also worked diligently to foster a stronger bond among the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths. For his leadership, Gutow has been named among the 20 most influential American rabbis (Newsweek, 2009) and the 50 most influential American Jews (The Forward, 2007)

Under Gutows’s leadership, the JCPA has become a central agency in combating hunger in America. In 2008, he challenged Jewish and non-Jewish leaders to join him in a “food stamp challenge” – committing to eat only as much food in a week as could be purchased with $21, the average food stamp benefit. He has helped lead environmental campaigns including “A Light Unto the Nations,” which called on Jewish individuals and organizations to conserve energy. His commitment to building interfaith bridges has helped create important milestones such as a joint prayer that he issued with the leaders of the major Christian and Muslim umbrella bodies during the height of the Gaza War. Steve Gutow is, at heart, a community organizer – and has helped build grassroots coalitions literally across the nation – on a broad range of issues including hunger, interfaith relations, judicial independence, and the security of Israel.

Read more

Rabbi David Saperstein

Selected by Newsweek magazine in 2009 as the most influential rabbi in the country and described in a Washington Post profile as the "quintessential religious lobbyist on Capitol Hill," Rabbi David Saperstein represents the Reform Jewish Movement to Congress and the Administration as the Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC).

Under Rabbi Saperstein, writes J.J. Goldberg in his book Jewish Power, the Religious Action Center "has become one of the most powerful Jewish bodies in Washington, second only to AIPAC." In addition to its advocating on a broad range of social justice issues, the RAC provides extensive legislative and programmatic materials to synagogues nationwide and coordinates social action education programs that train nearly 3,000 Jewish adults, youth, rabbinic and lay leaders each year.

Read more

Representative Barbara Lee

Congresswoman Barbara Lee is a forceful and progressive voice in Congress, dedicated to social and economic justice, international peace, and civil and human rights.

First elected in 1998 to represent California’s 9th Congressional District, the Democratic lawmaker has established a reputation for principled and independent stands, unafraid to take on the tough issues and speak her mind for her constituents, for a more just America, and for a safer world. As a social worker by profession, being an advocate for people in dealing with the federal bureaucracy has been a priority.

She has aggressively represented the needs of the underserved and vulnerable people in her district and throughout the U.S., vigorously advocating for a wide range of social and economic concerns and bread and butter issues that affect their daily lives. She has earned a reputation as an effective legislator who works in a bipartisan manner to achieve results in congressional committees. In 2008, she authored a book about her life experiences.

Read more

Representative Tim Ryan

Tim Ryan is a relentless advocate for working families in Ohio's 17th District. He was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002 and was sworn in on January 7, 2003. Successfully reelected four times, he is currently serving in his fifth term.

Ryan currently serves as a member of the House Armed Services Committee with jurisdiction over national defense policy, ongoing military operations, the organization and reform of the Department of Defense, counter-drug programs, acquisition and industrial base policy, and technology transfer and export controls. He serves on the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities and the Subcommittee on Readiness. In addition to the numerous manufacturers in Ohio that supply products and equipment for national defense, the Committee oversees the operations of the Youngstown Warren Air Reserve Station, the 910th Airlift Wing, the former Ravenna Arsenal, and the Ohio National Guard's Camp Ravenna Joint Military Training Center.

Congressman Ryan also serves as a member House Budget Committee which through its annual budget resolution sets the aggregate levels of spending and revenue expected to occur in a given fiscal year. This Committee is in the center of the debate on reducing the national deficit and debt. Congressman Ryan maintains that reductions and sacrifices must be shared and the burden of debt reduction must not be directed to those least able to afford them. Furthermore, Ryan believes that Medicare must be protected to ensure adequate health care coverage for our senior citizens.

Read more

Ruth Messinger

Ruth W. Messinger is the president and executive director of American Jewish World Service (AJWS), an international development organization providing support to more than 200 grassroots social change projects in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. AJWS realizes this vision through strategic grant making and volunteer service in the developing world, and education and advocacy within the American Jewish community. Ms. Messinger is also a visiting professor at Hunter College, teaching urban policy and politics.

Prior to assuming her position at AJWS in 1998, Ms. Messinger was in public service in New York City for 20 years. She served 12 years in the New York City Council and eight years as Manhattan borough president. She was the first woman to secure the Democratic Party’s nomination for mayor in 1997. Known in New York City government as the “conscience of the Democratic Party,” Ms. Messinger is continuing her lifelong pursuit of social justice at AJWS, helping people around the world improve the quality of their lives and their communities.

Read more (1 comment)