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Clergy and Spiritual Leadership

Rabbi Matthew J. Zerwekh


​​​​​​​Rabbi Matt Zerwekh is proud to return to Temple Emanu-El to lead the congregation he credits with forming his earliest Jewish identity. Rabbi Zerwekh earned his BA Cum Laude in Political Science at Western Michigan University, before his matriculation to Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Religion. It was at HUC-JIR in Cincinnati where Rabbi Zerwekh earned his Masters in Hebrew Letters in 2013 in Cincinnati and was ordained in 2014. During his time at HUC, Rabbi Zerwekh devoted his thesis research to end-of-life and hospice care and, while at HUC, created a mobile resource Jewish Resource for families going through the hospice process. While in school Rabbi Zerwekh was recognized with awards for his work with Jewish youth as well as in outreach on behalf of HUC-JIR Cincinnati.  

Before coming to Temple Emanu-El, Rabbi Zerwekh led Temple B’nai Israel in Kalamazoo. During his tenure in Kalamazoo Rabbi Zerwekh taught as adjunct faculty at Western Michigan University and served as an executive board member of ISAAC, the largest interfaith organizing group in the region. During his time in Kalamazoo, Rabbi Zerwekh distinguished himself in the community as a voice for positive change and cooperation in the faith community. Rabbi’s work was recognized by the Kalamazoo City Commission with an appointment to represent the faith community on the board of directors of the Kalamazoo Foundation for Excellence, a multi-billion dollar endowment supporting the Kalamazoo community.  

As Temple Emanu-El’s spiritual leader, Rabbi Zerwekh works to help connect the values that make Temple Emanu-El such a special place, to Judaism and to the world around it. It is in this work that Rabbi Zerwekh is most passionate: he continuously strives to make connections, to find common ground between people, communities, and communities of faith- he understands that a community is only strengthened through relationship and dialogue with our neighbors.  

Rabbi Zerwekh serves on the CCAR (Central Conference of American Rabbi’s) Ethics Process Review Committee, and has been invited to deliver opening invocations for such bodies as the Michigan State House, Michigan State Senate, Berkely City Council and twice has delivered the opening invocation for the NAACP Freedom Fund dinner, the largest such dinner in the nation. Rabbi Zerwekh has been recognized as one of the 36 Under 36 by the Detroit Jewish News and has been featured on WDET radio.  

Rabbi Joseph P. Klein
Rabbi Emeritus

Rabbi Joe Klein served as Senior Rabbi of Temple Emanu-El from 1997 to 2013. He was born and grew up in Toledo, OH and graduated from Oberlin College (Oberlin, OH) in 1969. He majored in Sociology and Anthropology; was ordained from the Cincinnati campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion with a Master of Hebrew Letters in 1975; and then served as Assistant Rabbi at Temple Israel in St. Louis MO for three years. Before coming to Temple Emanu-El in 1997, Joe Klein was Rabbi of United Hebrew Congregation in Terre Haute, IN and Mizpah Congregation in Chattanooga, TN. While in Indiana and Tennessee, Rabbi Klein was adjunct faculty in Humanities at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, as well as Indiana State University and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He taught courses on Genesis, Hebrew Scripture, First Century History, and the New Testament. For ten years he coached the Rose-Hulman Fencing Club. Rabbi Klein and his wife Barbara have two children: Ellie is married and living in Boston with their three grandchildren, and Adam is married and living in Atlanta with their two grandchildren. Rabbi Klein currently teaches in the Jewish Federation’s FedEd Adult Education program and is Adjunct Professor at both Oakland University and Rochester College

Rosalie Toubes
Cantor

Cantor Rosalie Toubes attended Hebrew Union College in New York City where she was ordained and received a Master of Sacred Music. Cantor Toubes also holds a B.A. and M.A. in Psychology, and M.M. in Vocal Performance. She has served congregations in Missouri, Virginia, and most recently Massachusetts- before relocating to Michigan to join Temple Emanu-El.

Education Staff

Gail Greenberg
Yachad Religious School Director & Educator

Gail Greenberg, RJE, has been working in the field of Jewish Family Education and Religious School Education for 21 years. She is thrilled to be taking on the role as Yachad Education Director, and looks forward to creating relationships within the Temple Emanu El and Congregation Beth Shalom communities!

Gail’s roles in Jewish education have included being the Director of Lifelong Learning at Temple Kol Ami, Director of PJ Library Detroit, a member of the JFamily team, and Assistant Director of FedEd and Melton in Metropolitan Detroit. She has been a religious school teacher and in school leadership at local congregations and prides herself on creating connections with Judaism, congregations, and individuals. Her belief that the student’s voice matters is a key focus when planning curriculum and programs. She looks forward to partnering with leadership, teachers, and families!

Gail received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Therapy from Wayne State University and worked in the geriatrics field for many years before moving into the educational world. She earned her Master’s Degree in Jewish Educational Leadership from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion and has been granted the title of Reform Jewish Educator (RJE) which is based on established academic and professional standards.

In her free time, Gail enjoys making and listening to music, being outdoors, trying new foods, and Jewish life. She lives in Oak Park with her husband, Howard, and dog Savannah. Her son, Seth, lives locally, and her daughter, Tami, made Aliyah and lives in Israel.

Please consider this an open invitation to reach out to Gail with thoughts and ideas or just to say hi! She looks forward to meeting you!

Eileen Brand
Director of Early Childhood Community

Eileen has been Director of the Early Childhood Community since 2007 and has been part of the ECC for most of the past 25 years, as a Nursery Teacher, then as Associate Director of the program, and finally as Director of Student Services, before beng appointed as Director of the ECC. Ms. Brand graduated from Wayne State University with a B.A. in Education, did post graduate work in Early Childhood Education at Madonna College and attended the Jewish Early Education Enrichment Project of the Federation of Metropolitan Detroit in 2002-2004.For Eileen, the memories and experiences with her Temple Emanu-El family continue to be a significant part of her life. Her own children grew up during her Temple career; she witnessed (and enabled) the growth of the pre-school from a Nursery School to an Early Childhood Community and she has seen many children grow up and return to Temple to share their memories.

Leadership

President

David Hart

Vice-Presidents

Kim Conwell-Leigh
Steven Permut
Leah Rosenbaum
Erica Salomon

Treasurer

Dan Medow

Secretary

Sarah Cherluck

Immediate Past President

David Gubow

Board of Trustees

Amy Greenspan
Ashley Moser
Jackie Bean
Kate Bush
Linda Kayes
Marrin Itenberg
Robert Kahn
Robert Levitt
Sandra Goldberg
Scott Cooper
Stacy Conwell-Leigh
Sue Stettner

Temple Arms 
Brotherhood President

Rabbi Joe Klein

Sisterhood President

Jessica Blake

Mon, July 22 2024 16 Tammuz 5784