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Rabbi Nadav Caine

Originally from Philadelphia, "Rav Nadav" took an academic path to the rabbinate. He studied religion and philosophy at Princeton (AB ’88), Harvard (MTS ’93), and Stanford (ten years of doctoral work) universities while teaching widely in Jewish education, eventually enrolling 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 Caine is on the Rabbinic committees of Hazon and of Dror Israel.

Some of Rabbi Caine's High Holiday Sermons


Streaming Minyan: Taboo, or Adding Windows of Inclusion to the House of Israel?



Reversing the Curses Against Israel with History not more Scapegoating


Sermon: Our Relationship with God through Our Inner Voice


Your Only Freedom is in Service


Those in Addiction Recovery are our Teachers

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: and listen to his weekly podcast, Wrestling and Dreaming: Engaging Discussions on Judaism at 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. Email Rabbi Dobrusin

Dr. Gerald L. (Jerry) Sorokin, Executive Director

Jerry Sorokin is excited to be back in Ann Arbor, where he attended graduate school. Trained as a political scientist, Jerry has spent over twenty years working as an executive director in the Jewish community, first with Hillel at the University of Iowa and then at the community day school in his hometown of Edmonton, Alberta. He loves everything about synagogue life: participating in services, teaching bar and bat mitzvah lessons, meeting and reconnecting with members of all ages and backgrounds. Please reach out to him with questions and suggestions about the congregation.

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Beth Jarvis, Director of Operations

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Barbara McAnelly, Director of Engagement and Programming

Barbara McAnelly originally comes from Texas, where she was an active member of Congregation Or Ami in Houston. Before joining Beth Israel, Barbara worked in education, teaching high school Literature and Special Education for the past 5 years in Texas, Ohio, and California. Barbara has worked in PR and engagement as well, and she has a passion for supporting connections within the Jewish community. In her free time, she can usually be found chasing after her son, “Beemo” (Wilson), listening to all kinds of music way too loud, cooking, and baking. Barbara holds a B.A. in Literature and Literary Criticism from University of St. Thomas.

Contact Barb at

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 5 years attending the NewCAJE conference for Jewish educators where I completed a fellowship and am now a board member. 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 fostering rescue dogs. I am looking forward to meeting everyone very soon! 

Contact Heather at

Meg Bernstein, Ritual Assistant

I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA where I attended religious school at Tree of Life Congregation and was an active member of the youth choir. After becoming a bat mitzvah, I enrolled in the School of Advanced Jewish Studies, a continuing education program for middle- and high school- aged teens. My overall Jewish journey has been quite an adventure.
I studied Creative Writing at Clarion University of Pennsylvania, and I am currently a student pursuing a B.A. in Religious Studies at Eastern Michigan University. I plan to continue my education with rabbinic school in the future.
For ten years I worked for Trader Joe’s, everyone’s favorite grocery store-- including five years as the wine buyer in the Ann Arbor store-- where I also taught wine education classes. If you want a wine recommendation, I’m your girl! Before Trader Joe’s, I worked in a variety of industries including yoga, childcare, and education. 
I have been married to my husband Tim for nine years. We are child-free, but we have three exceptionally friendly black cats and a lot of books. I enjoy horror films, fantasy novels, and learning about the more mystical, magical aspect of Jewish culture. I love reading poetry, collecting tropical plants, and hiking in the snow. I hope to share with you my passion for spiritual writing, creative and inspirational programs, and the one-on-one encounters of friendship and community. 

Contact Meg at

Mary Lyttle, Bookkeper

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Sam Zielinski, Administrative Coordinator

Amanda Fisher, Kitchen Coordinator

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Sat, June 3 2023 14 Sivan 5783