Rabbi Ethan Prosnit - Temple Emanu-El
Rabbi Ethan Prosnit is a graduate of Clark University with a BA in African History and a Masters in Teaching. He received his Rabbinic Ordination and his Masters in Hebrew Letters from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR). Rabbi Prosnit is passionate about pursuing social justice and making connections with global Jewry. He currently is the co-chair of Reform Jewish Voice of New Jersey, an arm of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC), working with Reform Jews across New Jersey to join together with a strong and effective voice. He is a Rabbi Balfour Brickner Fellow through the Religious Action Center and served on the Joint Distribution Committee-Entwine board. Prior to becoming a rabbi, Ethan taught eleventh grade United States history and coached boys tennis in the Worcester public schools, worked at Tufts University Hillel, and partnered with American Jewish World Service (AJWS) and the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC). Rabbi Prosnit is an avid sports fan, rooting hard for the Jets, Mets and Toronto Blue Jays (usually to no avail) and is a tennis player, skier, and loves the outdoors. Rabbi Prosnit joined the Temple Emanu-El community in the summer of 2014. He lives in Westfield with his wife Arielle, son Caleb and daughter Zoe.
Rabbi Victor Appell, Temple Emanu-El
Rabbi Appell, a native New Yorker, grew up in the Reform Movement. In high school, he served as a regional NFTY president. After working in sales and marketing in the apparel industry, Rabbi Appell pursued his lifelong dream of becoming a rabbi. After ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, he served congregations in Illinois and New Jersey. Rabbi Appell then joined the staff of the Union for Reform Judaism where, for over a decade, he held a variety of positions including Outreach and Marketing Consultant, Congregational Marketing Director and editor-in-chief of Ten Minutes of Torah. Most recently, Rabbi Appell served as Reform Community Rabbi and Senior Jewish Educator at Rutgers Hillel, the country’s largest Hillel.
Rabbi Appell’s writings have appeared in Achim Magazine, Torat Chayim, Ten Minutes of Torah, Kulanu Handbook, The Gender Gap, and The Still Small Voice - Reflections on Being a Jewish Man.
Rabbi Appell is always happy to talk about, among other things and in no particular order, Midrash, fashion, the Great American Song Book, and whatever he is binging on Netflix at the moment.
Rabbi Appell, his husband Colin, and two sons Avi and Lev, and their Havanese, Ricky, live in Metuchen, NJ.
Samara Schwartz, Temple Emanu-El
Samara’s passion for Jewish education started early - she was that student who loved Sunday school. She learned all she could during college and graduate school, and even continuing further, earning BAs in Applied Philosophy and Jewish Studies from Columbia University, a Master’s Degree in Bible and the Ancient Near East from Brandeis University, and certification in the teaching of Advanced Jewish Texts from the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem.
She has taught in Jewish synagogues and day schools for 20 years, including schools in Wisconsin, Texas, Massachusetts, Georgia, and Alaska. Rumors that half her students in Alaska were, in fact, moose, are completely exaggerated. Samara loves to read, cook, knit, sing, and spend time with her family. She and her cat Pyewacket live in Watchung.
Rabbi Adrienne Rubin, Temple Beth Ahm Yisrael
Rabbi Adrienne Rubin joined TBAY in July 2020. Rabbi Rubin brings warmth, knowledge and a passion for Jewish values and traditions to help people connect to what brings them the most joy and meaning in their lives. She enjoys leading worship in a way that encourages members of the congregation to participate and is well-known for partnering with our Cantorial Soloist Ben Rosenbach to beautiful music to services. Rabbi Rubin is committed to inclusivity and to helping each person, couple and family find their home in the Jewish community. Rabbi Rubin loves customizing the educational process for students of all ages, levels and backgrounds, so that they develop deep connections to Jewish learning and the Jewish community that will last a lifetime.
Rabbi Rubin has been serving the Jewish community for over 30 years. Prior to joining TBAY, she served as Cantorial Soloist at Temple Micah, an unaffiliated, egalitarian synagogue in Lawrenceville, NJ, for 24 years. At Temple Micah, in addition to leading services, Rabbi Rubin prepared students for B’nei Mitzvah, taught children in the religious school, led adult and teen Torah and text study, and tended to the pastoral care and life cycle needs of the congregation. Prior to Temple Micah, she served as the High Holy Day Cantor for the University of Rhode Island, and as a guest cantor and a soloist for several synagogues in Massachusetts. She was a member of Temple Emunah in Lexington, where she lived until November 1994.
Rabbi Rubin graduated from Princeton University in 1988 with a B.A. in Music Theory and Composition and she is a trained opera singer. She received S’micha from the pluralistic Rabbinical Seminary International, founded in 1955 by the Hungarian Chasidic Rabbi and Kabbalist Dr. Joseph H. Gelberman. She is a member of the International Federation of Rabbis, Rabbinical Fellowship of America, the Women Cantors’ Network, 18Doors (formerly Interfaith Family Network), Equally Wed and the Rainbow Wedding Network.
Rabbi Rubin lives in Princeton, NJ, with her husband Doug. They have one son, Elian, who is a Classics and Theatre Major (and Quidditch player) at Oberlin College of Arts and Sciences. Rabbi Rubin cares deeply about the greater community and has volunteered and/or worked with numerous nonprofit organizations, including Send Hunger Packing Princeton, SAVE, A Friend to Homeless Animals, the Princeton Public Schools, the Princeton Education Foundation, VolunteerConnect, Women in Development, Princeton University, and her local Pack, Troop and Council of the Boy Scouts of America.