Rabbi David Minkus
Rabbi Minkus grew up in Skokie, graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in Psychology, and received his Rabbinic Ordination and Masters in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary. He has been a Rosh Eidah (unit head) at Camp Ramah and a rabbinic intern with Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove at the Park Avenue Synagogue in New York. He was the rabbi of the Fitzgerald Hebrew Congregation in Fitzgerald, Georgia, from 2011‑2013. Review selected sermons on the Pulpit Shelf, and download WECRZ podcasts from iTunes.
Rabbi Minkus is a creative and flexible thinker in the context of Conservative Judaism. His inquisitive approach to teaching and learning and his strong focus on creating personal relationships and fostering community have already enriched Rodfei Zedek. His ability to remember names and personal stories is truly impressive!
Ilyssa Minkus, Rabbi Minkus' wife, is a special education teacher. They are enjoying life in Hyde Park.
Cantor Rachel Rosenberg has served as the Cantor at Congregation Rodfei Zedek since 2011. She formerly served for nine years as Ritual Director at Congregation B'nai Tikvah in Deerfield, Illinois. Rachel completed the Cantorial Internship Program of the Cantors Assembly of America and was invested as Hazzan in May 2011. She is a member of the Cantors Assembly Executive Council and Education Committee and is involved with initiatives dealing with best practices in Jewish Family Education. Rachel studied psychology and music at the University of Illinois, Jewish studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and earned her Masters of Management degree at Northwestern University.
Rachel is the former President of the Chicago Cantors' Hub, an organization which facilitates professional development and networking throughout the region and raises scholarship funds for cantorial students through community musical programming. She is also a founding member of the well-known Chicago-based musical ensemble, Shakshuka, which features Israeli and Sephardic music "spiced with jazz." The group has performed at many concerts and festivals, including the Chicago Jewish Festival, Navy Pier, The City Winery, and has been welcomed by the Jewish community of Alaska!
Rachel is passionate about Jewish music, prayer, and Jewish education, and seeks to find new modes of meaningful expression with diverse communities of all ages.
Cheryl Gutman joined us as part-time Synagogue Administrator in December 2011. Sherry's office hours are Monday 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Tuesday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Wednesday 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and Friday 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
For the previous nineteen years, Sherry had served the University of Chicago, first as the Director of Undergraduate Student Housing and then as Deputy Dean of Students and Dining Services and Assistant Dean of the College. She thus comes to us with extensive expertise and experience in areas critical to her Rodfei Zedek role, which includes managing the Congregation's finances, communications, and facilities, working with the JCC and our other community partners, supporting our ongoing strategic efforts, and generally helping us become more efficient and effective in everything we do.
Sherry received her Bachelors degree in History from Alfred University in New York, her Masters degree in Higher Education Administration from Bowling Green University in Ohio, and previously served as an administrator at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and Oberlin College. She lives in Hyde Park.
High Holy Day Cantor/Composer
Dr. Jonathan Miller is the High Holy Day Cantor/Composer at Congregation Rodfei Zedek. He is known nationwide for his leadership in choral music. A local product, he grew up “down the street” at KAM Isaiah Israel and CPS schools and spent ten years in the Chicago Children’s Choir. He was given his first professional singing job at age 17 by Max Janowski, performing the a cappella Conservative high holy day liturgy, a body of music which forms the basis for CRZ’s yontiv services today; Jonathan also manages the published Janowski musical catalogue. While at the University of Chicago, singing in five different professional choirs in the area, Jonathan began his decades-long collaboration with Cantor Julius Solomon. Shortly after completing doctoral studies in musicology at UNC‑Chapel Hill, in 1993 Jonathan founded Chicago a cappella, a professional classical vocal ensemble which has received international acclaim for its musical quality and fun, inventive programming. He is a guest conductor for high school, community, and college choirs and a mentor for those beginning their own groups. He serves on the board of Chorus America, which in 2008 awarded him the Louis Botto Award for Innovative Action and Entrepreneurial Zeal. An active and commissioned composer, Jonathan has written more than sixty choral works, including Hebrew songs sung regularly at CRZ. When he’s not pursuing music, Jonathan sells software in the transportation industry and enjoys time with family and friends.
Jonathan Posner was raised in Chicagoland and is proud to call the city his home. He is a dedicated and serious learner, an entrepreneur, and a cook. A trained journalist and literary critic with a B.A. from Kalamazoo College in Michigan, Jonathan has been reorienting himself on a path heading deeper back into Judaism. He has recently done substantive work with both the S'vara and Mishkan communities in Chicago. Currently a rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary, Jonathan brings his entrepreneurial spirit, chef-driven work ethic, and passion for Jewish living and learning to assess Rodfei Zedek's current programming, develop new programming, and broaden our social media presence.
Director of Education at Moadon Kol Chadash
Etty Dolgin directs Moadon Kol Chadash, the innovative alternative Hebrew school and Hebrew immersion pre‑school which is Rodfei Zedek's North Side religious school affiliate. She is a life-long Jewish educator and pioneer in Hebrew language programs.