Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch
Senior Rabbi, Stephen Wise Free Synagogue
Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch is the senior rabbi of Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in New York. With a fiery voice, a listening heart and a brilliant mind, Rabbi Hirsch articulates a clear vision for the survival and success of American Judaism while tending compassionately to the needs of his growing congregation. In 2018, The Jerusalem Post named him among “The 50 Most Influential Jews of the Year” and City & State praised him as “the borough’s most influential voice” for Manhattan’s more than 300,000 Jews. Prior to his arrival at Stephen Wise, he served for 12 years as executive director of the Association of Reform Zionists of America (ARZA), the Israel arm of the North American Reform movement. An accomplished teacher, author and public speaker, he is also a trained lawyer and a veteran of the Israel Defense Forces.
Plenum I: Zionism and Jewish Peoplehood
Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson
Senior Rabbinic Chair, Temple Emanu-El of New York
Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson holds the Peter and Mary Kalikow Senior Rabbinic Chair of Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York. He previously served as senior rabbi of Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester, and assistant and associate rabbi of Central Synagogue.
A graduate of Princeton and ordained by HUC-JIR, Rabbi Davidson’s work includes anti-death penalty advocacy, LGBTQ inclusion and interfaith dialogue. In 2009, he was honored for interfaith work by the Westchester Jewish Council and the American Jewish Committee. Rabbi Davidson chairs A Partnership of Faith in New York City and is a member of the HUC Board of Governors, HUC’s President’s Rabbinic Council, the Board of UJA-Federation of New York, and the Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council. Previously, he has held leadership roles in the Central Conference of America Rabbis, the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism, and Rabbis for Human Rights.
Rabbi Davidson was honored with a Corkin Family Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania and Clal-The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership. His articles have appeared in publications including The Jewish Week, Commentary, The New York Times, and The Jerusalem Post; and he is a contributing writer in Rabbi Lawrence Hoffman’s “Prayers of Awe” series.
Rabbi Matthew D. Gewirtz
Senior Rabbi, B’nai Jeshurun of Short Hills, NJ
Rabbi Matthew D. Gewirtz is the senior rabbi of Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in Short Hills, New Jersey. Previously he served as senior associate rabbi of New York’s Congregation Rodeph Sholom. He was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, where he also earned his master’s in Hebrew Literature.
Rabbi Gewirtz currently serves as president of the Coalition of Religious Leaders for the State of New Jersey and a fellow at the National Jewish Think Tank CLAL. He also serves on the Newark Museum Council and was a founding executive committee member of the Newark Coalition for Hope and Peace, an interfaith organization committed to ending gang violence.
A regular contributor to numerous professional publications, including the CCAR Journal, The American Rabbi and The Wisdom Daily, Rabbi Gewirtz is the author of “The Gift of Grief: Finding Peace, Transformation and Renewed Life after Great Sorrow” and “To Build a Brave Space: The Making of a Spiritual First Responder.” He appears as a commentator on religion on MSNBC’s Morning Joe and CNN’s “State of the Union” and was a tri-anchor of PBS’s “A Matter of Faith with an Imam, Bishop and Rabbi” from 2016 to 2020.
Rabbi Tarlan Rabizadeh
Vice President for Jewish Engagement, American Jewish University
Rabbi Tarlan Rabizadeh is vice president for Jewish engagement at American Jewish University, where she directs the Maas Center for Jewish Journeys and the Miller Introduction to Judaism Program. As part of her role, she supervises the Brandeis Collegiate Institute, the AJU Community Mikveh, and the Marriage for Life and Opening Doors courses. Ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Rabbi Rabizadeh is thrilled to contribute her culture-merging sensibility toward creating meaningful and inclusive Jewish experiences at American Jewish University.
She previously served as director of student life at the University of California Los Angeles Hillel and the Simha and Sara Lainer Senior Jewish Educator and was also a Jewish Emergent Network Fellow at The Kitchen in San Francisco, as well as a Milken Community High School faculty member. Rabbi Rabizadeh holds a bachelor’s in political science with a minor in Hebrew from Boston University and a master’s in Jewish education and Hebrew literature from HUC-JIR.
Cantor Elena Schwartz
Cantor-Educator, Temple Sinai of Roslyn, NY
Cantor Elena Schwartz, a talented singer and educator, was born in Ukraine, grew up in the former Soviet Union, and came to the United States by way of Israel. In 1990, she made aliyah, earning a bachelor’s in music from the Rubin Academy of Music & Dance and in education from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. After coming to New York, Cantor Schwartz earned her master’s in Jewish education from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2002. She obtained another master’s from HUC-JIR’s School of Sacred Music, and was ordained as a cantor in 2006. Cantor Schwartz has dedicated her career to sharing the highest levels of Jewish education and cantorial art with her community. She brings her love of teaching, music, writing, and community building to Temple Sinai in Roslyn, where she has served as a cantor-educator since 2013.
Cantor Schwartz is a member of the American Conference of Cantors, the Association of Reform Jewish Educators, and the Cantors Assembly. An avid supporter of the Jewish community in Ukraine, together with her husband Cantor Sergei Schwartz, she is deeply engaged in ongoing fundraising and charitable efforts in response to the Russian-Ukrainian war, including an aid trip to Poland.
Cantor Sergei Schwartz
Cantor, Temple Sinai of Roslyn, NY
Cantor Sergei Schwartz, born in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, has always considered Jewish music part of his life despite the prohibitions imposed on Jews in the Soviet Union. After graduating in 1990 from the Glinka College of Music in Dnepropetrovsk, he and his family immigrated to Israel, where he attended the Jerusalem Rubin Academy of Music, graduating in 1995 with a bachelor’s in choral conducting. While living in Jerusalem, Cantor Schwartz joined the Jerusalem Great Synagogue Choir, deepening his love of traditional cantorial music. In 1996 Cantor Schwartz was accepted to the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, from which he graduated with a master’s in sacred music. He was ordained as a cantor in 2000. Upon graduation, he accepted the position of Cantor at Temple Beth Sholom in New City, New York. Since 2012, Cantor Schwartz has served the Temple Sinai of Roslyn.
Cantor Schwartz serves on the board of the American Conference of Cantors and is a member of the faculty of the School of Sacred Music at the HUC-JIR. Since 2005, Cantor Schwartz has been involved in supporting the Jewish Community of Ukraine and with his wife, Cantor Elena Schwartz, is deeply engaged in fundraising and charitable efforts in response to the Russian-Ukrainian war, including two aid trips to Poland.
Plenum II: Rooting (Social) Action in Jewish Values
Dr. Rachel Fish
Dr. Rachel Fish is the co-founder of Boundless, a think-action tank partnering with community leaders to revitalize Israel education and take bold collective action to combat Jew hatred. Dr. Fish is a celebrated academic with 20 years of experience in the fields of Israeli history, Zionist thought, and Middle Eastern Studies. Recognized for her teaching prowess and pedagogical approaches, she has published extensively and is frequently called upon to advise on community interventions to reclaim an Israel discourse that is nuanced and complex while remaining accessible to a broad audience. In 2015, Dr. Fish held the Rohr Visiting Professorship at Harvard University, where she lectured on modern Israel and received the Derek Bok Certificate of Teaching Excellence. She is co-editor, with Ilan Troen, of the book “Essential Israel: Essays for the Twenty-First Century.”
Rabbi Dan Levin
Senior Rabbi, Temple Beth-El of Boca Raton
Rabbi Dan Levin serves as senior rabbi of Temple Beth El of Boca Raton, Florida. He seeks to synthesize the spiritual wisdom found in Jewish text and tradition with our contemporary lives while fostering opportunities for transformational learning, spiritual experience, moral growth, community service, and social justice, and creating connections to the people and the state of Israel.
Rabbi Levin has served Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion as a member of the Alumni Leadership Council, as an original member of the President’s Rabbinical Council, and as a partner in the Kalsman Institute for Judaism and Health. He serves on the Central Conference of American Rabbis’s Budget and Finance Committee and is a past president of the southeast region of the CCAR. He also served as a member of the Reform Movement’s Think Tank.
He was a featured writer for the Union for Reform Judaism’s “Ten Minutes of Torah,” and is a panelist with the American Religious Town Hall. Rabbi Levin is also an active alumnus of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship and a senior rabbinic fellow with the Shalom Hartman Institute. He studies with the Institute for Jewish Spirituality.
Rabbi David Woznica
Isaiah Zeldin Rabbinic Chair, Stephen Wise Temple of Los Angeles
Rabbi David Woznica has served Stephen Wise Temple in Los Angeles since 2004. In addition to his pulpit responsibilities, he created the temple’s Center for Jewish Life — with an extraordinary lecture series and one of the largest Melton schools in the United States. He is the first recipient of the Rabbi Isaiah Zeldin Rabbinic Chair, established in memory of the congregation’s founding rabbi.
Rabbi Woznica began his career at the 92nd Street Y in New York, where he was named founding director of the 92Y Bronfman Center for Jewish Life. Over an 11-year period, he is credited for creating one of the most distinguished and dynamic centers of Jewish life in the world. Over the past 30 years, at both the 92Y and at Stephen Wise Temple, Rabbi Woznica has been in dialogue with nearly 100 international figures — including Elie Wiesel, Rabbi Harold Kushner, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, Dr. Deborah Lipstadt, Alan Dershowitz, Eric Garcetti, Adin Steinsaltz, David Brooks, Cynthia Ozick, and Rev. John Hagee — gathering a total of some 70,000 attendees. He is among the Young President’s Organization’s highest-rated speakers, and has given speeches at synagogues and Jewish organizations throughout the United States as well as in Canada and South America.
He shares his life with his wife Beverly Woznica and they are the proud parents of two young men.
Rabbi Lucy H. F. Dinner
Senior Rabbi, Temple Beth Or
Rabbi Lucy H.F. Dinner is senior rabbi of Temple Beth Or in Raleigh, North Carolina. In addition to serving Temple Beth Or’s vibrant Reform Jewish congregation, she works with local and national organizations that promote community and social justice.
Rabbi Dinner serves on North Carolina’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission, the North Carolina Jewish Clergy Association Board, and the board of Repairers of the Breach. Dinner has served as the vice chair of the Reform Movement’s Commission on Social Action and the chair of the Central Conference of American Rabbis’ committee on peace, justice and civil rights. She was on the executive board of Rise Against Hunger, and past president of the Greater Carolina Association of Rabbis. She has written Torah commentary and articles for “The Women’s Torah Commentary” and the Union for Reform Judaism’s “Ten Minutes of Torah,” and received recognition from both state and local groups.
Plenum III: Re-Framing Theology, Belief and Practice for the Next Generation
Rabbi Dr. Lawrence A. Hoffman
Professor Emeritus, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
Lawrence A. Hoffman was ordained as a rabbi in 1969, received his doctorate in 1973, and is now professor emeritus at the New York campus of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, where he served for almost half a century.
Known internationally for his lectures to popular audiences and his spiritual approach to synagogue consultation, Rabbi Hoffman has written or edited 49 books to date, including “My People’s Prayer Book,” a 10-volume edition of the Siddur with modern commentaries which won the National Jewish Book Award in 2007. Rabbi Hoffman served as visiting professor at the University of Notre Dame for many years and has lectured at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, the University of Southern California, and the Yale Divinity School, among other institutions. He holds honorary degrees from Graetz College and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and is a recipient of the Abraham Geiger Medal.
In 1994, he co-founded “Synagogue 2000,” a trans-denominational project to envision the ideal synagogue “as moral and spiritual center” for the 21st century. From 2004 to 2015, the organization (renamed “Synagogue 3000”) launched Next Dor, a call for transformed synagogues to engage the next generation.
Rabbi Yael Splansky
Senior Rabbi, Holy Blossom Temple of Toronto
Rabbi Yael Splansky celebrates 25 years with Holy Blossom Temple, Toronto’s first synagogue. She became the congregation’s 13th senior rabbi in 2014. Rabbi Splansky currently serves as president of the Toronto Board of Rabbis, on the Beit Din of the Reform Rabbis of Greater Toronto, on the President’s Rabbinic Council of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and as vice president of the Reform Rabbis of Canada. Three highlights of her leadership in the North American Reform Movement were leading thousands in Shabbat prayer at the 2015 Union for Reform Judaism Biennial, giving the Ordination Address to the HUC-JIR Class of 2018, and serving as a vice president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis from 2019 to 2021.
Rabbi Splansky is a rabbinic fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute, the editor of “Siddur Pirchei Kodesh” and author of the URJ’s “Reform Voices of Torah: 2012 Commentary on Deuteronomy,” and she was a monthly contributor to The Canadian Jewish News for seven years.
Rabbi Splansky has the unique privilege of being a fourth-generation Reform rabbi. Together with Adam Sol, she raises three mensches.
Rabbi A. Brian Stoller
Senior Rabbi, Temple Beth-El of Great Neck
Rabbi A. Brian Stoller is the senior rabbi of Temple Beth-El of Great Neck, NY. An empowering spiritual mentor and thoughtful organizational leader, his mission is to shepherd his congregants toward discovering their own personal pathways into Jewish life, so that when they set their feet upon them, they will experience the transformational power of Judaism, connect with people who share their values, find meaning and purpose in their lives, and feel the loving embrace of God and community more deeply than ever before. In the early days of the pandemic, Rabbi Stoller launched a daily morning minyan on Zoom that has grown steadily over the last two years and continues to engage Reform Jews from across the country as participants and lay leaders in the mitzvah of prayer. Rabbi Stoller is also a doctoral candidate in Halakhah at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and a member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis’s Responsa Committee.
Rabbi Elaine Rose Glickman
Assistant Executive Director, Women’s Rabbinic Network
Rabbi Elaine Rose Glickman serves as assistant executive director of the Women’s Rabbinic Network and on the clergy team of Temple Emanu-El in Sarasota, Florida. She received her master’s and ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, where she earned prizes for writing and academic excellence and graduated first in her class.
A past editor-in-chief of the CCAR Journal: “The Reform Jewish Quarterly” and creator of the popular blog “The Streets of Jerusalem” for The Jerusalem Post, Rabbi Glickman has also written, edited and contributed to a dozen books, including the National Jewish Book Award finalist “Sacred Parenting,” “The Messiah and the Jews,” “Living Torah,” and the “Encyclopedia of Antisemitism” and published essays on gun violence, sexual assault and the plight of Iranian women in local and national newspapers.
In 2022, Rabbi Glickman received the Hakarat Hatov award for her service to the Central Conference of American Rabbis. She is a past president of the Sarasota-Manatee Rabbinic Association; a counselor with The Trevor Project; an executive board member of the West Florida chapter of the Jewish National Fund; a board member of ALSO Youth, a Florida center for LGBTQ+ teens and allies; and an affiliated professor at the University of Haifa.
Re-CHARGING Reform Judaism: Our Movement Leaders Offer Their Vision of the Future
Rabbi Rick Jacobs
President, Union for Reform Judaism
Rabbi Rick Jacobs is president of the Union for Reform Judaism, the most powerful force in North American Jewish life. The URJ leads the largest and most diverse Jewish movement in North America, reaching more than 1.5 million people through nearly 850 congregations, 15 overnight camps, the Reform teen youth Movement NFTY, and the Religious Action Center in Washington, D.C.
A longtime and devoted creative change agent, Rabbi Jacobs spent 20 years as a visionary spiritual leader at Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, New York. Before that, during his tenure as the rabbi of the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue, he created one of the first homeless shelters in a New York City synagogue. Rabbi Jacobs has studied for two decades at Jerusalem’s Shalom Hartman Institute, where he is a senior rabbinic fellow.
Rabbi Jacobs is regularly featured in media outlets such as the New York Times, The Washington Post, Ha’aretz, The Forward, NPR, and CNN, among others.
Rabbi Hara Person
Chief Executive, Central Conference of American Rabbis
Rabbi Hara Person is the chief executive of Central Conference of American Rabbis. Previously, she was the CCAR’s chief strategy officer. In that capacity, she oversaw the communications department, served as publisher of CCAR Press and worked with leadership on overall organizational strategy. Rabbi Person was ordained in 1998 from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, after graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Amherst College and receiving a master’s in fine arts from New York University/International Center of Photography. Sh served as educator at Brooklyn Heights Synagogue from 1990 to 1996, and as the adjunct rabbi there from 1998 to 2019. Since 1998, Rabbi Person has been the High Holy Day rabbi of Congregation B’nai Olam in Fire Island Pines, New York. She lives in Brooklyn and is a mother of two.
Dr. Andrew Rehfeld
President, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
Andrew Rehfeld, Ph.D., is the 10th president in the 147-year history of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. As HUC-JIR president, Dr. Rehfeld leads the four-campus international institution of Jewish higher education and seminary for Reform Judaism. Dr. Rehfeld has bridged both the academic and Jewish worlds as Assistant and Associate Professor of Political Science with tenure at Washington University in St. Louis (2001 to 2019) and as president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis (2012 to 2019).
Andrew holds a doctorate in political science and a master’s in public policy from the University of Chicago and has held the Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in the study and practice of federalism at McGill University. He has published on varied topics including democratic theory, voting rights, redistricting, and the political uses of the Hebrew Bible.
Rabbi Amy Perlin
Founding Rabbi Emerita, Temple B’nai Shalom
Rabbi Perlin is the first female rabbi to start a congregation, founding Temple B’nai Shalom in Fairfax Station, Virginia, where she served for 32 years, until retiring in 2018 as the founding rabbi emerita. She is a graduate of Princeton University and she received her ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York.
Rabbi Perlin is known as a master teacher, liturgist, counselor, spiritual advisor, rabbinic mentor, historian, and Reform movement leader and innovator. She received commendations from every chaplain of the U.S. military upon retirement for her lifetime of serving her career military congregants. In 2012, she was honored by Jewish Women International as one of its “Women to Watch.” In 2013, she was included in the Forward’s list of America’s 36 Most Inspiring Rabbis. This past spring, Rabbi Perlin’s portrait was one of 24 women rabbis featured in the museum exhibit “Holy Sparks,” in honor of the 50th anniversary of women in the rabbinate.
A committed philanthropist and lifelong Zionist, Rabbi Perlin is president of the Perlin Family Foundation, serves on the Board of Governors of HUC-JIR where she co-chairs the Israel Committee, and continues to mentor rabbis in the U.S. and Israel.
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.