Ruth Weiss Bergman has been teaching in the Detroit Jewish community for 22 years. She taught for the Midrasha College of Jewish Studies, Hillel Day School, Frankel Jewish Academy, Global Day of Jewish Learning and Women’s Day of Learning. Ms. Bergman is currently an instructor for Melton, Melton Scholars Curriculum and FedEd classes.
Rabbi Michael Cohen is the Rabbi of Young Israel of Oak Park. He comes from a diverse background; born in England to parents who came from the Iraqi Community in India, he studied in Carmel College the first Jewish Boarding School of its kind in England, and in the Yeshivot of D’var Yerushalayim, Gateshead and The Mir in Jerusalem. Rabbi Cohen is a student of some of the foremost teachers of Mussar including the authors of many modern day classics. He was the Rabbi of the Sephardi Community of Greater Detroit from 2002-2007.
Bosmat Dovas is a native of Israel and has been teaching Hebrew in the Detroit Jewish Community for the past 20 years. She has been a Hebrew instructor at the Frankel Academy for the past 7 years and prior to that she was the Director of Education at Congregation Beth Shalom in Oak Park. She has taught Hebrew immersion classes and Jewish studies at local Hebrew schools and has presented to both students and teachers.
Rabbi Michele Faudem was ordained by The Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 1995. She also earned her M.A. in Education from The Jewish Theological Seminary of America. She was the Coordinator of Adult Jewish Education at the Houston JCC and the Houston Melton Director. Rabbi Faudem currently teaches Melton and FedEd classes, and is the Rabbi/Educator for Hillel of Metropolitan Detroit.
Rabbi Dr. Eliezer Finkelman holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from City University of New York, and Rabbinical Ordination from Yeshiva University. He served as Rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel in Berkeley, CA and as Hillel Director at Wayne State University. He teaches Literature at Lawrence Technological University, and serves as Co-Rabbi of Congregation Or Chadash in Oak Park. His stories often appear in the Jewish News.
Rabbi Rod Glogower is the rabbinic resource person on staff of the B’nai Brith Hillel Foundation at the University of Michigan and an adjunct professor at the University of Michigan Law School. He received his rabbinic ordination with distinction from Midrasha Seminary of Machon Harry Fischel in Jerusalem.
Jill Gutmann has a wide array of experiences in Jewish ethics, Jewish culinary history and preparation, halakha, medical ethics, and public health. She holds an AB from Smith College; Fulbright Grantee to South Korea; a Masters of Public Health from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine; and a Masters of Arts in Jewish law and ethics from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. Her scholarly work has focused on a Jewish prospective on wrongful birth law suits and issues with lactation policy in the United States. She has served on hospital ethics boards and worked as an ethicist for the CDC and the Israeli Ministry of Health. She served on faculty at the Florence Melton School in Auckland, New Zealand.
Saul Hankin, a native of Ann Arbor, learned Yiddish at the University of Michigan, where he majored in history and Judaic studies. After graduating from Michigan in 2013, he worked for a year as a fellow at the Yiddish Book Center. Mr. Hankin then pursued an MA in Jewish studies at Columbia University, focusing on Yiddish and graduating in May 2016. He also studied Yiddish in the advanced class of the 2015 summer program at Tel Aviv University. This fall, Saul is returning to the University of Michigan to begin work on an MS in the School of Information.
Rabbi Marla Hornsten is a Rabbi at Temple Israel in West Bloomfield. She holds a B.A. in European Studies from Scripps College, a M.A. in Modern European History from the Claremont Graduate School; and a M.A. in Hebrew Letters and Rabbinic Ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Rabbi Hornsten studies both rabbinic and modern midrash, and is particularly interested in women in text and women’s issues in Judaism.
Rabbi Joseph Klein was Senior Rabbi of Temple Emanu-El of Oak Park for 16 years before becoming Rabbi Emeritus in 2013. He holds a Master of Hebrew Letters and received his ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio. Rabbi Klein has been Adjunct Professor at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Indiana State University and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, teaching courses on Genesis, Hebrew Scripture, First Century History, New Testament, and Introduction to Judaism. He is currently Adjunct Professor at Oakland University, Marygrove College and Rochester College.
Rabbi Joseph H. Krakoff is the Senior Director of Jewish Hospice and Chaplaincy Network. He also serves on the Hospice teams of Residential Hospice and Heart to Heart Hospice. Rabbi Krakoff offers classes and seminars on a variety of spiritual topics and is a guest lecturer in the Wayne State Medical School’s Health and Wellness program. Rabbi Krakoff is a graduate of Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA, the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, CA and the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, N.Y.
Nira Lev holds two M.A degrees from Hebrew University and Tel Aviv University and is a graduate of the Post-Graduate Leadership Training Program from NYU. For over 30 years she has been teaching Hebrew, Bible and Literature, training teachers and presenting workshops nationwide, lecturing on Bible at Elderhostels and developing curricula for students and teachers. She is the author of several Hebrew textbooks and of several publications and was the editor of the Hebrew monthly Ivriton. She currently teaches at Oakland University. She is a recipient of the Berman Outstanding Professional Service Award and of the Schochet Outstanding Teacher Award.
Professor Howard Lupovitch received a Ph.D. in Jewish History from Columbia University. He has taught at Cornell University, Colby College, the University of Western Ontario and U of M where he was also a fellow at the Frankel Institute for Advanced Jewish Studies. He is currently Associate Professor of History and the Director of the Cohn-Haddow Center for Judaic Studies at Wayne State University. Professor Lupovitch is the 2009 winner of the Benard L. Maas Prize for Achievement in Jewish Culture and Continuity in the Area of Humanities.
Rabbi Tzvi Muller specializes in teaching Judaism’s guidelines for treating others with love, respect and kindness – Mitzvot Bein Adam Lechavero. Through his widely attended classes, awardwinning programs and innovative educational leadership, Rabbi Muller has brought the values, teachings and practices of kindness to Jews in Michigan and all over the world. He serves as Rabbi of the Birmingham Bloomfield Chai Center and directs the Jewish Values Institute.
Aviva Panush has been involved in formal and informal Jewish Education for over 30 years, teaching adults and children of all ages, directing religious schools, developing curricula and training teachers. She is an instructor for Melton and serves as School Director at Congregation Shaarey Zedek in East Lansing. Aviva holds a M.A. in Educational Leadership, as well as degrees in Urban Planning and Environmental Education.
Dr. Mitch Parker is the new spiritual leader of B’nai Israel Synagogue, as well as a practicing child psychologist. He has been teaching for more than 30 years and recently completed a 10-year, in-depth study of the Torah with students in the FedEd program.
Amalia Poris graduated from Beit Berel Teacher’s College in Israel. She started her career in the Israeli Defense Force, teaching Hebrew to new immigrant soldiers. She has been teaching Judaic Studies in Jewish Day Schools for 28 years and is currently a teacher and a Hebrew Language coordinator at Hillel Day School. She is participating in a special Master Hebrew Teacher’s program at the Hebrew College in Boston.
Sue Salinger is the director of Hazon Detroit. She leads a team of dedicated Jewish professionals seeking to re-imagine what it means to be Jewish in Metro Detroit. She was the Director of Lifelong Learning at Temple Emanuel, and Director of Education at Congregation Nevei Kodesh in Boulder, Colorado.
Dr. Justin Sledge received his M.A. in Religious Studies and Mysticism at the Universiteit Van Amsterdam before turning his attention to philosophy in which he earned his Ph.D. from the University of Memphis. He currently teaches part-time in religious studies and philosophy. His interests include radical political philosophy, metaphysics, and non-canonical philosophy.
Rebecca Starr received her undergraduate degree in Education and Judaic Studies and a Master’s Degree in Social Work and Jewish Communal Service from the University of Michigan. She served as the Director of Education and Programming at Northern Hills Synagogue in Cincinnati and Assistant Director of Federation’s Alliance for Jewish Education. Rebecca currently serves as an independent educational consultant and an instructor for Melton. She also works at Camp Ramah in Canada in the summer and works with the National Ramah Commission and the Detroit Ramah Fellows Program throughout the year.
Special Guest Lecturer
Professor Ralph Williams was born in Canada, and educated there and in the United States, taking the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan. He has taught at Cornell University in NY, at U of M for most of his career, where he is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of English Emeritus, and at the University of Colorado at Boulder. At U of M he has served as Director of the Program on Studies in Religion; Associate Chair of the Department of English; as Director of U of M’s Program in Florence Italy; and in many other administrative posts. He helped to conceive and present the residencies of the Royal Shakespeare Company at UM. He has won many awards for his teaching, including the lifetime Golden Apple Award and the Carnegie Award as Professor of the Year for the State of Michigan.