Rabbinic-Cantorial Advisory Council

The CCJDS Rabbinic-Cantorial Advisory Council helps to:

  • Make and sustain connections with clergy in our community.
  • Establish a consistent religious presence for CCJDS faculty, students and families by involving community clergy in our observance of Jewish ritual and holiday celebrations.
  • Strengthen and widen the range of Jewish pluralism that serves as a CCJDS foundation.
  • Communicate the programs and strengths of a CCJDS education so as to improve our program and encourage enrollment.
  • Support adult Jewish education in our community.

We are grateful to the following clergy for their involvement on the Council:

Rabbi Emeritus Raphael Asher, Congregation B’nai Tikvah, Walnut Creek (Reform)

Rabbi Asher, Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation B’nai Tikvah, was the congregation’s founding rabbi in 1981. Ordained in 1977 in Cincinnati, Ohio, he served congregations in Melbourne, Australia, and Framingham, Massachusetts, before returning to the San Francisco Bay Area. His special interests and academic pursuits include Modern Hebrew literature and German Jewish history for which he co-authored the book The Jewish Legacy and the German Conscience. Rabbi Asher sits on the Executive Board of the Interfaith Council and chairs its Health and Faith-In-Action Committee.

Rabbi Dovber Berkowitz, Chabad of Contra Costa, Walnut Creek (Chabad/Orthodox)

Rabbi Berkowitz is the Rabbi and Director of Chabad of Contra Costa. Under his leadership, Chabad serves as a vibrant center of Jewish education for adults and youth. Rabbi Berkowitz was born and raised in Montreal, Canada, studied in Yeshivas in Montreal, Israel, Los Angeles, and New York, and received his Bachelor’s Degree from the Central Chabad Yeshiva, and his Rabbinical Ordination from the chief Rabbi of Toronto, Canada. While completing his rabbinical and postgraduate studies, he led services, educational seminars, and community outreach in numerous cities across the states of California, Washington, New Jersey, and New York. He has also taught and lectured on an array of subjects such as Talmud, Halacha, and Chassidic philosophy at the Chabad Yeshivas in Los Angeles and New York.

Rabbi Andrea “Andi” Berlin

After serving the local and national Jewish community for nearly 20 years, Rabbi Andi Berlin changed careers to become a corporate consultant and executive coach. As a consultant, Andi specializes in creating productive teams, leadership growth, and talent retention in mid-size technology companies. Andi was a Rabbi at Temple Sinai of Oakland for 13 years and then was a Congregational Network Director and Director of the National Commission on Rabbinic Congregational Relations under the auspices of the Union for Reform Judaism. She continues her service to the Jewish community as a member of the Central Conference of American Rabbi’s Ethics Committee and its Evaluation Member Support Services Group and as Second Vice President of The Pacific Area of Reform Rabbis. She is a former President of the East Bay Council of Rabbis. Andi received her ordination from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in 1998 where she received awards for her sermons and creating community change. She and her husband, Jon Berlin, have two children who attended CCJDS and have been thrilled with its education and community. They live in Walnut Creek.

Rabbi Mark Bloom, Temple Beth Abraham, Oakland (Conservative)

Rabbi Bloom joined Temple Beth Abraham of Oakland, California as its rabbi in July of 2001. A native of the Bay Area, he often describes the experience as a “homecoming.” During his time here, Temple Beth Abraham has grown significantly, welcoming over 300 new families to its membership. Previously, Rabbi Bloom served pulpits in Cranston, Rhode Island, South Salem, New York, and Sydney, Australia. He was ordained at the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1995 and received both Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Communication Studies from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Rabbi Bloom is married to Karen Bloom and has two sons who attended CCJDS, Micah and Jonah.

Rabbi Jennie Chabon, Congregation B’nai Tikvah, Walnut Creek (Reform)

Rabbi Jennie Chabon, a Berkeley native, graduated from Columbia University with a degree in Anthropology and received her Masters of Sacred Music and Investiture from the Jewish Theological Seminary. While in cantorial school she served as the cantor of Shomrei Emunah in Montclair, New Jersey. Cantor Chabon joined the clergy team at Congregation B’nai Tikvah in Walnut Creek in 2004. In 2019, after completing her training at the Academy for Jewish Religion in Los Angeles, Cantor Chabon was ordained as a rabbi. She has worked with children in many different capacities – teaching both kindergarten and Hebrew school and as a counselor and program director at Camp Kee Tov in Berkeley. She has recorded several albums of Shabbat music with her band, Shir Joy. Together with husband Steve Chabon, Rabbi Chabon is raising three beautiful boys: CCJDS alumnus Ezra (Class of 2019) and CCJDS students Levi and Judah.

Hazzan Emeritus Marc Dinkin, Congregation B’nai Shalom, Walnut Creek (Conservative)

Hazzan Dinkin was responsible for the B’nai Mitzvah program and all musical facets of Congregation B’nai Shalom. Born in Pittsburgh, PA, he attended the College of Jewish Studies. He received his Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, and a graduate degree in Sacred Music from The Cantor’s Institute of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Hazzan Dinkin served two major Conservative congregations prior to coming to Congregation B’nai Shalom: Neveh Shalom in Portland, Oregon (1971-1986) and Beth El in Phoenix, Arizona (1986-1991). He is married to Deborah and they are the proud parents of one son, Jerod.

Rabbi Emeritus Gordon Freeman, Congregation B’nai Shalom, Walnut Creek (Conservative)

Rabbi Freeman was a driving force behind the vigorous spirit of B’nai Shalom, where he served as Rabbi from 1968 until 2013. Born in San Francisco, he received his rabbinical training at the Jewish Theological Seminary and was ordained in 1966. Rabbi Freeman’s education and studies have taken him to New York and Israel; he served as an Air Force chaplain in Mississippi and Ankara, Turkey. He holds a Doctorate in Political Science with an emphasis on Jewish political thought. He is a published author, Hebrew calligrapher and a respected community leader

Rabbi Dan Goldblatt, Beth Chaim Congregation, Danville (Independent)

Rabbi Goldblatt is the spiritual leader of Beth Chaim Congregation, an independent, egalitarian, progressive synagogue in Danville. Under Rabbi Goldblatt’s leadership, the congregation has grown significantly. Rabbi Goldblatt is currently completing a Doctorate in Ministry at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. He helped found the Bay Area Chapter of COEJL — Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life — and has been actively involved in the interfaith effort to save Headwaters Forest. He is one of the founders of “A Just Harvest,” a Clergy Task Force supporting the rights of farm workers, and is President of the Board of “Faith Works,” a faith and labor coalition in Contra Costa County.

Rabbi Emeritus Roberto D. Graetz, Temple Isaiah, Lafayette (Reform)

Rabbi Graetz was appointed as Temple Isaiah’s Rabbi in July 1991. Born and raised in Argentina, he served as Senior Rabbi of the Associacao Religiosa Israelita, the largest Reform congregation in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for over ten years and as Rabbi for other congregations in South America. Rabbi Graetz was ordained by the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1972, and was awarded the Doctor of Divinity from the college in May 1997. He is fluent in English, Hebrew, German, Spanish and Portuguese. Rabbi Graetz sits on the Executive Committee of the Jewish Federation, is Vice President of the Interfaith Coalition for Transitional Housing, and was Board Member of the Center for Jewish Living and Learning, the American Jewish Committee and the Reutlinger Community for Jewish Living.

Rabbi Nicki Greninger, Temple Isaiah, Lafayette (Reform)

Rabbi Greninger was born and raised in Denver, Colorado and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth College with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Human Development and Teaching. She was ordained as a Rabbi in 2008 from the New York campus of the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), where she also earned a Master of Arts in Religious Education. Rabbi Greninger won numerous awards at HUC-JIR, including those for Bible, Midrash, Hebrew, Talmud, liturgy, homiletics, Jewish education, and social action. Rabbi Greninger is especially passionate about liturgy, prayer, worship, and ritual, and her article “Believing, Behaving, Belonging: Tefillah Education in the 21st Century” in the Journal of Jewish Education is currently used in Jewish education classes throughout the country. In November 2012, Rabbi Greninger was awarded the prestigious Pomegranate Prize by the Covenant Foundation Rabbi Greninger is on the Leadership Team of the President’s Rabbinic Council of HUC-JIR, and is a member of the Committee on Worship and Practice for the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR). Rabbi Greninger is married to Dr. Daniel Greninger, and they have three children – CCJDS students Oren, Lila, and Gavi.

Cantor Ilene Keys, Temple Sinai of Oakland (Reform)

Cantor Ilene Keys is a native of California and studied Jewish music from a young age under the tutelage of her cantor in Los Angeles, Cantor Nathan Lam. Cantor Keys received an undergraduate degree in Jewish Studies and Hebrew from UCLA, and spent a year studying at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. After graduating UCLA, Cantor Keys attended the School of Sacred Music-Hebrew Union College where she received a Master of Sacred Music and Cantorial Ordination in 1995. As a cantorial student, Cantor Keys served Temple Beth Shalom of Arnold, Maryland, Temple Beth-El of Hillborough, New Jersey and Beth Haverim of Mahwah, New Jersey. While in Jerusalem, she was actively involved with Kol Haneshama Synagogue, a progressive Israeli congregation. Cantor Keys began serving as cantor of Temple Sinai, First Hebrew Congregation of Oakland in 1995, and is the longest serving cantor in the congregation’s history. Cantor Keys is past president of the Northern California Board of Cantors and has served as the American Conference of Cantors Representative to the Union of Reform Judaism of the Northern California Council. She is a member of the American Conference of Cantors and the Cantors Assembly. Cantor Keys and her husband David Bobrowsky are blessed with three children: CCJDS alumni Seth (Class of 2016) and Stella (Class of 2018) and current CCJDS student Solomon.

Cantor Leigh Korn, Temple Isaiah, Lafayette (Reform)

Cantor Korn received a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music in bassoon performance. He went on to receive a Master’s degree in choral conducting from the University of Iowa. In 2000, Cantor Korn began his studies at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion School of Sacred Music, first in Jerusalem, and then in New York. While in Israel, he received the The Rabbi Jason Huebsch Memorial Prize for his work with Tzi’im, a choir of mentally challenged adults, which included preparing them for a performance at the K’nesset. In 2004, he received a Master of Sacred Music degree, and in 2005, became invested as cantor. Cantor Korn is an active member of the American Conference of Cantors and is currently working with its Task Force for Continued Education to develop a curriculum in the fields of musicianship, conducting, and music technology

Rabbi Alissa Forrest Miller, Temple Isaiah, Lafayette (Reform)

Rabbi Miller joined the clergy of Temple Isaiah after being ordained from the Los Angeles campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in May 2007. Growing up in Denver, Colorado, she was active in her local and regional NFTY youth group and spent many summers at Shwayder Camp, a Jewish overnight camp in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Rabbi Miller attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison, earning a BA in Sociology and minor in Jewish studies and spent her junior year of college at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Upon graduating, she came to Temple Isaiah where she served as the Assistant Youth Director and Administrative Assistant for the Education Department (1999-2001). During rabbinical school, Rabbi Miller served as a student rabbi in Aiken, SC and Worcester, MA and was the rabbinic intern at Congregation Or Ami in Calabasas, CA. Her training and experience also includes co-facilitating a support group for mature women, leading a monthly Jewish 12 Step Recovery Program, serving as a hospital chaplain, running a family education program, and serving as Assistant Director of Shwayder Camp and CIT Advisor at Camp Hess Kramer in Malibu, CA. Rabbi Miller also earned a Master of Arts in Jewish Education at HUC-JIR in May 2005.

Rabbi Emeritus Judy Shanks, Temple Isaiah, Lafayette (Reform)

Rabbi Shanks as Rabbi at Temple Isaiah in Lafayette for over 25 years. She was ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York in 1984. Upon ordination, she moved to the Bay Area to serve as Rabbi of Temple Beth Hillel in Richmond for seven years. During a sabbatical from congregational life, Rabbi Shanks served as a professor of Jewish Studies at the University of California, San Francisco. Rabbi Shanks writes a regular column entitled “Ask the Rabbi” for Reform Judaism magazine.