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Clergy & Staff

Rabbi Nadav Caine

Rabbi Caine, affectionately known as “Rav Nadav,” hails from Philadelphia originally. The son of Rabbi Ivan Caine, Rav Nadav took an academic path to the rabbinate. After undergraduate and graduate studies in religion and philosophy at Princeton (AB ’88) and Harvard (MTS ’93), he studied philosophical models of religious practice under the direction of Dr. Arnold Eisen at Stanford University for ten years while teaching widely in Jewish education in the San Francisco Bay Area. When Dr. Eisen left Stanford to serve the Jewish community directly as Chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary, Nadav followed suit. He left his dissertation writing and enrolled at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles where he was ordained as a Conservative rabbi. He served as the leader of Ner Tamid Synagogue in San Diego for eleven years before coming to Beth Israel in 2018.

Rav Nadav’s passion is teaching the interconnections among the mystical, historical, scientific, and psychological dimensions of Judaism, and particularly the ways of Jewish practice he calls “practical holiness.” He is also passionate about his wife Lynne, his two irresistible young daughters, and electric cars, poetry, music, and ice hockey –but the family more than the ice hockey, even if it doesn’t look that way during the playoffs. Email Rabbi Caine.

You can find some of Rabbi Caine’s teaching here.

Rabbi Robert Dobrusin, Rabbi Emeritus

Rabbi Robert Dobrusin served for 30 years as the Rabbi of Beth Israel Congregation. On his retirement in June, 2018, he was named Rabbi Emeritus.

 

Rabbi Dobrusin received his B.A. in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University and an M.A. and Rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. In 2010, he received an honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree from JTS. Named one of the 33 most inspiring rabbis in America by The Forward, he is an accomplished writer. Rabbi Dobrusin is the author of “The Long Way Around: Stories and Sermons from a Life’s Journey”, available on Amazon. You can read his sermons and writings on his webpage: robdobrusin.com and listen to his weekly podcast, Wrestling and Dreaming: Engaging Discussions on Judaism at wrestlinganddreaming.podbean.com or where you access podcasts.

 

Rabbi Dobrusin is an active supporter of many different Jewish organizations, a former co-chair for T’ruah: A Rabbinic Call For Human Rights, and a founding member of the Interfaith Round Table of Washtenaw County.

 

Born and raised in Boston, Rabbi Dobrusin is a passionate fan of the Boston Red Sox, loves to travel and to participate in his latest hobby: geocaching. Rabbi Dobrusin and his wife, Ellen, have two adult children, Avi and Mickie. They also have a very sweet mixed breed rescue dog named Sami and two quiet, gentle cats: Ozzie and Spot. Email Rabbi Dobrusin
 

Beth Jarvis, Director of Operations

Coming soon

Contact Beth at bjarvis@bethisrael-aa.org

Amanda Glucklich, Director of Engagement and Programs

Amanda is committed to creating warm and inviting spaces where all feel a sense of belonging. With a passion for the environment and sustainability, she is motivated to engage the community in both local action as well as education in greening initiatives through a Jewish lens. Working with the Rabbi Caine, Amanda uses a low-barrier approach to engagement and programming; there are a growing number of meaningful ways to engage with congregants outside synagogue walls. In her spare time you can find Amanda gardening, spending time with her cat Sage, exploring her new home of Ann Arbor and taking long walks around Matthaei Botanical Gardens. Contact Amanda at engage@bethisrael-aa.org.

Mira Sussman,  Director of Education

Mira Sussman, Director of Education, is a long-time member of Ann Arbor’s Jewish community. She believes whole-heartedly in the importance of building warm, joyful, well-informed, and inclusive Jewish communities. Mira grew up in Ann Arbor, attending Beth Israel Congregation and Hebrew Day School, as well as being involved in Jewish camping. Mira received her Bachelor’s degree in Jewish History from the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California and a Masters in Jewish Communal Service from Hebrew Union College, also in LA. She has worked in a variety of religious school environments, and upon returning to Ann Arbor worked at Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County for eight years in Employment and Refugee Resettlement Services. She is a founding member of Limmud Michigan and was co-chair of this annual day-long regional event of Jewish learning for the past two years. She and her husband Doron Yitzchaki moved back to Ann Arbor in 2005 after nine years in Los Angeles. They have three sons. Mira is dedicated to fostering positive and meaningful Jewish identities for young people. She probably knows the lyrics to the song you are trying to remember but is useless at sports trivia.

(734) 769-2041 or school@bethisrael-aa.org.

Michele Israel, Director of Finance

Coming soon

Contact Michele at misrael@bethisrael-aa.org

Sam Zielinski, Administrative Coordinator

Coming soon

Contact Sam at szielinski@bethisrael-aa.org

Rebecca Nieubuurt, Congregation Social Worker

Rebecca Nieubuurt earned her Master’s in Social Work from the Portland State University School of Social Work in Portland, Oregon. Degree fresh in hand she and her husband moved to Irkustk, Russia for one year where they studied Russian and Rebecca worked in children’s homes on a life enrichment program. From Russia she moved to NYC where she worked as the Holocaust Survivor Service Coordinator at the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, and then for Lifeforce in Later Years (LiLY), a friendly visiting program in the Upper West Side and Harlem. After 8 wonderful years in New York City she, along with her husband and three children, relocated to Ann Arbor in August 2019. Rebecca’s expertise lies in Holocaust services, aging in place, depression in older adults, and organizational and program development. Rebecca will draw on these skills and background to serve the local community as the Congregational Social Worker at Beth Israel Congregation. What is more, Rebecca aspires to go beyond professional service to her community, as she strives to become a contributing member herself as she and her family settle into Michigander life. Rebecca can be reached by email at rebeccan@bethisrael-aa.org or by phone at 734-854-2110.

Ron Sussman, Ritual Assistant

I cannot remember a time in my life when Judaism and teaching did not play a central role.  It is the foundation of my jobs, friendships, career and livelihood.

When my father passed away, I had recently celebrated my Bar Mitzvah, and was offered a job at Congregation B’nai Moshe (Oak Park) as Jr. Congregation leader, and later accepted the role of USY Advisor.  It’s wonderful to see some of my USY “kids” who have moved to Ann Arbor where we continue our friendships. In 1970 I became a social studies teacher for the Taylor Public School District and used my skills to bring a holistic education to my students, some of whom had never experienced life on ‘the other side of I-275’.  To the majority of my students, I was the first Jewish person they had ever met.

When I was 26, I became the Business Manager of Habonim Camp Tavor, and through my two tours as business manager (1974 - 80 & 1984 - 90) I brought all I had learned from my time as a tutor, leader and congregant to the camp. The first two of our three children were almost born at Tavor! I was awarded a Sabbatical in 1980 between my two terms as manager at Tavor, and my family and I spent a year in Israel living and working on Kibbutz Gesher Haziv. I continued to be involved with Habonim as Camp Committee Chair, and for 30+ years as an advisor to Ken Pardes, the local Ann Arbor chapter of Habonim-Dror. Upon returning to Taylor Public Schools after my year in Israel, I became the Spanish teacher. I enjoyed teaching, but missed Social Studies, but I found a way to mix current events, social action and Spanish.  Through Facebook I am able to keep in contact with many of my former students, including many who have become Spanish teachers.  I am honored they continue to pick up where I left off.

In 2007, after 37 years teaching high school I ‘retired’ and accepted a teaching position at the University of Michigan’s School of Education.  It was a rewarding experience mentoring future World Language teachers. Today I create glass, check out my blog and am still enjoying teaching ritual skills – to both young teenagers as well as adults. As Beth Israel’s Ritual Assistant for the past 26 years, I have helped more than 400 kids “feel comfortable on the Bimah”.

Contact Ron at ron@bethisrael-aa.org

Amanda Fisher, Kitchen Coordinator

Coming soon

Contact Amanda at afisher@bethisrael-aa.org

Mon, October 26 2020 8 Cheshvan 5781