Meet Our Clergy

Meet Our Clergy

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Rabbi Donald B. Rossoff – Interim Senior Rabbi

Rabbi Don Rossoff is a graduate of Northwestern and Spertus College. He earned Masters Degrees in Hebrew Letters and Hebrew Education from HUC-JIR and was ordained in 1981. He is certified by the National Interim Ministry Network and is pursuing a Master’s Degree in marriage and family therapy from Capella University.

Says Rabbi Rossoff, “It is an honor and a joy to be back at Temple Sholom as Interim Senior Rabbi during this important time of transition. This community has given me so much in so many ways through the years and I am grateful now to give back. I believe that my nine years here following ordination, my 25 years as Senior Rabbi at Temple B’nai Or in Morristown, NJ, and my experience as Interim Rabbi with four other congregations, including at JRC in Evanston – combined with my training as an Interim Rabbi – have well prepared me to lead Temple Sholom in its journey towards the wondrous future which surly lies ahead!”

Active in the Reform Movement, Rabbi Rossoff served as chair or the CCAR’s Israel and Resolutions Committees, as well as its 2009 CCAR Israel Convention and received the “Ohev Yisrael – Lover of Israel Award” from the ARZA Rabbinic Counsel. He was on the staff of URJ Olin-Sang-Ruby-Institute from 1971-1976 and its faculty from 1982-1989, as well as on the faculty of URJ Camp Harlam for over 15 years. While in New Jersey, he served on the Jersey Battered Women’s Shelter Clergy Partnership Advisory Board and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Committee, which awarded him for his dedication to the community.

Rabbi Rossoff published a children’s book, The Perfect Prayer, and contributed chapters to The Jew in the Modern World: A Documentary History and Chosen Tales: Stories Told by Jewish Storytellers. An article entitled “Visions for a New/Old Reform Yizkor Service” and a poem, “What If…” appeared in the Journal of Reform Judaism and was adapted for use in Mishkan Hanefesh (CCAR). As a musician, he co-published Adonai Li, and the lyrics for “You Can Change the World.” He has performed on flute with Debbie Friedman (z”l), Craig Taubman, and Mattan Klein, and performed and recorded with “Kol Sasson” and “Kol B’Seder.”

Rabbi Rossoff is married to Francine Rossoff, RN. They have four grown children, Marc, Jenna, Ilana and Nathaniel.

Contact Information:

Rabbi Shoshanah Conover – Associate Rabbi

Rabbi Shoshanah Conover is an associate rabbi at Temple Sholom of Chicago.  She earned a B.A. in English Literature and Creative Writing with honors from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her love of the Jewish people and Jewish texts as well as a strong commitment to social justice led her to rabbinical school.

Rabbi Conover’s responsibilities at Temple Sholom of Chicago reflect her passions: learning and teaching inspiring (and challenging) texts, leading dynamic and engaging spiritual experiences, serving as pastoral counselor, and finding ways to improve our world through the guidelines of our faith.

Rabbi Conover is a Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute.  She serves on the Executive Committee of the Chicago Board of Rabbis as well as the Rabbinic, Educator, Cantorial Advisory Committee (RECC) of Olin Sang Ruby Union Institute (OSRUI). She is a leader in the pioneering work of the Illinois Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC-IL) and serves on the Steering Committee of the Chicago Status of Women and Girls Working Group.  She proudly sits on the Board of the Midwest Anti-Defamation League.

Rabbi Conover was honored to receive AVODAH’s Partner in Tzedek Award and the Chicago Board of Rabbis’ Rabbi Mordecai Simon Memorial Award as well as being a featured speaker at the Women’s March on Chicago.  She enjoys co-hosting a podcast on Jewish and Israeli films called The Chosen Films.  Her poems and essays have been published in numerous collections including A Life of Meaning: Embracing Reform Judaism’s Sacred Path, Seven Days, Many Voices: Insights into the Biblical Story of Creation, and the newly published Moral Resistance and Spiritual Authority.

Rabbi Conover is grateful to work in and for a community in which she is proud to raise her two sons Eli and Ben with her husband Damien.

Contact Information:

773-525-4707 x 342

Cantor Sheera Ben-David

Cantor Sheera Ben-David has spent her life immersed in the Jewish community and congregations. After graduating from New York University, she followed in her father’s footsteps and began her cantorial career as the soloist for Jewish Family Congregation of South Salem, NY, and went on to serve Beth Am Temple of Pearl River, NY, The Reform Temple of Forest Hills, Temple Israel of NYC and Central Synagogue of NYC. She is deeply proud to continue the legacy that her father, Cantor Kerry Ben-David z”l, began when he converted in 1980 and entered cantorial school at Hebrew Union College. He went on to become Cantor Emeritus at Scarsdale Synagogue in New York after 25 years of loving service. Cantor Ben-David’s mother, Batyah Godfrey Ben-David was a principal singer at The Metropolitan Opera House for over 24 years. Both her mother and father have been tremendous influences musically and spiritually.
As an extension of Cantor Ben-David’s love and devotion to music, she is an award winning cabaret singer. She has delivered multiple critically-acclaimed runs at The Oak Room of The Algonquin Hotel, The Royal Room of The Colony Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida, Feinstein’s at Loews Regency, and other popular venues around the country where she received rave reviews from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post and other publications. Throughout her secular singing career, she always remained in service to her congregations and feels the intimate craft of communicating and storytelling through music has only enhanced her connection with the incredible Sacred Music of the Jewish people.

Cantor Ben-David is a graduate of Hebrew Union College and after 17 years of connections to many wonderful temples in the New York area, she feels she is finally home at Temple Sholom of Chicago. She started her cantorate at Temple Sholom on July 1, 2016 and her whole family is incredibly blessed to be part of this community. Cantor Ben-David shares a home with her husband, Steven Miller, two sons, Baxter and Shadow and their dog, Wolfenstein.

Contact Information:

773-525-4707 x 340

Cantor Emerita Aviva Katzman

Cantor Aviva Katzman became the first female member of the Jewish clergy in the city of Chicago when she became Cantor at Temple Sholom in 1987. She has served on the national board of the American Conference of Cantors, participated in the first cantors’ cohort of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality (IJS), and is active in the Institute’s Hevraya studies. A lyric mezzo-soprano, Aviva earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Voice Performance at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, as well as an Ordination, a Master of Sacred Music, and an honorary doctorate from Hebrew Union College , Jewish Institute of Religion. She is a certified teacher in Jewish Mindfulness with IJS. Cantor Katzman and her husband Dr. Morris Mauer are empty nesters as twins, Zach and Alec, join their big brother Ezra in the world of higher education.

Rabbi Scott Gellman – Associate Rabbi

Rabbi Scott Gellman is the Associate Rabbi at Temple Sholom. He was ordained by Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in May 2017. He previously received his B.A. from Indiana University in Jewish Studies and Philosophy. Rabbi Gellman also attended Gratz College in Philadelphia, where he graduated, cum laude, with a Master’s Degree in Jewish Studies and a Certificate of Jewish Education. Rabbis Gellman’s roles at Temple Sholom include providing pastoral care, engaging with students of all ages, and providing support to Makom. As Temple Sholom’s 20s and 30’s group, Makom seeks to be the place for young(ish) Jew(ish) folks who are reforming and discovering our cultural and spiritual identities.

Rabbi Gellman served numerous Rabbinic roles during his time at HUC-JIR, including: Student Rabbi at congregations in Beckley, West Virginia and Saginaw, Michigan; Chaplain at a Jewish nursing home; and, most recently, Rabbinic Intern and Director of Youth Engagement at Temple Sinai of Bergen County, New Jersey. Rabbi Gellman’s love of Jewish youth work and summer camp were cultivated during many summers at URJ Camp Coleman in Georgia as a camper, counselor, and as a senior staff member. Rabbi Gellman and his wife Ma’ayan Eckstein, both originally from South Florida live in the Roscoe Village neighborhood.

Contact Information:

773-525-4707 ext. 338