ANNIE TUCKER, Senior Rabbi
ARI ISENBERG-GRZEDA, Rabbi
SHOSHI LEVIN GOLDBERG, Interim Cantor
ARIANA CAPPTAUBER, Gladstein Rabbinic Fellow
MITCHELL BLANK, Temple Israel Center Rabbinic Intern
GORDON TUCKER, Rabbi Emeritus
JACOB BEN-ZION MENDELSON, Cantor Emeritus
senior Rabbi Annie Tucker
Rabbi Annie Tucker brings a wealth of experience to Temple Israel Center. In her previous position as Senior Rabbi of Beth Hillel Bnai Emunah in Wilmette, IL, she introduced new opportunities for adult learning, developed initiatives to engage children and families, and worked closely with the clergy to energize worship within the congregation. She deepened the community’s commitment to Disability, Keruv (Interfaith), and LGBTQ inclusion as well as social justice efforts—helping to launch a relief mission to Houston after Hurricane Harvey and creating a community garden. She also developed a Young Professionals Group for those in their 20's and 30's.
From 2006-2013, Rabbi Tucker served as Associate Rabbi of The Jewish Center, a Conservative congregation in Princeton, NJ. She was integrally involved in the synagogue’s education and youth community, serving as lead professional on their religious school change initiative for which she earned an Ateret Kavod award for innovation and created dynamic programming including an annual confirmation class service program in New Orleans and women’s trips to Israel, Jewish Spain, and Eastern Europe.
Rabbi Annie Tucker graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania where she majored in Psychology and Jewish Studies. A Wexner Graduate Fellow, she earned a master’s degree in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2001. She continued on in the Seminary’s rabbinical program and was ordained in 2006 with a concentration in Pastoral Counseling. At graduation, Rabbi Tucker received the Bernard & Sydell Citron Scholastic Prize awarded to the outstanding graduating student of the Rabbinical School. She was also granted the Lamport Prize in Homiletics.
Rabbi Tucker grew up in Lexington, MA and enjoys teaching, writing, and working with individuals of all ages.
Contact Rabbi Annie at 914-948-2800 ext. 115, or by email.
RABBI ARI ISENBERG-GRZEDA
Rabbi Ari Isenberg-Grzeda joined the leadership team at Temple Israel Center as its Associate Rabbi in 2015. Ari’s passion for the pulpit emerged at an early age in his hometown of Montreal, Quebec. Ari is dedicated to pastoral work, community leadership, and creating meaningful, sacred moments in the lives of his congregants.
Ari was ordained as Rabbi by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America where he also achieved an M.A. in Sacred Music. While at the Seminary, he was named Tanenbaum Fellow of Toronto’s Beth Tzedec, Leffell Fellow of AIPAC, and Rabbinic Intern-in-Residence of Masorti France’s Dor Vador, Maayane Or, and Saint Germain-en-Laye communities. Additionally, he worked to establish and run a Kabbalat Shabbat series at the Jerusalem Open House. Upon ordination, Ari returned to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he had previously served Congregation Shaar Shalom as Spiritual Leader for several years. Over the course of the decade in which he served in Halifax, Ari frequently addressed its interfaith organizations and guest lectured at local universities. His contributions included regular commentary in newspapers and other media, including features in the Canadian Jewish News (CJN). Ari served as Associate Chaplain of Dalhousie University and was elected to the Executive Committee of the Canadian Rabbinic Caucus for the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA).
Contact Rabbi Isenberg-Grzeda at 914-948-2800 ext.133 or by email.
INTERIM CANTOR, SHOSHI LEVIN GOLDBERG
Cantor Shoshi Levin Goldberg has a Masters degree in Sacred Music from the Jewish Theological Seminary and is currently far along in her studies there for her rabbinic ordination. In addition to Shabbat, chagim and other hazzan responsibilities, she is actively involved in assisting with our schools, youth and b'nai mitzvah families. She has had a wide range of cantorial and educational professional and volunteer experiences including at B'nai Jeshurun, Shaare Zedek, Mechon Hadar, Camp Ramah Nyack and Westchester Jewish Center.
Contact Cantor Goldberg at 914-948-2800 ext. 125 or by email.
GLADSTEIN RABBINIC FELLOW ARIANA CAPPTAUBER
Ariana Capptauber is a rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary. As part of her rabbinic studies, she is working towards a Masters degree in Midrash and a certificate in Clinical Pastoral Education.
Ariana is passionate about social justice and spent a year as a fellow in Avodah: the Jewish Service Corps, working on a campaign against gun-violence in Brooklyn. Last year Ariana did a unit of prison chaplaincy, serving as a chaplain on Rikers Island. Ariana grew up in Potomac, Maryland where she attended the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School. She later attended Tufts University in Boston, where she received a B.A. in English and Peace and Justice Studies.
At TIC, Ariana teaches a bi-monthly women’s torah group, and she also teaches teens in the Havurat Torah program. Ariana loves to learn about and discuss liturgy; she co-taught a series of classes with Cantor Shoshi Levin Goldberg on the siddur called “Tefillah Lab.” Ariana is also an avid practitioner of Jewish meditation and will be leading monthly Contemplative service on Shabbat morning. In her spare time, Ariana loves to write creatively, and she is currently working on a fiction project of modern midrash.
Temple Israel Center Rabbinic Intern Mitchell Blank
Mitchell Blank is a Rabbinical Student at the Academy for Jewish Religion and is moving towards the completion of his studies and ordination. In addition to his internship at TIC, Mitchell has been working for the past four years with Seivah: Jewish Life Beyond Memory. The program nourishes and cultivates the spiritual needs of those suffering with dementia.
Mitchell and his family have been TIC members for the past 50 years. He feels strongly that it's a true joy and privelege to be serving as a Rabbinic Intern in his longtime spiritual home. "It's most humbling and exhilarating to teach Torah, daven and lein from the same bimah as his teacher and spiritual guide, Rabbi Emeritus Gordon Tucker," he said.
Over the past year, Mitchell has led a weekly class on Parashat Hashavuah, taught the books of Ruth and Esther as well as a class on meditation and Jewish spirituality at the Havurat Torah. Mitchell is a passionate Torah reader and takes joy in teaching chanting to students of all ages.
Mitchell's ultimate joy derives from his wife Rose, his children Elana and Paula and his extended and extensive family, including his parents, all of whom are also members of our beloved TIC community.
RABBI EMERITUS GORDON TUCKER
Rabbi Gordon Tucker has been at Temple Israel Center since 1994. In 2003, he was named Senior Rabbi. Currently he is Rabbi Emeritus.
A native of New York City, he holds the A.B. degree from Harvard University and a Ph.D. (in Philosophy) from Princeton University. He was ordained a Rabbi in 1975 by The Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTSA).
Since coming to Temple Israel Center, Rabbi Tucker has worked to strengthen three primary areas of Jewish life: education for all ages, the spirituality of worship, and the obligation to reach out to the less fortunate.
Rabbi Tucker joined the faculty of JTSA in 1976 and has taught there continuously ever since. He is currently Adjunct Assistant Professor of Jewish Philosophy. From 1984 to 1992, he was Dean of the Rabbinical School at JTSA, in which capacity he directed the training of over 200 rabbis.
He is Honorary Chairman (and former Chairman) of the Board of the Masorti Foundation for Conservative Judaism in Israel, and served on the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Rabbinical Assembly from 1982 to 2007.
While on a leave of absence from JTSA beginning in 1979, Rabbi Tucker served as a White House Fellow in the office of United States Attorney General Benjamin R. Civiletti.
Rabbi Tucker is the author of numerous articles on a wide range of subjects in Jewish thought, and most recently published a translation with commentary (entitled "Heavenly Torah") on Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel's major three-volume Hebrew work on rabbinic theology.
CANTOR EMERITUS JACOB BEN-ZION MENDELSON
Cantor Mendelson has been at Temple Israel Center for over 25 years, enriching our community with his beautiful Hazzanut. He teaches many of the B'nai Mitzvah, gives courses in adult education, teaches in the middle school and is always available for private tutoring to any congregant who would like to learn to read Torah or lead the congregation in prayer.
Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, he witnessed the dwindling days of the Golden Age of Hazzanut. Now, as both an international performer and one of the leading cantorial masters of today, he is passing on his art to a new generation of cantors. For over 25 years he has taught at the Hebrew Union College School of Sacred Music, and the H.L. Miller Cantorial School at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Cantor Mendelson has the unique honor of receiving honorary doctorates from the Jewish Theological Seminary and Hebrew Union College.
Cantor Mendelson is a graduate of the Hebrew Union College School of Sacred Music and the American Opera Center at the Juilliard School. He is the composer of Weekday Mincha and Maariv and Improvisations on Shabbat Shacharit published by the Cantors Assembly, the organization in which he served as president in 2003 and 2004.
Recently he created the role of Shabtai Tz'vi in the world premiere of Richard Teitelbaum's Scenes From Tz'vi held at both Bard College and La Biennale in Venice. After a Carnegie Hall concert, the New York Times raved: "Mendelson's performance was magical....emotionally unguarded." In January 2006, he sang the memorial prayer at the United Nations General Assembly, on the occasion of the first international day to Commemorate Victims of the Holocaust.
Cantor Mendelson's discography includes Cantorial Recitatives by Legendary Masters, The Birthday of the World Part I and Part II, A Taste of Eternity, narrated by Leonard Nimoy, Jewish Music and More, recorded with his wife, cantor Fredda Mendelson, Hazonos, called "...jazz album of the year" by Wired Magazine, recorded with Frank London and his son, Daniel Mendelson, and most recently, Further definitions of the Days of Awe, with the Afro Semitic Experience, also featuring his son Daniel.