September 16, 2019 •
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Clergy

TBA Clergy Team: Cantor Jessica F. Epstein, Rabbi David Z. Vaisberg & Rabbi Faith Joy Dantowitz

TBA Clergy Team: Cantor Jessica F. Epstein, Rabbi David Z. Vaisberg & Rabbi Faith Joy Dantowitz

photo by Jan Press PhotoMedia

David Z. Vaisberg

Senior Rabbi

David Z. Vaisberg, M.A.R.E.,M.A.H.L. joined Temple B’nai Abraham as senior rabbi on July 1, 2019. Prior to joining the Temple B’nai Abraham family, Rabbi Vaisberg served as spiritual leader of Temple Emanu-El in Edison, New Jersey. While there, he served as President of the Metuchen Edison Area Interfaith Clergy Association and the Rabbinical Association in the Heart of New Jersey and was deeply involved in local social justice work and collaborative education.

Born in Montreal, Quebec, and raised in Mississauga, Ontario, Rabbi Vaisberg earned his Honours B.A. in Psychology from York University in 2006, while acting and doing construction work for Vanier College Productions and working as Cantorial Soloist 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 a Mandel Fellow and a teaching and research assistant to Rabbi Dr. Eugene Borowitz.

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:
-“Israel: Projection, Potential, and Self-Actualization.” In Eds. Stanley Davids and Lawrence Englander’s Fragile Dialogue: New Voices of Liberal Zionism (2018).
-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).
-He writes for the URJ’s 10  Minutes of Torah and the Times of Israel Blog. His work can also be found at davidvaisberg.com.

Rabbi Vaisberg is an accomplished guitarist and singer, an enthusiastic cook, and a long-distance and obstacle course runner.

e-mail: dvaisberg@tbanj.org

photo by Samuel Dantowitz

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

photo by Samuel Dantowitz

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

photo by Jan Press PhotoMedia

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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