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Staff and Board


Rabbi | Cantor | Director of Visioning and Engagement |Operations ManagerPresidentHigh Holiday Cantor/Composer 


 

David MinkusRabbi David Minkus

Rabbi@rodfei.org
773-752-2770

 

Rabbi Minkus grew up in Skokie, graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in Psychology, and received his Rabbinic Ordination and Masters in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary.  He has been a Rosh Eidah (unit head) at Camp Ramah and a rabbinic intern with Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove at the Park Avenue Synagogue in New York.  He was the rabbi of the Fitzgerald Hebrew Congregation in Fitzgerald, Georgia, from 2011‑2013.  Review selected sermons on the Pulpit Shelf.

Rabbi Minkus is a creative and flexible thinker in the context of Conservative Judaism.  His inquisitive approach to teaching and learning and his strong focus on creating personal relationships and fostering community have already enriched Rodfei Zedek.  His ability to remember names and personal stories is truly impressive!

Ilyssa Minkus, Rabbi Minkus' wife, is a special education teacher.  They are enjoying life in Hyde Park.

 


 

Rachel Rosenberg

Cantor
Cantor@rodfei.org

 

Cantor Rachel Rosenberg has served as the Cantor at Congregation Rodfei Zedek since 2011.  She formerly served for nine years as Ritual Director at Congregation B'nai Tikvah in Deerfield, Illinois.  Rachel completed the Cantorial Internship Program of the Cantors Assembly of America and was invested as Hazzan in May 2011.  She is a member of the Cantors Assembly Executive Council and Education Committee and is involved with initiatives dealing with best practices in Jewish Family Education.  Rachel studied psychology and music at the University of Illinois, Jewish studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and earned her Masters of Management degree at Northwestern University.

Rachel is the former President of the Chicago Cantors' Hub, an organization which facilitates professional development and networking throughout the region and raises scholarship funds for cantorial students through community musical programming.  She is also a founding member of the well-known Chicago-based musical ensemble, Shakshuka, which features Israeli and Sephardic music "spiced with jazz."  The group has performed at many concerts and festivals, including the Greater Chicago Jewish Festival, Navy Pier, The City Winery, and has been welcomed by the Jewish community of Alaska!

Rachel is passionate about Jewish music, prayer, and Jewish education, and seeks to find new modes of meaningful expression with diverse communities of all ages.

 


 

Hannah Kaiser

Director of Visioning and Engagement
dve@rodfei.org

 

Hannah grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, and was always active in the Jewish community there. She graduated from her Hebrew High School continuing education program following her Bat Mitzvah, taught religious school, and spent six summers working at Camp Shalom, a Jewish day camp for kids. 

Hannah moved to Chicago in 2011 to attend Columbia College Chicago, where she served as Vice President of Columbia’s Hillel for two years and was active in the Metro Chicago Hillel community. She graduated in 2015 as valedictorian of her class, earning a BA in Fashion Business and a minor in Women’s Studies. 

Following her graduation, Hannah attended the Brandeis Collegiate Institute, which helped her reconnect to and reaffirm her connection and commitment to her Jewish identity. Upon Hannah’s return to Chicago, she worked in several different capacities doing marketing and community building - community building truly is her mission in life. After many years of searching for her Jewish home, Hannah is so excited to have landed at Rodfei Zedek and to be such an integral part of this special place. 

Outside of Rodfei Zedek, Hannah is an avid yoga practitioner! She has been practicing since 2011 and received her 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher Certification in January of 2020. She and her husband, Alex, currently reside in Pilsen. 

 


Veronica Carranza

Operations Manager
info@rodfei.org

Veronica Carranza joined Rodfei Zedek in November 2019 as the Administrative Assistant. Prior to joining CRZ, Veronica served in the Illinois Army National Guard for six years and has worked in Human Resources and Customer Service roles in other organizations. Veronica completed training in the Illinois Army National Guard Military School and has taken college level courses in criminal justice. 

Veronica was promoted to Operations Manager in April 2021. She prides herself on being able to figure out how to do new things, which she is always eager to try, and takes her work very seriously. Honesty and respect are values she holds dear in her professional and personal life.

Veronica loves to get the job done but is a fan of breaks from routine, and really enjoys the variety each day at the synagogue brings to her work. She has found CRZ to be like a family and is grateful for the warmth and open communication expressed by both staff and members alike.

 


 

Diane Altkorn

President
president@rodfei.org

 

Diane is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago. After over 30 years of full-time work as a general internist and medical educator, she is now supervising and teaching internal medicine residents part-time. When she is not working, she goes to synagogue meetings, plays tennis, reads, and spends time with friends and family.  Diane's husband, Bob Altkorn, is a consumer products safety consultant at Intertek.  Their son, Danny, lives in Lincoln Park and is a software developer at Tempus.  Their daughter, Emily, is a 4th-year student at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine in Madison.

 

 


 

Jonathan Miller 2017Jonathan Miller

High Holiday Cantor/Composer
singwow@comcast.net

 

A leader in American choral music, Jonathan has been sharing the joy of his art form since he joined the Chicago Children’s Choir in Hyde Park at the age of ten.  In 1979, Max Janowski hired 17‑year-old Jonathan to sing bass in a high holiday choir for the Central Synagogue of the South Side Hebrew Congregation.  Three years later Jonathan’s high holiday assignment moved to Congregation B’nai Jacob in Rogers Park, where Jonathan began his 28‑year association with Cantor Julius Solomon, including 12 years of directing the choir here at CRZ and eventually taking on the High Holiday cantor’s role in 2010.

Jonathan attended Shoesmith School, Louis Wirth School, and Kenwood Academy, and studied mathematics and music at the University of Chicago.  Shortly after completing doctoral studies in musicology at UNC‑Chapel Hill in 1993, Jonathan founded Chicago a cappella, a professional classical vocal ensemble.  Jonathan is also Artistic Director, CEO, and co‑founder of the Sounds Good! Choir, a Chicago area choral-music organization for older adults, and the Good Memories Choir, a community in which people with early-stage Alzheimer’s and other dementias sing in a choir together with their care partners.  In addition to musical pursuits, Jonathan has worked in sales in the publishing and software industries and is passionate about the business of the arts.  He is a former board member of Chorus America and serves as an enthusiastic auctioneer for charity events. 

 


2022 Board of Trustees

Mark Sorkin

Lisa Golden

Russell Szmulewitz 

Edward Brener

James Gimpel

Ben Umans

Andrew Basa

Talia Berkowitz

Daniel Blumenthal

Mitchell Brown

Jonathan Dennis

Edward Hamburg

Nancy Jacobson

Lisa Salkovitz Kohn

Eliot Gershon

Douglas Kelner

Robyn Koyner

Jeffrey Ruby

Megan Schwartz

Benjamin Waltzer

Fri, May 20 2022 19 Iyyar 5782