Oak Park Temple Clergy
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 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 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 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 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.
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.