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.
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 Greater 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.
773-752-2770, [email protected]
Julie Ratowitz joined the staff as full-time Executive Director in April 2019. She comes to us with extensive experience in catering and event management.
High Holiday Cantor/Composer
A leader in American choral music, Jonathan has been sharing the joy of his art form since he joined the Chicago Children’s Choir in Hyde Park at the age of ten. In 1979, Max Janowski hired 17‑year-old Jonathan to sing bass in a high holiday choir for the Central Synagogue of the South Side Hebrew Congregation. Three years later Jonathan’s high holiday assignment moved to Congregation B’nai Jacob in Rogers Park, where Jonathan began his 28‑year association with Cantor Julius Solomon, including 12 years of directing the choir here at CRZ and eventually taking on the High Holiday cantor’s role in 2010.
Jonathan attended Shoesmith School, Louis Wirth School, and Kenwood Academy, and studied mathematics and music at the University of Chicago. Shortly after completing doctoral studies in musicology at UNC‑Chapel Hill in 1993, Jonathan founded Chicago a cappella, a professional classical vocal ensemble. Jonathan is also Artistic Director, CEO, and co‑founder of the Sounds Good! Choir, a Chicago area choral-music organization for older adults, and the Good Memories Encore Chorale, a community in which people with early-stage Alzheimer’s and other dementias sing in a choir together with their care partners. In addition to musical pursuits, Jonathan has worked in sales in the publishing and software industries and is passionate about the business of the arts. He is a former board member of Chorus America and serves as an enthusiastic auctioneer for charity events. (→ extended bio)