The People of Oak Park Temple

Learn about our leadership, officers, administrators and volunteers.
Our Leadership

Oak Park Temple Clergy

Max Weiss

Max Weiss

Rabbi

Max Weiss and his family came to the Oak Park Temple community in 2009. Ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1997, he has served congregations in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania and Hoffman Estates, Illinois. Rabbi Weiss currently serves as Chair of the Rabbinic Advisory committee of Olin Sang Ruby Union Institute and is active in interfaith dialogue and community outreach programs. He has particular interest in lifelong Jewish education and is passionate about American Jewish history. If you would like to schedule an appointment to talk, please email Rabbi Max Weiss or call the Temple office.

Julie Yugend-Green

Julie Yugend-Green

Cantor

Julie Yugend-Green appointed cantor of Oak Park Temple in 1997, holds a degree of Master of Sacred Music from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and was invested as Cantor in 1994. Cantor Yugend-Green has instituted dynamic programs of music and study including the establishment of Shalshelet – Oak Park Temple’s Council for Music and the Arts. She is committed to fostering our community’s relationship with Eretz Yisrael, and has led several several congregational tours of Israel and Eastern Europe.  In 2013, Cantor Yugend-Green became a founding member of the West Suburban Chevra Kadisha, a partnership between Oak Park Temple B’nai Abraham Zion and West Suburban Temple Har Zion. Email Cantor Julie Yugend-Green.

Gary S. Gerson

Gary S. Gerson

Rabbi Emeritus

Gary S. Gerson served as Senior Rabbi from 1979 to 2009.  Reflecting on his tenure, he is most proud of having facilitated a vibrant congregational program of adult studies that culminated in the building of our adult learning center. With this as a backdrop, upon his assuming emeritus status, the Rabbi Gary S. Gerson Chair in Adult Education was created and endowed. Through this vehicle, Rabbi Gerson continues to serve the congregation with his courses in Jewish text, Jewish thought, and the foundational texts of the Jewish mystical tradition.  In addition, Rabbi Gerson continues to serve as a resource in other areas of congregational life.

Staff and Administrators

Danielle Sandler

Danielle Sandler

Temple Administrator

Danielle Sandler has over 15 years of experience in Jewish Institutions crossing the spectrum from Orthodox to Reform.  She worked for Northwest Suburban Jewish Congregation as Executive Director, Hebrew Theological College/Anne M. Blitstein Teachers Institute as Assistant to the Dean, and Administrative Assistant for the Early Childhood Department of Hillel Torah Day School. She has an M.Ed from Loyola University in Administration and Supervision, B.S. from DePaul University in Political Science; A.A. from Columbia College in Paralegal Studies.  Email Danielle.

Robin Arbetman

Robin Arbetman

Temple Educator

Robin Arbetman has taught children of all ages in Chicago area synagogues since 1981. She joined the Oak Park Temple Religious School staff in 1990 and immediately became one of its most beloved teachers. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Ms. Arbetman also studied at the Hebrew University and completed a year of intensive leadership training at the Institute for Youth Leaders in Israel as well as the Master Teacher Training Course for Jewish Educators. She is active in national CAJE conferences. As a curriculum writer, Ms. Arbetman has developed material for special media events, courses on contemporary Jewish identity, and an interactive online Holocaust study guide. Her vision for Jewish education is an organic one, providing students individual expression, cooperative learning, meaningful experiences, and community awareness.  Email Robin.

Marci Sperling-Flynn

Marci Sperling-Flynn

Director of Early Childhood Education

Marci Sperling-Flynn has been Glasser Preschool’s full time director since 1998. She received her BA in psychology from Brandeis University (having also spent a semester at Tel Aviv University), received her JD from Georgetown University Law School, and completed her coursework towards the MA in early childhood education at National Louis University. After practicing law for ten years, Ms. Flynn changed careers to follow her dream of working full time with children and their families.  Email Marci.

2017-2018 Officers and Board of Directors

Temple Officers
(term ends Jan 2019):

President: Shari S.
Executive Vice President: Liz Simon
Finance Vice President:  Aaron Lebovitz
Vice President w/o Portfolio: Jenn George
Building Vice President: Brian Hammersley
Treasurer: Dan Zoloto
Secretary: Alan Fox
Immediate Past President: Deborah Holdstein

Committee Representatives
to the Board of Directors:

Religious School: Randy Gillett
Glasser Preschool: Carolyn Sherman
Women of Oak Park Temple: Cindy Gould
Adult Education: Susan Ciselsky
Social Action: Allison Cowett
Development & Annual Giving (Fundraising): Sarah Lewensohn
Worship: Jimmy Korshak
Membership: Marc Imowitz
Communications: Karen Muriello

At-Large Board Members
(term ends Jan 2019)

Doris Angell
Amy Drescher-Crumpley
Janice Moskoff
Elliot Regenstein

At-Large Board Members
(term ends Jan 2018):

Ali Mandell
Maurie Stern
Olga Vydra

Officers Bios

Shari S.

Shari S.

President

Shari served two terms as OPT Treasurer.  She was an at-large board member prior to becoming an officer.

She and her family have been temple members for 10 years, and she has been on various committees including most recently finance, communication, worship, and Derech Eretz.  Shari became a Bat Mitzvah at Oak Park Temple as an adult.  Her son went through the Religious School program, Bar Mitzvah, and recently was confirmed at OPT.  Shari is active in a women’s torah study group as well as a chavurah.  Shari is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner, and she is currently a Supervisor at the Internal Revenue Service where she leads a group of highly specialized forensic accountants.

Liz Simon

Liz Simon

Executive Vice President

Bio and Picture Coming Soon

Deborah H. Holdstein

Deborah H. Holdstein

Immediate Past President

Deborah Holdstein has been a member of Oak Park Temple since 1986, and, among other activities, she has served on the Board of Directors under several administrations.  She has also served on the Glasser Preschool Committee and for many years co-led the volunteers of the Shure Memorial Library of Oak Park Temple.  Deborah also had the honor of being part of the Rabbi Search Committee that brought Rabbi Weiss to OPT. She and her husband, Jay Boersma, are members of an OPT chavurah.

Professor of English and for seven years Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Columbia College Chicago, Deborah became bat mitzvah several years ago, studying with Cantor Green to accomplish this milestone.  Her children, Emily and David, now adults, attended preschool, religious school, and became B’nai Mitzvah at OPT, and late in life, Deborah’s parents became members of OPT after moving to the Chicago area.

Aaron Lebovitz

Aaron Lebovitz

Finance Vice President

Aaron joined the OPT Board as the Vice President in Finance in March of 2013.  His family joined the Temple in 2006.  Aaron grew up in Glencoe, IL, and became Bar Mitzvah at Am Shalom.

Aaron and his wife, Donna Meyers, have served on a wide range of boards and committees around town, including the D97 Financial Oversight and Review Committee, the D97 PTO Council, West Suburban PADS, the Oak Park & River Forest Food Pantry, the Chicago Zoological Society, the Oak Park / River Forest Community Foundation, and the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis.  Their older daughter, Madi, became Bat Mitzvah last September.  Their son, Bram, will soon become Bar Mitzvah, and daughter Ava will graduate from the Glasser Preschool.  Aaron was trained as an economist, and he spends his weekdays developing quantitative strategies for investment and trading.

Dan Zoloto

Dan Zoloto

Treasurer

Bio and Picture Coming Soon

Alan Fox

Alan Fox

Secretary

Bio and Picture Coming Soon

Jennifer George

Jennifer George

Vice President without Portfolio

Jennifer George joined the temple in 2010 after walking into the rotunda on a Sunday morning and experiencing the joy and energy. Their twin boys Ben and Noah and daughter Abbie all attended Glasser Preschool.  Their family is very active in the Temple and the preschool.

Committee Chairs

Susan Ciselsky

Susan Ciselsky

Adult Education Committee

Bio Coming Soon

Alison Cowett

Alison Cowett

Social Action

Allison Cowett joined Oak Park Temple with her husband, Dave Adams, and their two girls Noa and Talia in 2013.  She and her family have formed a Chavurah with families whose children attend Longfellow School. She is an active member of the Social Action Committee.

Allison is an Obstetrician Gynecologist specializing in contraception and abortion. She views her work with her patients, many of whom are medically underserved women, as part of the larger mission of Tikkun Olam.

Randy Gillett

Randy Gillett

Religious School Committee

Bio and Picture Coming Soon

Cindy Gould

Cindy Gould

Women of Oak Park Temple

Bio and Picture Coming Soon

Marc Imowitz

Marc Imowitz

Membership Committee

Marc Imowitz, his wife Samantha and daughter Kira joined Oak Park Temple in 2010. Kira became B’nai Mitzvahed and continues to attend religious school. Marc is in his second year as a board member and serves as the Temple’s Membership Chairperson.

Professionally, Marc works as the Vice President of Commercial Operations for CDK Global, a $2B software company located in Hoffman Estates.  

Marc and his family currently reside in Oak Park.

Jimmy Korshak

Jimmy Korshak

Worship Committee

Bio and Picture Coming Soon

Sarah Lewensohn

Sarah Lewensohn

Development & Annual Giving Committee

Sarah Lewensohn and her family joined Oak Park Temple in 2002. Both of her daughters became B’nai Mitzvah and attended the religious school up through the Confirmation class.  Her youngest will complete the program this Spring.  Sarah is new to the board and serves as a Member-at-Large.

Professionally, Sarah recently embarked as an entrepreneur.  Previously, she held positions in investor relations and finance at a number of publicly traded companies in the Chicago area.

Sarah and her daughters live in Hinsdale.

Karen Muriello

Karen Muriello

Communications Committee

Bio and Picture Coming Soon

Carolyn Sherman

Carolyn Sherman

Glasser Preschool Committee

Bio and Picture Coming Soon

At-Large Board Members

Coming Soon

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