July 13, 2019 •
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Clergy

David Z. Vaisberg

Rabbi

David Z. Vaisberg, M.A.R.E.,M.A.H.L., joined Temple B’nai Abraham as senior rabbi on July 1, 2019. Born in Montreal, Quebec, and raised in Mississauga, Ontario, Rabbi Vaisberg earned his Honours B.A. in Psychology from York University in 2006, while at the same time acting and doing construction work for Vanier College Productions and working as Cantorial Soloist and music teacher for Solel Congregation of Mississauga.

Rabbi Vaisberg was ordained from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion’s New York Campus in May 2012, where he was honored to be a Mandel Fellow and earned alongside his Masters in Hebrew Letters (MAHL) a Masters in Religious Education (MARE). During his tenure, Rabbi Vaisberg served at Temple Shaaray Tefila of NYC, Congregation Har Tikvah of Brampton Ontario, Congregation Beth Elohim in Brooklyn, B’nai Jeshurun of NYC, and Temple Israel of New Rochelle. As part of his education, Rabbi Vaisberg had several opportunities to travel the world— he led Seders during Passover in Ukraine, and he volunteered in a small village in Senegal while studying economic justice with other rabbinical students from all branches of Judaism. Before coming to TBA, he was the spiritual leader of Temple Emanu-El of Edison.

Rabbi Vaisberg’s academic interests include Jewish law and rituals, Jewish and Israeli culture and music, Midrash and story-telling, and Talmud. His written work includes the following:

Thank You My Teacher, Thank You My Friend: For Rabbi Lawrence A. Englander, a Festschrift of Insights and Writings (2014).

A Study of Sefer YeZirah and Its Commentators (2012).

Keep It Together, Keep It Real: A curriculum of Holistic Healthy Living for Teenage Jews (2010).

Faith Joy Dantowitz

Rabbi

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 and values her connection to the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. She is a member of the Women’s Rabbinic Network, CCAR and officer of its local rabbinic group. Passionate about social justice, she is on the board of Faith in New Jersey, and active with AJWS and NJ Together Against Gun Violence. She traveled to Guatemala with American Jewish World Service (AJWS) as a Global Justice Rabbinic Fellow and was a JOIN for Justice Rabbinic Fellow (2017-2019). Rabbi Dantowitz received her honorary Doctor of Divinity from HUC-JIR for 25 years in the rabbinate.

e-mail: fdantowitz@tbanj.org

Jessica F. Epstein

Cantor

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).

 

e-mail: jepstein@tbanj.org

Clifford M. Kulwin

Rabbi Emeritus

Clifford M. Kulwin, D.D., served as Temple B’nai Abraham’s Rabbi, from 1999 until retiring in June, 2019. He is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, French and Hebrew and served a congregation in Rio de Janeiro from 1983 to 1985. For 15 years he 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.

 

Lee Coopersmith

Cantor Emeritus

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.

e-mail: littletaz@optimum.net

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