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Our Clergy and Staff

 

 

Rabbi Noah Chertkoff, Senior Rabbi 

Rabbi Noah ChertkoffRabbi Noah Chertkoff joined Shalom after three years as the Assistant, then Associate Rabbi of Temple Kol Ami Emanu-El in Plantation Florida. A native of Toronto, Canada, he graduated from York University with a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies. He received his Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters and Rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion on May 31, 2008 from the Cincinnati campus. 

Before entering rabbinical school, Rabbi Chertkoff worked at Seeds of Peace International Camp which is dedicated to empowering young leaders from regions of conflict with the leadership skills required to advance reconciliation and coexistence, served as a Special Assistant to a Federal Cabinet Minister in the Canadian Government and worked as the National Social Action Coordinator for the Canadian Council for Reform Judaism. 

As a student Rabbi, he has served both Reform and Conservative congregations in Cincinnati, Ohio, Billings, Montana, and Toledo, Ohio. Rabbi Chertkoff has been involved in youth programming, through his participation with NFTY as a mechanech (tour guide and educator) in Israel and worked as a program coordinator at Camp Coleman. He also enjoyed teaching at the Academy of Adult Interfaith Studies at HUC-JIR.  

His volunteer activities throughout the years have included his involvement in ARZA, Habitat for Humanity, NaMeRes (Street Help Direct Response to Homelessness), the Interfaith Social Assistance Coalition, and the Maquila Solidarity Network. Rabbi Chertkoff served as a board member of SEACCAR, the South Eastern Assembly of the Central Conference of America Rabbis and was a member of the Broward Board of Rabbis. He loves to bike, sail, canoe, hike, camp and play guitar (badly), watch baseball and hockey.  Rabbi Noah is married to Lauren Berger and their family includes Hannah, Judah, Josie and Kaiah (their dog).  

Rabbi Noah became Congregation Shalom's Senior Rabbi effective July 1, 2015.

To contact Rabbi Noah by email, click here

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Rabbi Taylor Poslosky, Assistant Rabbi

Rabbi Taylor Poslosky (she/her) is thrilled to join the Congregation Shalom family as its Assistant Rabbi. She is a Midwesterner at heart— born and raised in Overland Park, Kansas. Growing up, her love of Judaism was rooted in family traditions, her home synagogue, Congregation Beth Torah, youth group, and camp. She spent several transformative summers at Goldman Union Camp Institute (GUCI), in Zionsville, Indiana and KUTZ Camp, both Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) overnight camps. Community was at the heart of these experiences and it will be at the heart of Rabbi Poslosky’s rabbinate.

After graduating with her Bachelor of Arts in Religion from William Jewell College, she worked as the Director of Youth Engagement at Congregation Beth Israel in Scottsdale, Arizona. There, she pursued a Certificate in Jewish Education for Adolescents and Emerging Adults through Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR). Her work as a youth professional, in the synagogue and at URJ and other summer camps, solidified her passion for Jewish youth engagement.

During Rabbi Poslosky’s rabbinic education at HUC-JIR she served Congregation Anshe Emeth in Piqua, Ohio, Temple Emanu-El in Dothan, Alabama, and Congregation Beth Israel in Houston, TX, as well as Hillel at Denison University and The Ohio State University. In Cincinnati, she learned much from her time at Valley Temple. Rabbi Poslosky affirmed her dedication to pastoral care through her experiences at Cincinnati hospitals and senior living facilities over two units of Clinical Pastoral Education. In addition to her studies, she devoted time to the HUC-JIR Cincinnati community. Rabbi Poslosky served as President of the Rabbinical Student Association and earned the Stephen N. Levinson Award for rendering the most significant service to HUC-JIR and its student body.

Rabbi Poslosky is happy to call Milwaukee her new home. You will probably find her reading a good book, going to Top Golf, or watching the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals, and, most recently the Milwaukee Bucks. Bucks in Six! She looks forward to bringing her love of pastoral care, youth engagement, and prayer to the Congregation Shalom community!

To reach Rabbi Poslosky Click Here

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Cantor David Perper

Hello Milwaukee, Fox Point and Congregation Shalom. My name is Cantor David Lessner Perper. It is a great joy for me, together with my wife of over 20 years, Cantor Faith Steinsnyder, to begin serving Congregation Shalom. Since my initial conversation with the Cantorial Search Co-Chairs Steve Wallace and David Arnstein, my impressions have been of warmth, welcoming, inclusiveness and joy. All the clergy and staff of Shalom have made every effort to make us feel at home. My service of the membership of Shalom, along with the great team already in place, will focus on teaching and leading worship, and pastoral care of our cherished members. With Cantor Berman’s wisdom and guidance to ensure continuity, we will move forward, in melody.

I was born and raised in Silver Spring, Maryland in a loving and warm Jewish home. After finishing my undergraduate degree at The Catholic University of America, in Washington, DC, I worked in retail for a bit before listening to my aunt Marians' suggestion that I become a cantor. I had already been singing since high school, as well as singing professionally in synagogue and church choirs to pay the bills. Then from ’92-’96 I attended Hebrew Union College in New York City. Faith and I have lived only on the east coast from Baltimore, to Philly, to Jersey, and now WI:) We are joyously looking forward to meeting everyone, continuing our lives and journeys with you, our new faith community.

To reach Cantor  Perper by email, click here.

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Brian Avner, RJE, Director of Congregational Learning 

Brian Avner is excited to be joining Congregation Shalom as the Director of Congregational Learning. Brian grew up in the Chicago suburbs and was an active member of his synagogue and youth group.  He also spent nearly every summer at URJ-OSRUI,  the Reform Movement's summer camp in Oconomowoc, WI as a camper, counselor and unit head.  He still spends a few weeks each summer at OSRUI serving as faculty.  It was through all those experiences that Brian grew to love working with Jewish youth and found his passion for education. 

Brian received his Bachelor of Arts in Hebrew and Semitic Studies and in Jewish Studies from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.  He was also an active leader at UW-Madison Hillel where he helped lead the weekly reform service, led a monthly service for residents at a local nursing home, and was a Hillel First Year Ambassador helping new students find their place at Hillel.  After graduating from Madison, Brian worked as a teacher, tutor, and youth group advisor at Lakeside Congregation in Highland Park, IL.  Brian attended the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Los Angeles where he earned a Master of Arts in Jewish Education from the Rhea Hirsch School of Education and a Master of Arts in Jewish Non-Profit Management from the Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management.  He also earned his Master's Concentration in Israel Education from the iCenter in Chicago, IL. 

Brian and his wife, Sami Stein Avner (who grew up at Shalom!) live in Fox Point with their children Eyal and Noam.  In his free time, Brian enjoys sports, cooking, playing with his kids and cheering his Chicago sports teams. 

 To contact Brian Avner by email, click here

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 Rabbi Ronald Shapiro, D.D., Rabbi Emeritus 

Rabbi Ronald M. Shapiro

Rabbi Ronald Michael Shapiro, D.D., served as the Senior Rabbi at Congregation Shalom, Milwaukee, Wisconsin from 1980 - 2015.  Rabbi Shapiro arrived in Milwaukee in 1978, in order to serve as Congregation Shalom's Associate Rabbi, until his election to the position of Senior Rabbi in 1980. He was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and attended the University of Minnesota, receiving his B.A. degree in 1969. He then attended the Hebrew Union College/Jewish Institute of Religion, in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he received a Master of Arts degree in Hebrew Letters.  He was ordained a rabbi in 1974. Rabbi Shapiro served Temple B'rith Kodesh in Rochester, NY, prior to his arrival in Milwaukee in 1978. Rabbi Shapiro served as past-president of the Midwest Association of Reform Rabbis, and served on the Executive Board of the Central Conference of American Rabbis.  He served as the president of the Wisconsin Council of Rabbis, a board member of the Interfaith Conference of Milwaukee. As a member of the Rabbinic Cabinet of the United Jewish Appeal, Rabbi Shapiro traveled internationally in order to bring solace and learning to Jews who lived in countries where they we were the unfortunate recipients of persecution and discrimination. He traveled to the former Soviet Union in order to meet with " Refuseniks" where he taught Judaism, conducted life-cycles events, and brought a spirit of hope to those Jews who found themselves in difficult straits due to the oppression they suffered.  Rabbi Shapiro has been actively involved in interfaith activities. He is the past co-chair of the Catholic/Jewish Conference and serves as the co-chair of the Rabbi/Priest Dialogue, and the Richard Lux Center of Jewish Studies at Sacred Heart Seminary in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In addition, Rabbi Shapiro has taught classes in Judaism for twenty-eight years at Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Within the congregation, Rabbi Shapiro has officiated at thousands of life-cycle events, taught numerous classes, developed small fellowship groups, created an ambiance of pastoral care, and inculcated a spirit of performing deeds of social justice and interfaith activities within the greater community. He was offered the the honor of receiving the Frank Zeidler Award, for his leadership in social justice and interfaith relations by The Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee in 2014. He received the 1997 Human Relations Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews; and he received the Community Partner Award from Jewish Family Services in 2009.

In addition, Rabbi Shapiro has led numerous congregational trips to Israel and Europe over the years, in order to create community, develop a joy of learning, and to underscore an appreciation for the human family created in the image of God.

Rabbi Shapiro is married to the former Judy London. They are blessed with dear children, Ben and Roxanne, Ari and Samara, Dan and Tera and seven wonderful grandchildren.

To contact Rabbi Shapiro, please email Rabbinic Executive Assistant Amy Sugent here

Cantor Karen Berman, Cantor Emerita

Cantor Karen Berman

Cantor Karen Berman has had the joy of being a part of Congregation Shalom since 1987. In addition to her vocal cantorial duties she directs Shalom's Youth Choir, teaches music in the Religious School, and offers classes in the Department of Life Long Learning for the Synagogue.  Central to her duties is coordinating and teaching in the B’nai Mitzvah Tutorial program.  Cantor Berman participates in the heartbeat of congregational life at weddings, baby namings, B’nai Mitzvah, and funerals. 

Cantor Karen Berman has long been involved in the Milwaukee Jewish community, organizing and performing music for the Community Woman's Seder and Rosh Chodesh programs, participating in a variety of concerts and programs, including the Annual Chanukah concert with the Milwaukee Jewish Community Chorale.  Additionally, she is often a programming liaison to the Interfaith Community. 

Beyond her contributions in the area of music, she has also been honored as an educator in the community.  She has received the Milwaukee Association for Jewish Education's prestigious "Educator of the Year Award," as well as recognition from the Keshet of Wisconsin program for her efforts on behalf of students with exceptional needs. 

She has been a guest soloist with the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra and has appeared in a Public Television special "To Thee We Sing: Music in American Religion." Among her credits are solo and ensemble performances on stage and in worship at several national conventions of the Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education (CAJE), the American Conference of Cantors (ACC) and the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) Biennial.  Cantor Berman became a full member of the American Conference of Cantors in 1998, following five years as an associate member.   

Karen's family includes husband Elliot and children, Sam Berman, Sam and Hannah Hamilton and grandaughter Joey. 

To contact Cantor Berman by email, click here.  

Linda Holifield, Executive Director 

Linda Holifield

Linda Holifield became Congregation Shalom’s Executive Director on July 1, 2011. Born in Newark, New Jersey, Linda attended college at the University Of Wisconsin-Madison. She received a BS degree in Rehabilitation Education in 1974, an MS degree in Rehabilitation Counseling in 1976, and an MBA degree in 1990.  

Prior to becoming Congregation Shalom’s Executive Director, Linda was actively involved as a lay leader. She was the temple’s President from July 2010-July 2011, and before that, she served as a Vice President from July 2007 to June 2009. She has been a member of Congregation Shalom since 1996 and served on the Board from 2005-2011. 

LInda's work experience includes twelve years as the Executive Director of the Center for Blind and Visually Impaired Children, a local non-profit organization that served young children impacted by vision loss. Linda also was the Executive Director at Volunteer Services for the Visually Handicapped. She has had extensive experience in federal and local grantwriting on behalf of the Center for Blind and Visually Impaired Children, Sojourner Truth House and the Parenting Network. Her other work experience has been in county government where she managed job development programs and evaluated child welfare programs in Milwaukee and Kenosha counties. In addition to Board involvement at Congregation Shalom, Linda served on the Boards of a number of local non-profit organizations including the Junior League of Milwaukee, the Foster Care Review Board, Tikkun Ha-Ir, and the Wisconsin Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired.  

Linda is a Senior Member of the National Association for Temple Administrators (NATA).

She has two children, Lauren and Brian Bell. She resides in Fox Point with her husband, James.

To contact Linda by email, click here.

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Abby Habush Schroeder, Director of Synagogue Relations 

Abby Habush Schroeder

Abby Habush Schroeder, Director of Synagogue Relations of Congregation Shalom, was born in Milwaukee, WI. Abby was raised at Shalom attending Religious School, becoming a Bat Mitzvah, and becoming confirmed. 

She has returned to her spiritual home in 2005 after leaving COA Youth and Family Centers, where she worked as the Events and Communications Coordinator for four years. 

Abby graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee with a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication. She has spent much of her life in journalism and photography, working for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and running a student newspaper at UW-Milwaukee for four years.  

Abby is to married David Schroeder, a high school teacher and Waukesha native. They became proud parents to Sophie Isabella in 2005 and Kenzie Tatum in 2010. 

To contact Abby by email, click here. 

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Mon, August 2 2021 24 Av 5781