For the conference agenda, click here.
GREETING and NEXT STEPS
Mark S. Anshan
Coordinator, Re-CHARGING Reform Judaism
Mark S. Anshan is a lawyer and a former Canadian diplomat, serving on several nonprofit boards. He provides legal, business, strategic and organizational advice to not-for-profits and charities.
Prior to becoming a lawyer, Mark served in the Canadian foreign service at the United Nations and the Canadian Embassy in Stockholm. Having served as a senior executive, chair and board member, he has been involved in managing and reorganizing several companies and nonprofits. He has extensive experience in management, strategic planning, governance and organizing businesses. He serves on several boards in the Canadian Jewish community and beyond. Mark is a past president of Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto, past president of ARZA Canada and past chair of ARZENU. He served on the Union for Reform Judaism board of trustees and as vice chair. He currently serves as a director of the Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company, Project Abraham and other organizations.
INTRODUCTION TO KEYNOTE
Rabbi Neal Katz
Rabbi, Congregation Beth El
Neal Katz has been the rabbi of Congregation Beth El in Tyler, Texas, since his ordination from Hebew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2003.
Neal is active in a number of nonprofit organizations in Tyler. He has served as the board chair for the Hospice of East Texas and the Mosaic Counseling Center and he is presently the chair of The Tyler Loop, a local journalism project. Neal currently serves on the Texas Freedom Network’s statewide board and is secretary of the Southwest Association of Reform Rabbis. Neal is also a member of the Zionist Rabbinic Coalition.
Neal is also a musician, with four solo CDs to his name. He and his wife Jennifer have three children — two in college and one in high school.
Rabbi Dr. Tracy Kaplowitz
Israel Fellow, Stephen Wise Free Synagogue
Coordinator, Re-CHARGING Reform Judaism
Rabbi Tracy J. Kaplowitz, Ph.D., is the inaugural Marilyn G. and Joseph B. Schwartz Israel Fellow at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue and the Re-CHARGING Reform Judaism conference coordinator. She came to Stephen Wise from JWB Jewish Chaplains Council, which ensures the quality of Jewish life for Jews in the U.S. military and the Veterans Administration.
An experienced spiritual leader and educator, Rabbi Kaplowitz served as a reserve chaplain in the U.S. Air Force and on the professional staff of both the Schechter School of Long Island and the Jewish Education Project. She was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and earned her doctorate in the sociology of education from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Rabbi Kaplowitz is a member of both the Central Conference of American Rabbis and the Rabbinical Assembly.
Rabbi Jeff Salkin
Rabbi, Temple Israel of West Palm Beach
Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin is one of American Judaism’s most prolific and most-quoted rabbis. His blog, “Martini Judaism: for those who want to be shaken and stirred,” published by Religion News Service, won a 2022 Wilbur Award from the Religion Communicators Council for best religion blog of the year, as well as two previous awards. His essays have appeared in the Washington Post, Commentary, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, Tablet, Mosaic, Forward and JTA. He has discussed the American political scene on CNN and the BBC and has contributed articles to scholarly journals. His 10 books discuss such subjects as b’nai mitzvah, Israel, masculinity, and Jewish culture, and include three Torah commentaries. He delivered the keynote on religion and spirituality at the world-famous Chautauqua Institution, where he also participated in interreligious dialogues in international forums. His colleagues have described him as “courageous,” “always relevant,” and “one of American Judaism’s true public intellectuals.” His new book on the future of liberal Judaism will be published this autumn.
Rabbi Salkin serves as the rabbi of Temple Israel in West Palm Beach, Florida, and his hobbies include music, movies, bicycling, and consuming vast quantities of coffee.
Cantor Daniel Singer
Cantor, Stephen Wise Free Synagogue
Cantor Daniel Signer is as comfortable singing 18th-century classical liturgical repertoire or leading the congregation in traditional Hasidic or Sephardic melodies as he is performing Jewish pop a cappella with Six13 or singing roles with the Yiddish theater. He has served as the cantor of Stephen Wise Free Synagogue since 2006. “A singing community” is one of Cantor Singer’s major goals, and together with Senior Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch, he has implemented a revolutionary model of worship for the congregation.
Cantor Singer majored in music and mass communication at the University of Wisconsin in Superior and holds master’s degrees in vocal performance from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and in sacred music from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion School of Sacred Music in Jerusalem and Manhattan. Before entering the cantorate, he was voice department chair, opera workshop director, and head start coordinator at the Flint School for the Performing Arts, and a resident artist with the Toledo Opera and other regional and international vocal arts programs including the Israel Vocal Arts and Brevard Music Center. Cantor Singer is a member of the American Conference of Cantors and the Cantor’s Assembly.
Cantor Irena Altschul
Cantor, Temple Israel of the City of New York
Cantor Altshul was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, but spent her formative years in Israel and came to New York City as a graduate student. There she was drawn into synagogue life through her love of Jewish music.
Since her cantorial investiture in 2003, Cantor Altshul has served on the clergy team of Temple Israel of the City of New York and as the first invested Cantor at Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation in Reston, Virginia, from 2007 to 2014. She holds a master’s in sacred music and was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion’s Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music in New York. In addition to her cantorial studies, Cantor Altsul holds a master’s in music from Brooklyn College and a bachelor’s in music from Tel Aviv University.
A trained mezzo-soprano, her performance experiences have included appearances with the Russian Chamber Choir, the New York Brooklyn College Opera Theater, the Haifa Symphony Orchestra, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, and the Tel Aviv Philharmonic Choir. Cantor Altshul was also twice invited to sing at the president’s residence in Jerusalem. In addition to her work toward enriching the worship life of the Jewish community, Cantor Altshul partners with other synagogue professionals to teach adults and youth, perform life cycle events, make pastoral visits and be available to all people.
Cantor Altshul is an active member of the American Conference of Cantors. She and her husband, Dr. Mitya (Dmitri) Chklovskii, Ph.D., and their children, Sammy and Mark Chklovskii, reside on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
Cantor Galit Dadoun Cohen
Cantor, Temple B’nai Or
Cantor Galit Dadoun Cohen was born and raised in Ashdod, Israel. She earned her bachelor’sin music from the Ruben Academy of Music at Tel Aviv University. She came to America to prepare for her master’s in music, which she received from City University of New York’s Brooklyn College. In 2010, Dadoun Cohen was ordained by Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. Since then, she has served as the santor of Temple B’nai Or.
Before becoming a cantor, Dadoun Cohen sang opera and classical songs in Europe, Israel and the United States. In addition to her service to Temple Bnai Or, Cantor Galit serves the larger Jewish community through invitations to sing in concerts, festivals, and diverse projects throughout the United States. In honor of her 40th birthday, she gave an opera concert to raise funds to buy a grand piano for the Temple B’nai Or sanctuary. She is also scheduled to take part in the revival of the Jewish Opera Hannah, which will be performed in December of 2014. Along with her husband Joe, Cantor Galit shares the gratitude and endless joy of raising their three daughters Danielle, Naomi and Maya.
Cantor Adam Davis
Cantor, Temple Beth-El of Great Neck
Adam Davis is a cantor and Jewish communal professional dedicated to connecting people to our heritage through music, arts and culture. He currently serves Temple Beth-El of Great Neck in New York having previously done so in Illinois, Maryland and Virginia.
Cantor Adam provides spiritual and musical leadership on and off the bima. He enjoys working with students of all ages, especially those rising to adulthood in preparation for Bnai Mitzvah and couples preparing for a life together.
He is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion’s Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music.
Cantor Andrea Rae Markowicz
Senior Cantor, Am Shalom
Cantor Andrea Rae Markowicz is the senior cantor of Am Shalom in Glencoe, Illinois. Ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, she holds a master’s in sacred music from HUC-JIR, a master’s in music from Cleveland Institute of Music, and a bachelor’s in music from University of Michigan. She is a proud member of the American Conference of Cantors, the Actors’ Equity Association, and the American Guild of Musical Artists.
Through the Central Conference of American Rabbis, Andrea advised on content for the Union for Reform Judaism’s machzor, “Mishkan HaNefesh for Youth,” and her voice is featured leading Havdalah and Sheva B’rachot on the app and e-book Birkon Mikdash M’at, NFTY’s bentcher. During the 2020-21 school year, she served as an adjunct instructor for the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music at HUC-JIR and is a past member of HUC-JIR’s Alumni Leadership Council. For the ACC-Guild of Temple Musicians, she co-chaired, produced and directed the 2018 Jack Gottlieb Memorial Concert and is co-chairing the 2024 journey to Israel.
Andrea is the vocalist on Tikvah (Albany Records), a multimedia musical oratorio inspired by her grandfather, Philip Markowicz z”l, who was a Holocaust survivor, author and Torah scholar. She is proud to have recorded and produced six albums via Music at Am Shalom.
Artist-in-Residence, Temple Emanu-El of Westfield, N.J.
Born in South Korea, raised in Hoboken until the age of five and living in Israel until last year, Shimon is currently the artist-in-residence at Temple Emanu-El of Westfield, N.J., and will be moving in July to New York City with his wife Rebecca, daughter Lily and dog Lucy, to become Romemu’s new music director.
After serving as an officer in the Israel Defense Forces, Shimon spent two years in Alabama working as a Jewish Agency shaliach (emissary). He studied music at the Rimon School for Music and holds a bachelor’s in Jewish studies and history. Shimon was cantorial soloist and head of the b’nai mitzvah program at Beit Daniel in Tel Aviv for 13 years. He was the spiritual leader of Tlamim, the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism’s young adult chapter, its gap-year mechina program and its youth group. Shimon was co-music director of the IMPJ biennial, and the musical director for the Jewish Agency’s summer shlichim program for many years.
Shimon writes original Jewish music and was featured in Transcontinental music publications and PJ Library. He is also the host of “Best in Israeli Rock” on Jewish Rock Radio. Shimon voice dubs characters in the Israeli versions of cartoon movies and TV shows and has been the Israeli voice of Scar, Thanos, Hefty Smurf, and Peppa Pig’s Dad.
Re-CHARGING Reform Judaism is sponsored by Amplify Israel: A Stephen Wise Free Synagogue initiative. Stephen Wise Free Synagogue is a 501(c)(3) religious organization (Tax ID #13-1628215) and any donations are tax deductible to the full extent allowable by law.