Adult Jewish Learning - Meet Our Instructors
Rabbi Joshua Bennett
is a rabbi at Temple Israel of West Bloomfield. Ordained at Hebrew Union College in 1994, he holds a Masters Degree of Hebrew Letters as well as a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Champaign. He has served the Jewish community in many roles, including Michigan Jewish AIDS Coalition, Salvation Army Legal Aid Clinic, Young Adult Division of the Allied Jewish Federation and The ADL. Social Justice as a primary concern of his.
Rabbi Yonatan Dahlen
is a rabbi at Congregation Shaarey Zedek in Southfield. Originally from Sioux City, Iowa, Rabba pursuit of lifelong Jewish learning, wrestling with the challenges of text and tradition, and engaging with holiness in its many forms.
Rabbi Robert Dobrusin
was born and raised in Boston and has served at Beth Israel in Ann Arbor since 1988. He was ordained from the Jewish Theological Seminary, and in 2015 was named one of the 33 most inspiring rabbis in America by The Forward. He is a published author of numerous essays and sermons, and a book entitled The Long Way Around: Stories and Sermon’s from a Life’s Journey.
Rabbanit Jenna Englender
received rabbinic ordination in 2019 from Yeshivat Maharat. She has previously served as Director of Outreach and Educational Initiatives at Beth David Synagogue in West Hartford, CT and as Assistant Director of Recruitment for the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. In 2017, Jenna built the Jewish Learning Fellowship in Westchester as a member of the Hillel Rabbinic Entrepreneurs Fellowship. She is a graduate of the Kevah Teaching Fellowship in Berkeley, CA. and holds a B.A. cum laude from the Gallatin School at NYU. Wendy Evans was raised among the museums of London, England. She has advanced degrees from Oxford University in England and Wayne State University in Detroit. She taught Art History at Wayne State University and elsewhere and is a long-time volunteer at the Detroit Institute of Arts. She gives presentations on a wide variety of art subjects throughout Michigan.
was raised among the museums of London, England. She has advanced degrees from Oxford University in England and Wayne State University in Detroit. She taught Art History at Wayne State University and elsewhere and is a long-time volunteer at the Detroit Institute of Arts. She gives presentations on a wide variety of art subjects throughout Michigan.
Rabbi Michele Faudem
was ordained by The Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 1995. She also earned her M.A. in Education from The Jewish Theological Seminary of America. She was the Coordinator of Adult Jewish Education at the Houston JCC and the Houston Melton Director. Rabbi Faudem currently teaches Melton and FedEd classes, and is the Rabbi/Educator for Hillel of Metropolitan Detroit.
Dr. Rabbi Elliot K. Ginsburg
is a Associate Professor of Jewish Thought and Mysticism at the University of Michigan, the founding rabbi of the Pardes Hannah minyan in Ann Arbor, and a core member of the Aleph (Jewish Renewal) Ordination Program. He is the author of studies on Jewish mysticism, the kabbalistic Shabbat, and Jewish spiritual practice. Reb Elliot seeks to combine intellectual engagement with a devotional stance.
Rabbi Rod Glogower
is the rabbinic resource person on staff of the B’nai Brith Hillel Foundation at the University of Michigan and an adjunct professor at the University of Michigan Law School. He received his rabbinic ordination with distinction from Midrasha Seminary of Machon Harry Fischel in Jerusalem.
Dr. Ian Greenspan
received his Ph.D. and M.A. in History from the University of California (Berkeley). His major fields include European History, Religious Violence, Political Conflict, Antisemitism and Propaganda. Professor Greenspan currently teaches courses at Oakland University on European, World, and Jewish History (including the Holocaust and a historical survey of antisemitism). He has also contributed to the Oakland University History Comes Alive Series with talks on the history of antisemitism and the violent activism of modern American white supremacists.
Rabbi Brent Gutmann
is a native Midwesterner who was raised in Dayton, Ohio. Aside from his current position as Senior Rabbi of Temple Kol Ami, he has served as Rabbi to congregations in Petoskey, Michigan, Cincinnati, Ohio, and, most recently, Auckland, New Zealand. While in Auckland, Rabbi Gutmann served as faculty in the Florence Melton School and as an Executive Board Member of the Auckland Interfaith Council. Rabbi Gutmann received his rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College—Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, and a Bachelors of Arts from Indiana University.
has experiences in Jewish ethics, halakha, medical ethics, and public health. She holds an AB from Smith College; Fulbright Grantee to South Korea; a Masters of Public Health from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine; and a Masters of Arts in Jewish law and ethics from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. She has served on hospital ethics boards and worked as an ethicist for the CDC and the Israeli Ministry of Health. She served on faculty at the Florence Melton School in Auckland, New Zealand.
Michael H. Hodges
is the fine-arts writer for The Detroit News, where he’s worked since 1991. “Building the Modern World: Albert Kahn in Detroit” is his second illustrated book on local architecture, and recently won the State History Award, as well as the Balthazar Korab Award “for significant contributions to architecture” from the Michigan chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Hodges’ first book, “Michigan’s Historic Railroad Stations,” was named a Notable Book for 2013 by the Library of Michigan.
was born and raised in Detroit. He holds an undergraduate degree from Oakland University and a masters degree in Modern United States History from Wayne State University. He is a U.S. organized crime historian and has authored four books on organized crime history.
Saeed A. Khan
is in the Department of History and is a Lecturer in the Department of Near East & Asian Studies at Wayne State University, where he teaches Islamic and Middle East History, Islamic Civilizations and History of Islamic Political Thought. Mr. Khan is a Research Fellow at Wayne State University’s Center for the Study of Citizenship and is also an Adjunct Professor in Islamic Studies at the University of Detroit-Mercy and at Rochester College. He is a Ph.D. Candidate at Wayne State University; Thomas M. Cooley Law School, JD.
Rabbi Joseph Klein
was Senior Rabbi of Temple EmanuEl of Oak Park for 16 years before becoming Rabbi Emeritus in 2013. He holds a Master of Hebrew Letters and received his ordination from Hebrew Union CollegeJewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio. Rabbi Klein has been Adjunct Professor at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Indiana State University and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He is currently Adjunct Professor at Oakland University and Rochester College, and Visiting Rabbi with the Grosse Pointe Jewish Council.
Nina Yahalomi Klevitsky
is currently the Senior Community Shlicha (emissary) at the Jewish Federation of Metro Detroit. For the past five years Nina was a teacher and a teacher supervisor both in a youth-at-risk high school and in a junior high. Prior to that she ran the National Child and Youth at Risk program in Tel Aviv while completing three degrees: BA in Government and diplomacy, MA in Public Policy from IDC Herzliya and MPH in Emergency and Disaster Management from the Tel Aviv University. Nina is a captain in the IDF and is still serving in reserves. She speaks Hebrew, English and Russian.
Dr. Seth Korelitz
is Director of Jewish Studies at Frankel Jewish Academy. He received a Ph.D. in Jewish History from Brandeis University, and has been teaching children and adults in metro Detroit for over 20 years. Rabbi Joseph H. Krakoff is the Senior Director of Jewish Hospice and Chaplaincy Network. He also serves on the Hospice teams of Residential Hospice and Heart to Heart Hospice.
Rabbi Joseph H. Krakoff
is the Senior Director of Jewish Hospice and Chaplaincy Network. He also serves on the Hospice teams of Residential Hospice and Heart to Heart Hospice. Rabbi Krakoff offers classes and seminars on a variety of spiritual topics and is a guest lecturer in theWayne State Medical School’s Health and Wellness program. Rabbi Krakoff is a graduate of Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA, the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, CA and the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, NY.
holds two M.A degrees from Hebrew University and Tel Aviv University and is a graduate of the Post-Graduate Leadership Training Program from NYU. For over 30 years she has been teaching Hebrew, Bible and Literature, training teachers and presenting workshops nationwide. She is the author of several Hebrew textbooks and of several publications and was the editor of the Hebrew monthly Ivriton. She currently teaches at Oakland University. She is a recipient of the Berman Outstanding Professional Service Award and of the Schochet Outstanding Teacher Award.
Professor Howard Lupovitch
received a Ph.D. in Jewish History from Columbia University. He has taught at Cornell University, Colby College, the University of Western Ontario and U of M where he was also a fellow at the Frankel Institute for Advanced Jewish Studies. He is currently Associate Professor of History and the Director of the Cohn-Haddow Center for Judaic Studies at Wayne State University. Professor Lupovitch is the 2009 winner of the Benard L. Maas Prize for Achievement in Jewish Culture and Continuity in the Area of Humanities.
Rabbi Tzvi Muller
specializes in teaching Judaism’s guidelines for treating others with love, respect and kindness – Mitzvot Bein Adam Lechavero. Through his widely attended classes, award-winning programs and innovative educational leadership, Rabbi Muller has brought the values, teachings and practices of kindness to Jews in Michigan and all over the world. He serves as Rabbi of the Birmingham Bloomfield Chai Center and directs the Jewish Values Institute.
is a teacher at Farber Hebrew Day School - Yeshivat Akiva and a longtime community educator. Ariella has taught adult TaNakh classes at Limmud, community centers, synagogues and schools. Ariella holds degrees in Judaic Studies and Political Science from Yeshiva University and a Law Degree from the Cardozo School of Law. Dr. Rabbi Mitch Parker is the new spiritual leader of B’nai Israel Synagogue, as well as a practicing child psychologist. He has been teaching for more than 30 years and recently completed a 10-year, in-depth study of the Torah with students in the FedEd program.
Dr. Rabbi Mitch Parker
is the new spiritual leader of B’nai Israel Synagogue, as well as a practicing child psychologist. He has been teaching for more than 30 years and recently completed a 10-year, in-depth study of the Torah with students in the FedEd program.
graduated from Beit Berel Teacher’s College in Israel. She started her career in the Israeli Defense Force, teaching Hebrew to new immigrant soldiers. She has been teaching Judaic Studies in Jewish Day Schools for 28 years and is currently a teacher and a Hebrew Language coordinator at Hillel Day School. She participates in a Master Hebrew Teacher’s program at the Hebrew College in Boston.
Dr. Michael Pytlik
is adjunct assistant professor in Anthropology and Religion and the Director of Jewish Studies at Oakland University, Rochester, MI. He has excavated a number of biblical and more recent sites in Israel, and takes students from Oakland to Israel each year on excavations. Dr. Pytlik has a Bachelor’s degree in History and Philosophy, a Masters in Jewish Studies and a Doctorate in Jewish Studies from Spertus College of Judaic Studies and Leadership, Chicago, on historical and theological questions relating to the early Israelite monarchy at the time of King David.
Dr. Justin Sledge
received his M.A. in Religious Studies and Mysticism at the Universiteit Van Amsterdam before turning his attention to philosophy in which he earned his Ph.D. from the University of Memphis. He currently teaches part-time in religious studies and philosophy. His interests include radical political philosophy, metaphysics, and non-canonical philosophy.
Cantor Michael Smolash
serves as a cantor of Temple Israel in West Bloomfield. He has coproduced two albums of Temple Israel’s music, which were featured on the URJ’s Ruach CD, as well as the CD for the URJ’s Biennial Convention where Michael led Friday night services. He is also a student of Australia’s Rabbi Dr. Laibl Wolf, one of the foremost teachers of kabbalah today, and teaches classes and individual learning on the mystical aspects of Judaism for progressive communities.
Rabbi Aaron Starr
sits on the Boards of Directors for the Jewish Family Service (JFS) of Metro Detroit and the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit (JFMD). A member of the international Rabbinical Assembly and of the Michigan Board of Rabbis, he is a past-president of the Rabbinical Assembly-Michigan Region and of the Metropolitan Detroit Board of Jewish Educators. Rabbi Starr is certified in Clinical and Pastoral Education (CPE) and has received numerous awards for youth work and for adult education.
received her undergraduate degree in Education and Judaic Studies and a Master’s Degree in Social Work and Jewish Communal Service from the University of Michigan. She served as the Director of Education and Programming at Northern Hills Synagogue in Cincinnati and Assistant Director of Federation’s Alliance for Jewish Education. Rebecca currently serves as an independent educational consultant and an instructor for Melton. She also works at Camp Ramah in Canada, during summers.
is the director of the Leonard N. Simons Jewish Community Archives. She holds a master’s degree in Library and Information Science and a certification in Archival Administration from Wayne State University. As an archivist, she uses her research skills to uncover stories of the past. She has performed extensive genealogy research for herself and others and has taught workshops for beginning genealogists.
was a public educator in Israel from 1998 – 2006. She was a kibbutz Superintendent responsible for the programming of children, ages 1 – 18 from 2006 – 2009. She holds both a teaching certificate and an industrial engineering degree. Dorit and her husband recently moved to Michigan to be close to her sons and their families.