New Clergy Team At Westchester Reform Temple

Meet the new staff at Westchester Reform Temple September 8.

(WRT) invites the community to join with them on Saturday, September 8, at 8:00 p.m. for a "TED-style" forum. Each of the rabbis and cantors will share a short talk that gives a window into what ignites their passions, animates their spiritual leadership, and shapes their vision of Judaism and the Jewish future.

“It will be three rabbis and two cantors to inspire the audience, share personal stories, and fuse it with Jewish learning and music... all in 15 minutes or less,” said Senior Rabbi Jonathan E. Blake. 

The evening is inspired by the popular online TEDTalks (www.ted.org), with the concept of "ideas worth spreading," from some of the world’s most inspired thinkers. The talks have attracted a global audience in the millions. “It is a wonderful format and a great way to discover this new clergy team.”   Rabbi Blake will be joined by Senior Cantor Jill Abramson, Associate Cantor Mia Fram Davidson, and recent additions to the WRT clergy Rabbi Marcus L. Burstein and Assistant Rabbi David E. Levy.

Rabbi Marcus L. Burstein, D.Min. joined WRT in July 2012. He served most recently as Union Rabbi for the East District of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) where he helped congregations in the areas of clergy placement, contracts, conflict resolution, visioning, and leadership development.   In addition to his work with the URJ, he was a rabbi on staff at Temple Har Shalom in Warren, NJ for four years. For eight years, Rabbi Burstein served Temple Rodef Shalom of Falls Church, Virginia, a prominent congregation of 1,600 households, where, among his favorite projects, he created a multi-year Biblical Hebrew program for adults and a Group Conversion Class. Rabbi Burstein grew up in Westfield, NJ, and graduated with honors from Rutgers College. He entered Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), where he attended the Jerusalem and New York campuses and was ordained in 1999. His rabbinical thesis was on Ladino songs, which enabled him to combine his love of Judaism, music, and his Spanish-speaking abilities. He also earned a Doctor of Ministry degree in Pastoral Counseling from HUC-JIR in 2004.

Rabbi David E. Levy was recently ordained by Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in New York and also joined WRT in July 2012. Rabbi Levy grew up in a small town in Connecticut, before attending Drexel University where he earned his BS in Information Systems, Magna Cum Laude.  While pursuing his undergraduate degree, it became clear to him that his passion lay in working with the Jewish people, and not in a cubicle. He then served as a Jewish Campus Service Corps Fellow as part of a communal engagement program, at Hillel of the University of Connecticut, before beginning his studies at HUC-JIR in 2006. Due to his passion for education, Rabbi Levy studied for an extra year, and earned an MA in Religious Education while at HUC-JIR. Education of people of all ages has been a cornerstone of Rabbi Levy's work throughout his seminary internships. He has served at a variety of congregations, including Temple Emeth, Teaneck, NJ, the Village Temple, New York, NY, Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple, New Brunswick, NJ and most recently Temple B'nai Jeshurun of Short Hills, NJ, and was a part of the clergy and educational team at each congregation.

This evening will be followed by a dessert reception and Havdalah, and conclude with a meditative Selichot service with music and prayers inviting all into the contemplative spirit of the High Holy Days. This event is free and open to the public at Westchester Reform Temple, 255 Mamaroneck Road, in Scarsdale, N.Y.

For more information: call the Temple at 914-723-7727, or email office@wrtemple.org, or visit www.wrtemple.org.                                   

Susan Ticker August 30, 2012 at 10:03 PM
While 3 rabbis and 2 cantors sounds like the opening to a joke, it should be a great way to get to know the clergy as people. And personal stories and music are a special way to welcome in the High Holiday season. Services will be more meaningful after an evening getting to know each cantor and rabbi - what inspires them and how they work to inspire others. I wish I could be there to celebrate the evening with the community, and hope everyone has a Shana tova - a happy and healthy New Year!


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