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Clergy Biographies

Rabbi David Schuck Rabbi David Schuck joined the Beth El team in 2015 after serving as the spiritual leader of the Pelham Jewish Center for eleven years. He is an adjunct lecturer in the Professional and Pastoral Skills Department of the Rabbinical School at the Jewish Theological Seminary and a former faculty member in the rabbinical school of the Academy for Jewish Religion where he taught Professional Skills. Rabbi Schuck grew up in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, and has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Middle East History from Rutgers University. Rabbi Schuck was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2004 where he was awarded the Lillian M. Lowenfeld Prize in Practical Theology and the Israel H. Levinthal Prize in Homiletics.

Rabbi Schuck was privileged to visit Russia on a rabbinic mission with the UJA Federation of NY, as well as participate in the Young Rabbis Delegation service-learning trip to Ghana with the American Jewish World Service. He has served on the UJA Federation’s Commission on Jewish Identity and Renewal for the Former Soviet Union as well as the boards of the Westchester Jewish Council, Pelham Guidance Council, the Westchester Inter-Religious Clergy Network, and the Mount Vernon Soup Kitchen.

Rabbi Schuck grew up in the Conservative Movement as an active USYer and spent many years as a counselor, group leader, and yoetz for USY Israel Pilgrimage and USY on Wheels. Rabbi Schuck lived in Israel for a few years throughout college and in his early twenties, including two years as a participant and a counselor for United Synagogue’s Nativ program. Rabbi Schuck spent two summers as the Scholar in Residence at Camp Ramah New England. After college Rabbi Schuck lived in Kalwa, India, a small village outside of Bombay, where he served as a Jewish Service Corps Educator through the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.

Rabbi Schuck lives in New Rochelle with his wife Tali Aldouby-Schuck, their children Noam, Nadav, and Zeev, and their dog Obi. Despite the obvious challenge, he is a loyal Philadelphia Phillies and Eagles fan, and he did not consider the rabbinate until it was abundantly clear that he had no future in baseball. When he is not teaching or talking Torah, you can find him watching baseball, making yogurt, or planning a camping trip but staying in a nice hotel instead.

 

Assistant Rabbi Zachary Sitkin joined the Beth El clergy team in 2016 on a part-time basis, and recently became its full-time assistant rabbi. Rabbi Sitkin had served as Rabbi at Congregation Eitz Chaim in Monroe, NY, and participared in a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary.  Rabbi Sitkin’s love for Judaism was sparked by his participation in his local and regional USY chapters in high school, and was further cultivated when he left for Israel on the Nativ gap-year program, where he studied at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and worked on a Kibbutz in the South.  Rabbi Sitkin attended the University of Pittsburgh and received dual Bachelors degrees in both Psychology and Religious Studies.  While at Pitt, Rabbi Sitkin co-founded a Beit Midrash, led the conservative minyan on Shabbat, and beat-boxed in Hillel’s a cappella group, the VoKols, where he met his wife, Lisa.  Rabbi Sitkin received his rabbinic ordination and a Master of Arts in Talmud and Rabbinic Literature from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City.  Throughout his time at JTS, Rabbi Sitkin served as the rabbinic intern at the Pelham Jewish Center in Pelham Manor, NY and as the Robert Kraft Rabbinic Fellow at the Columbia/Barnard Hillel in Manhattan.  When not learning Torah (yes, he really does that for fun!), you can almost always find Rabbi Sitkin shooting hoops on the basketball court, watching movies, or singing a tune out of many niggunim.  Rabbi Sitkin and his wife, Lisa, are so grateful for this opportunity and look forward to meeting all of you!

 

Assistant Rabbi Jessica Fisher joined the Beth El community as a rabbinic fellow in 2019 and is thrilled to be continuing on as a full-time member of the clergy team. Prior to Beth El, Rabbi Fisher interned in a number of Conservative synagogues in the New York area and in Chicago. She also worked at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires, completed a unit of clinical pastoral education in prison chaplaincy and elder care, and had a fellowship in interfaith and community relations with the Jewish Community Relations Council in Cincinnati, Ohio. Before rabbinical school, she ran the Chicago Diller Teen Fellows program at the Jewish Federation and worked in SNAP outreach for the Greater Chicago Food Depository. 

Born and raised in Cincinnati, Rabbi Fisher first moved to New York to attend the undergraduate joint program between Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary, earning degrees in the History of Social Inequality and Midrash. Rabbi Fisher was ordained by JTS in May 2020 where she was awarded the Lillian M. Lowenthal Prize in Practical Theology and the Rabbi Albert Pappenheim Prize in Professional Skills. 

Rabbi Fisher is eagerly looking forward to deepening her connections in the Beth El community and finding excuses to share her love of cooking, crafting, and talking about her Cincinnati roots.

 

melvin_sirnerJack Klebanow is excited to be part of Beth El’s prayer team, helping to build community and to create deep, aesthetic and spiritually moving experiences.  Jack is a multi-instrumentalist with a broad musical background, including composing and arranging as well as performance in classical, pop and Jewish repertoires. Important music teachers have included Laurence Honan, Luise Vosgerchian, and Al Goltzer. 

Jack has had a lifelong passion for Jewish prayer and study. He is grateful for having learned from so many dedicated and gifted teachers including Rabbis Jerome Malino, Tuvia Posen, Shimon Green, Barry Klein, Lawrence Perlman and Rabbi Schuck.  Meditation is also at the heart of Jack’s spiritual practice.  

Originally from Danbury, CT, Jack graduated with a BA in Government from Harvard University, studied political philosophy at the University of Chicago and has had a successful career as an entrepreneur and business owner.

Tue, July 7 2020 15 Tammuz 5780