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Staff Directory

Staff

RABBI AMY FEDER

SENIOR RABBI

 314-432-8050      afeder@ti-stl.org

Rabbi Amy grew up at TI and is proud to say she is as much a member of her community as its leader. Before you ask the inevitable St. Louis question, she attended Clayton High School and then studied Judaics and music at the University of Michigan. She moved to Israel to begin Hebrew Union College following graduation, and immediately met Michael Alper, whom she married in 2005, a year prior to ordination. She began her work as an assistant at Temple Israel following ordination and was invested as its Senior Rabbi in 2010, becoming the youngest woman to lead a large Reform congregation. With a background in vocal performance, she also serves as the primary cantorial soloist for the congregation. Amy’s rabbinic passions include creating opportunities for flexible education, ritual innovation, and intergenerational worship. She is also a coffee snob who knows how to make the perfect cappuccino. She has served as the president of the St. Louis Association of Reform Rabbis and the St. Louis Rabbinical and Cantorial Association. Amy serves Temple Israel alongside her husband, Rabbi Michael Alper, and they are the proud parents of two children.

When asked why she loves being a Rabbi at TI, Rabbi Amy explains, “I meet people where they are, nudging and nurturing them to see how accessible and meaningful Judaism can be. Through song, careful listening, and passionate preaching, I seek to inspire others to live in examined ways that bring comfort and joy. By building and nurturing relationships, I quietly remind others that they are not alone and that they can rely on me and the community we create together. Together we find purpose and inspiration to be the best versions of ourselves.” 


RABBI MICHAEL ALPER

SENIOR RABBI

 314-432-8050      malper@ti-stl.org

Rabbi Michael is a self-described wandering Jew. Born in California to parents from Brooklyn and Queens, he first developed his taste for Judaism making cross-country pilgrimages to Katz’s Deli. He moved to Florida as a teenager, spent some time living in Israel, and then was off to Boston University where he obtained his degree in history. Following graduation, he taught public school in the Bronx, but his afternoons were dedicated to teaching Hebrew school and private B'nai Mitzvah tutoring. He moved to Israel to begin Hebrew Union College in 2001 and has been traveling to Israel as often as possible ever since. Following ordination, he moved with Rabbi Amy to St. Louis to begin working as the Education Director at Central Reform Congregation. Two years later, he moved to Temple Israel, where he and Rabbi Amy have been working alongside each other ever since.

Rabbi Michael’s greatest passion is teaching. Whether he’s hosting a coffee talk for adult B’not Mitzvah, planning Geek Yeshiva, helping the 7th grade class erect tents on the Temple lawn to emulate the Israelites wandering in the desert, or unrolling a Torah scroll for a visiting church group, Rabbi Michael always has a creative approach to encourage students of all ages to access Judaism in new ways. You’re also likely to hear Rabbi Michael playing guitar at Shabbat services, planning the next trip to Israel, or helping someone make their own tallit. Rabbi Michael’s Yiddishkeit, humor, and love of learning shine through in everything he does.


RABBI MARK L. SHOOK

RABBI EMERITUS

 314-432-8050      mshook@ti-stl.org

Rabbi Shook is a native of Detroit, Michigan. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Anthropology/Near Eastern Studies, from the University of Michigan, a Bachelor of Hebrew Letters Degree, a Master of Arts Degree in Hebrew Letters, and a Doctor of Divinity Degree, from the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion. 

From 1972-1980, He was the Assistant, then Associate Rabbi of Congregation Temple Israel in Creve Coeur. In 1973 he began his police chaplaincy as a Department Chaplain for the St. Louis County Police. In 1981 he was called to serve as Rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel, Margate/Northfield, NJ, which he did until 1987. In 1987, Temple Israel in Creve Coeur invited him to return as their Senior Rabbi, a position he occupied until his retirement in 2010. Upon his retirement in 2010, he was named Rabbi Emeritus of the Congregation

Rabbi Shook taught Jewish Philosophy at St. Louis University, as an adjunct professor, from 1992-2016. He also continued his work in police chaplaincy. Since 2010 he has been serving as the Chaplain Coordinator of the St. Louis County Police, as a Division Chaplain for the St. Louis Division, FBI, and as a Chaplain of the Creve Coeur Police Department.

In addition to his chaplaincy, he continues to teach and write. His first historical novel, The Ezra Scroll, published in 2014, has just been reconfigured as a series with a new title, Search for the Sacred Scroll. It is published by the Newhouse Creative Group and is available through Barnes and Noble and Amazon.


RACHEL WALLIS ANDREASSON

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

 314-548-9743      randreasson@ti-stl.org

Rachel believes that every special occasion in Judaism is wrapped in a ritual and is bound with a deeper purpose. She loves serving as TI’s Executive Director to connect the traditions of the past and create a strong foundation for future generations.

Rachel grew up at TI. Her parents were married by Rabbi Rubin, and the many lifecycle events for her and her children were done at TI surrounded by family, friends, and the greater TI community. The coolest fact is that she was a first-year camper at TI’s Camp Kee Tov in 1977, came back to serve as a camp counselor in 1992 (when Rabbi Amy was a camper!), and then her oldest son attended the camp in its last year of operation.

Growing up where Rachel did in rural Missouri, there are no connections to Judaism other than what an individual chooses to bring forth. So, when the opportunity was available to assume the Executive Director role, she felt it was bashert (which means “meant to be” in Hebrew). Rachel took on the Executive Director role after working at her family business for 24 years in multiple operational and people-centric roles, and for more than a decade, she served as the Chair of TI’s HR Committee, too. One of her favorite parts about the job is hearing personal stories from TI members who’ve just joined to those that have been here for decades or generations. “It is always so interesting to hear about what connects our members to Judaism and to our community.”


ASHLEY PURVIS

ACCOUNTING MANAGER

 314-432-8050      apurvis@ti-stl.org


MARTINA STERN

INCOMING EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

314-432-8050      mstern@ti-stl.org


RACHEL LEONARD

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT COORDINATOR

 314-432-8050      rleonard@ti-stl.org


EMILY TRENT

EVENTS & ADMINISTRATIVE COORDINATOR

314-432-8050     etrent@ti-stl.org 


DEBBIE JENNINGS

CATERING MANAGER

 (314) 432-8050      djennings@ti-stl.org


Diane Fadem

B'NAI MITZVAH COORDINATOR

 (314) 432-8050      dfadem@ti-stl.org


LESLEY GOLDENBERG

DIRECTOR OF FAMILY EDUCATION

 314-432-8076      lgoldenberg@ti-stl.org


SIDNI WEGLARZ

DIRECTOR OF RELIGIOUS & HEBREW SCHOOL

 314-432-8076      sweglarz@ti-stl.org


KIM HIGGINBOTTOM

EDUCATION CENTER ACCOUNTING MANAGER

 (314) 432-8076      kheil@ti-stl.org


KIN WAN

FAMILY EDUCATION OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR

 314-432-8076      kwan@ti-stl.org


MAYA POGER

YOUTH ENGAGEMENT COORDINATOR

 314-432-8076      mpoger@ti-stl.org


ERIN WOLFMAN MAY

DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS

 314-432-8050      emay@ti-stl.org


COLIE BUSHONG

DIGITAL ENGAGEMENT MANAGER

 314-432-8050      cbushong@ti-stl.org


SAMANTHA WENDLING

DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

 314-432-8050      swendling@ti-stl.org


DERRICK BRYANT

BUILDING SUPERVISOR

 314-432-8050      dbryant@ti-stl.org


YURIY MOSKALETS

MAINTENANCE

 314-432-8050


TIM MUSZALSKI

MAINTENANCE

 


TANNER SMITH

ASSISTANT BUILDING SUPERVISOR

 


Or Garti

SHINSHIN

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Tue, June 25 2024 19 Sivan 5784