On this week’s episode of the Seekers of Meaning TV Show and Podcast, Rabbi Address holds a panel discussion with several participants in the recent “Re-Charging Reform” conference held at the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in New York, sponsored by the synagogue’s senior rabbi, Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch. (Rabbi Hirsch was a guest on the Seekers of Meaning TV Show and Podcast April 7, 2023, where he discussed the conference. You can watch that episode here.
The panelists were: Rabbi Geri Newburge, senior rabbi of Main Line Reform Temple-Beth Elohim, Wynnewood, PA; Rabbi Tracy Kaplowitz, the Marilyn G. and Joseph B. Schwartz Israel Fellow at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue; Rabbi Bennett Miller, rabbi emeritus, Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple, New Brunswick, New Jersey; and Mark S. Anshan, past president of Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto, past President of ARZA Canada and past Chair of ARZENU.
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About the Guests
Mark S. Anshan
Mark is a lawyer and a former Canadian diplomat, serving on several non-profit boards. He provides legal, business, strategic and organisational advice to not-for-profits and charities.
Mark is a Canadian lawyer, called to the Ontario bar in 1984. Prior to becoming a lawyer, he served in the Canadian Foreign Service at the United Nations and the Canadian Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden. As a lawyer and executive, Mark has been involved in the management and reorganisation of several companies and not-for-profit organisations, having served as a senior executive and chair and board member. He has extensive experience in management, strategic planning, governance and organising businesses. He serves on several boards in the Canadian Jewish Community as well as boards in the general community. Mark is a past President of Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto, past President of ARZA Canada and past Chair of ARZENU. He served on the URJ Board of Trustees and as Vice-Chair. He currently serves as a Director of the Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company, Project Abraham among other organizations. He was a founder and co-ordinator of the recently held (May 31-June 1, 2023) Re-CHARGING Reform Judaism Conference at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in New York City.
Rabbi Tracy J. Kaplowitz, Ph.D.
Rabbi Tracy J. Kaplowitz, Ph.D., is the inaugural Marilyn G. and Joseph B. Schwartz Israel Fellow at the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue. She came to Stephen Wise from JWB Jewish Chaplains Council, which ensures the quality of Jewish life for Jews in the U.S. military and the Veterans Administration. An experienced spiritual leader and educator, Rabbi Kaplowitz served as a reserve chaplain in the U.S. Air Force and on the professional staff of both the Schechter School of Long Island and the Jewish Education Project. She was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and earned her doctorate in the sociology of education from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Rabbi Kaplowitz is a member of both the Central Conference of American Rabbis and the Rabbinical Assembly.
Rabbi Bennett F. Miller
Rabbi Bennett F. Miller, a native of Rochester, N.Y., is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati. He earned a Master of Arts and Hebrew Letters from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati where he was ordained a Rabbi in 1974. He also earned his doctorate from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1988. In March 1999, he was awarded a Doctorate of Divinity Degree from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. In 2008, Rabbi Miller completed a Certificate in Fund Raising at the George Heyman Center for Non-Profit Management and Fund Raising at New York University.
Rabbi Miller is rabbi emeritus of Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He has been associated with Anshe Emeth since 1974. Founded in 1859, Anshe Emeth is the third oldest congregation in New Jersey. Before coming to Anshe Emeth, he was the spiritual leader of Congregation Havurah in Buffalo, N.Y. and the New Jersey State Advisory Council on the Holocaust.
Since October 2012, Rabbi Miller was elected to serve as the national Chair of the Association of Reform Zionists of America (ARZA). ARZA is the Zionist arm of the Reform Movement of North America. In his capacity as Chair, Rabbi Miller represents a membership of nearly 25,000 Zionists in Reform Congregations throughout the United States. Rabbi Miller also serves on the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency for Israel.
His varied activities include being the Chair of the National Rabbinic Cabinet of the United Jewish Communities. He has also served as a contributor to the Judaica Series of the Young Leadership Cabinet of United Jewish Appeal and to its rabbinic publication, The Orchard.
He currently serves as a member on the Board of Trustees of the Union for Reform Judaism. Rabbi Miller has served as Co-Chairman of the Union for Reform Judaism Commission on Synagogue Management and as founding Co-Chairman of the Union for Reform Judaism Commission on Synagogue Music (formerly, the Union of American Hebrew Congregations).
In the New Brunswick community, Rabbi Miller is the founding Chairman of the Clinical Pastoral Education Committee at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and continues to serve as its Chairman. He is the Jewish Chaplain to the New Brunswick Police Force. He has served on the Board of Elijah’s Promise, a non-profit interfaith organization dedicated to providing meals to the homeless and needy in New Brunswick. He served also on the New Brunswick Tercentennial Executive Committee.
At the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Rabbi Miller serves as Instructor in Pastoral Theology in the Doctor of Ministry Program. He is also a member of the Clinical Faculty of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and he served as Instructor in Liturgy at the Jerusalem campus of the College-Institute.
Rabbi Miller is the author of Reform Jewish Identity: Developing A Program of Ministry to Guide the New Member of A Reform Synagogue to Mature Jewish Living. He is also the author of Siduree: A Prayerbook for Young Children, The Songs of Anshe Emeth for Shabbat, and numerous creative worship services. Rabbi Miller has also written the teacher’s guide to Why Pray? published by the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. He has had articles published in Compass Magazine and other periodicals and served for ten years as consultant to The Jewish Star, the newspaper of the Jewish Federation of Greater Middlesex County.
Rabbi Miller and his wife Joan are residents of Monroe Township, New Jersey. They are the parents of two daughters, Rabbi Ellie Miller of West Orange, New Jersey and Carrie Miller Nussbaum of Short Hills, New Jersey and proud grandparents of Sam Miller Lynn, Max Miller Nussbaum, Meg and Jack Miller Lynn, Gabriel Miller Nussbaum, and Benjamin Miller Nussbaum.
Rabbi Geri Newburge
Rabbi Geri Newburge was ordained as a rabbi in May 2003 from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, OH. She is a member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR). Rabbi Newburge is currently a rabbi at Main Line Reform Temple. Previously, she served as the Associate Rabbi at Temple Emanuel in Cherry Hill from 2003 to 2013.
As a rabbi, she is highly involved with creating connections with congregants, innovating liturgy, social action, youth, and Religious School programming. Rabbi Newburge grew up in South Florida and graduated from the University of Miami with a B.A. in Religious Studies in 1994; then, in 1995, she moved to California to pursue a M.A. in Religion at the Claremont School of Theology, receiving her degree in May 1997.
Rabbi Newburge is married to Rabbi Eric Goldberg, Rabbi Educator at Congregation Shir Ami in Newtown, PA, and they are proud parents of their son, Jay.