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Clergy & Staff

Rabbi Nadav Caine

Rabbi Caine hails from Philadelphia. 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 doctoral direction of Dr. Arnold Eisen at Stanford University for ten years while teaching widely in Jewish education in the San Francisco Bay Area. Committing his life to communities of Jewish practice, he left 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.  In his sermons, he focuses on applying Torah to the issues of our day. 

I love watching the smiles on people's faces when I serve them a home-roasted cappuccino while we debate an editorial from the morning paper and how it relates to the recent parashah.  Or watching a teenager read Torah during Yom Kippur followed by us chanting Avinu Malkeinu as the building sways and rocks.  Or when someone tells me the 16h century Kabbalistic teaching I just quoted at Friday Night Services is saying the same thing they've always felt to be true about the universe.  Above everything, my favorite part of being a rabbi is the one-on-one interactions.  "The world is made of stories, not of atoms," wrote the poet Muriel Rukeyser, and when we listen deeply -- Shema -- to each other's stories, we hear God's voice."  - Rav Nadav

Email Rabbi Caine.

Rabbi Caine's podcast Judaism for the Thinking Person  is available by asking Alexa, Google, Apple, Spotify, Amazon, or by clicking 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

Heather Gale, Director of Youth Education

I am thrilled to join the Beth Israel Congregation team! I am originally from Metro Detroit, and am excited to be back in my home state after spending the past 10 years living in Washington, DC. I have maintained my passion for Jewish Education by working part time at a Secular Humanistic congregation in DC. For the past four years I had the pleasure of being the Director of Education there, and I’m so excited to be back in the Conservative movement where I grew up. I attended Adat Shalom synagogue in Farmington Hills from preschool through 12th grade, and have so many positive memories. I can’t wait to help create those memories for our families here at Beth Israel.

I am an alumna of Tamarack, and spent a summer working at Capital Camps just outside of DC. I have also spent the past 4 years attending the NewCAJE conference for Jewish educators where I completed a fellowship and now help lead that program. During college I spent a semester abroad in Tel Aviv studying Middle Eastern politics and Hebrew. In my spare time I enjoy traveling the world, eating delicious food, and walking my senior rescue dog Chuki. I am looking forward to meeting everyone very soon! Contact Heather at hgale@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.

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

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

Thu, September 16 2021 10 Tishrei 5782