Each of us sees the synagogue as something different. For me it may be a spiritual center while for you it provides a sense of kinship. To others it may be a reminder of their heritage or a haven from life’s tumult. We can see it as some or all of these things and the list is hardly complete.
Regardless, from ancient times it’s the place where, as individuals and a people, we come together with our past, our present and our future. When we unite as a congregation, a loving, extended family, we feel God’s touch upon us all the more closely; we find peace when there is strife, comfort when we are sad, delight in the warmth of a loving community, and determination to make the world the better place God knows we can.
Clifford M. Kulwin
Clifford M. Kulwin
Clifford M. Kulwin, D.D., Temple B’nai Abraham’s Rabbi since 1999—fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, French and Hebrew—served a congregation in Rio de Janeiro from 1983 to 1985 and for 15 years was associated with the World Union for Progressive Judaism. He has led numerous congregational trips to Israel and actively recruited young people for Israel summer and study programs. Raised in Illinois, Rabbi Kulwin graduated from Macalester College and was ordained by and received a Master’s degree from the Cincinnati campus of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. He was also a Doctoral Fellow in Jewish history at Columbia University.
Faith Joy Dantowitz
Faith Joy Dantowitz, D.D., joined Temple B’nai Abraham in 2010. She received her B.A.S from the University of Pennsylvania’s Moore School of Electrical Engineering and Applied Science. After ordination at HUC-JIR in 1993, she served as a rabbi at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in Short Hills and was the Regional Director of Admissions and Recruitment at HUC-JIR in NY. She spent nine summers on Faculty at URJ Camp Harlam in the Poconos. She is a member of the Women’s Rabbinic Network, CCAR and officer of its local rabbinic group. Rabbi Dantowitz values her connection to the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. Passionate about social justice, she is involved with AJWS, Faith in New Jersey and NJ Together Against Gun Violence. She was selected as an American Jewish World Service (AJWS) Global Justice Rabbinic Fellow (2014-2015) and traveled to Guatemala in 2015. She is currently a JOIN for Justice Rabbinic Fellow (2017-2019). She received her honorary Doctor of Divinity from HUC-JIR for 25 years in the rabbinate
Jessica F. Epstein
Jessica F. Epstein, Temple B’nai Abraham’s Cantor since 2004, graduated from the School of Sacred Music of the Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion (1998) after earning a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. A former officer and executive board member of the American Conference of Cantors, Cantor Epstein sings the music of Max Helfman on the Transcontinental Music CD, Kol Dodi: Jewish Wedding Music, and is featured on the CD, Shabbat Anthology, Volume II. Her insights into parasha Tzav were published in Living Torah: Selections from Seven Years of Torat Chayim (URJ Press).
Doctor of Ministry, a graduate of the School of Sacred Music of the Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, was invested as a Cantor in 1982. She received her Master of Sacred Theology and Pastoral Counseling Certificate from the New York Theological Seminary. In April 2010, she earned a Doctorate in Pastoral Ministry from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in a joint program with Post Graduate Center for Mental Health, New York City.