Rabbi Michael Siegel, Senior Rabbi
A graduate of Hiram College, Rabbi Michael Siegel was ordained in 1982 by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America where he received his Master of Hebrew Letters. Rabbi Siegel came to Anshe Emet in 1982 as Assistant Rabbi and was named Senior Rabbi in 1990.
Rabbi Siegel is a dedicated leader in the Jewish community both locally and nationally. He has served on the Executive Council of the Rabbinical Assembly of America, the Jewish Theological Seminary's Chancellor's Rabbinic Cabinet, the Executive Board of MAZON: A Jewish Resource to Hunger and the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago. He is a past President of the Chicago Board of Rabbis and served as national Co-Chair of the Magen Tzedek Commission. Additionally, Rabbi Siegel helped to form the Hayom Coalition, an organization of synagogues committed to the transformation of institutions, and a re-envisioning of the Conservative Movement. Rabbi Siegel has also been an avid supporter of AIPAC and a leader in the creation of their Synagogue Initiative. Over the years, Rabbi Siegel has represented the synagogue at the White House on numerous occasions including the United States Honorary Delegation commemorating the 60th Anniversary of Israel's Statehood. In 2015, Rabbi Siegel gave the opening prayer to the House of Representatives.
Rabbi Siegel has also worked hard to bridge the gap between African Americans and Jews in Chicago through outreach to clergy. Recently, he has worked to develop a study group between Rabbis and African American Clergy which has helped to deepen the dialogue and understanding between religious leaders. In addition, Rabbi Siegel has helped to create teen programming between the communities in order to deepen relationships and create partnerships. By both speaking in African American Churches and conducting Hunger Seders between the two communities, Rabbi Siegel is working to change the perceptions and recreate an historic bond. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the BSCO Turn Center.
As our Senior Rabbi, Michael Siegel is committed to the development of an open, caring and spiritual community. He seeks to further the historic role that the Anshe Emet Synagogue has played in Chicago and on the national Jewish scene.
Rabbi Michael Siegel and his wife, Janet have been blessed with four wonderful children: Joseph, Rebecca, Deena and Emma.
Contact Rabbi Siegel at [email protected] | 773-868-5110.
Hazzan Alberto Mizrahi
Greek-born tenor, Alberto Mizrahi, one of the world's leading interpreters of Jewish music, is Hazzan of the historic Anshe Emet Synagogue, Chicago. He has thrilled audiences worldwide on the pulpit, in recitals, symphony and opera performances. His repertoire spans nine languages and a myriad of styles, making his performances unique in the field.
His debut appearance with Maestro Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, narrating the Schoenberg “Kol Nidre," received mention in the New York Times and has been released as a CD on the CSO label. He was a soloist in the Beethoven Society’s “Penderecki Festival,” in Warsaw, where he narrated the maestro’s 7th Symphony and sang his “Kadysz” with the Warsaw Philharmonic, as well as in Bialystok, Caracas, Graz, and on a televised performance (available on YouTube) in Warsaw, with Maestro Penderecki conducting. He has sung in front of two U.S. Presidents; George W. Bush, at the White House Hanukkah celebration, and Barack Obama, at the U. S. Capitol for Days of Remembrance. Hazzan Mizrahi most recently performed recital programs in Copenhagen, Paris, Pisa, Saarbrucken, Strassbourg, and throughout the United States. He has also performed with major symphony orchestras throughout the United States, Europe and Israel, including the Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Atlanta, Houston, Haifa, Jerusalem, Barcelona, NDR-Hanover, and the Sinfonica Simon Bolivar. Hazzan Mizrahi is featured on the film “100 Voices: a journey home” (Cantors Assembly), the celebrated PBS concert, “CANTORS: a faith in song” (Amsterdam Portuguese Synagogue), and in Music Festivals in the U.S., Israel and Europe.
He has performed and recorded with the legendary jazz pianist, Dave Brubeck and his quartet (“Gates of Justice”), the great Theodore Bikel (“Our Song”), Howard Levy and the Trio Globo (Matza to Menorah) and understudied Luciano Pavarotti in “Ballo in Maschera” with the Miami Opera.
Hazzan Mizrahi is President of the Cantors Assembly, on the Board of the Jewish Theological Seminary, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, Mercaz, Zamir Choral Foundation and on the faculty of the H.L. Miller Cantorial School-J.T.S., New York.
Mizrahi’s extensive discography numbers over 25 CDs including six for the Milken Archive on Naxos; FESTIVAL DELIGHTS; THE HIGH HOLY DAYS (with Schola Hebraeica); BIRTHDAY OF THE WORLD I&II; BIKEL & MIZRAHI: our song; ALBERTO MIZRAHI: My Song; ALBERTO MIZRAHI AT MENUHIN HALL; and MATZAH TO MENORAH, a recording of Passover and Hanukkah songs with the TRIO GLOBO.
"Mizrahi was charismatic and fearless, unabashedly emotional… the tone full and golden…he held you spellbound…." - London Times
“The hazzan here, often improvising with the soul-stretching intensity of John Coltrane, is the internationally renowned Alberto Mizrahi…” Nat Hentof – Wall Street Journal
Contact Hazzan Mizrahi at [email protected] | 773-868-5111.
Rabbi D'ror Chankin-Gould
Rabbi D’ror Chankin-Gould was ordained by the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in 2013.
Rabbi Chankin-Gould is a Southern California native. He received his BA in Sociology from Pitzer College in Claremont, California. Subsequently, he went on to serve for two years as the Senior Jewish Campus Service Corps fellow at Columbia/Barnard Hillel focusing on outreach, and inclusion. During that time, he published an article in the “Journal for the Study of the Old Testament” documenting a Feminist recovery of Bathseba. He also served as editor in chief of “The Hillel LGBTQ Resource Guide”, distributed to university campuses around the country. Upon entering the Ziegler School, he was selected as a Wexner Graduate Fellowship. During his tenure at Ziegler, Rabbi Chankin-Gould served as a classroom teacher, retreat director, and curriculum author for Los Angeles Hebrew High. He also served as an education fellow at the Brandeis Collegiate Institute and as the Student Rabbi at Temple Beth Am. Before coming to Anshe Emet, he served as a chaplain at UCLA Medical Center.
At Anshe Emet, Rabbi Chankin-Gould works with the youth director, youth tefillah educator, and religious school director to envision and implement education and engagement for youth and families. He also partners with JCFS ,the AES Caring Committees, and the AES Inclusion Committee to ensure that all members of our community (and beyond) are supported in their time of need. Rabbi Chankin-Gould is always honored to meet with any individuals or families in order to hear their stories, encourage/guide them in their Jewish journeys, and support them in times of joy and sorrow.
Rabbi Chankin-Gould and his husband, Cantor David Berger (Hazzan of KAM-Isaiah Israel) are the proud parents of Matan Joseph Berger-Gould and Avraham Eitan Berger-Gould.
Contact Rabbi Chankin-Gould at [email protected] | 773-868-5145.
Rabbi David Russo
Rabbi David Russo was born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario. He graduated from Toronto's York University with a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies, and completed his rabbinical studies and a Master's degree in Talmud and Rabbinics at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Rabbi Russo is a Wexner Graduate Fellow.
Rabbi Russo spent a year in Israel on the Nativ program, and again as a rabbinical student through JTS. He has spent his summers working with USY, Camp Ramah, Genesis at Brandeis University, and as a group leader for American Jewish World Service's Volunteer Summer in Uganda. Rabbi Russo came to Anshe Emet in 2011, where he serves as the rabbinic liaison for Anshe Emet’s Rose Crown Minyan (lay-led Shabbat morning minyan), Na’aseh (social action), and Team Yarok (environmental awareness) committees, and oversees many aspects of becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, including the program designed for 6th grade students and their families called j2m (journey 2 mitzvot). Rabbi Russo strives to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere for the Chicago community within the context of meaningful, traditional, and inspiring Jewish practice.
Rabbi Russo enjoys Jewish learning, community service, and most sports (basketball, baseball, frisbee, golf, and more). He lives in Lakeview with his wife, Rebecca, and their two sons, Natan and Leor.
Contact Rabbi Russo at [email protected] | 773-868-5127.
Cantor Elizabeth Berke, Hazzan Sheni & Director of Continuing Education
Originally from Rochester, NY, Cantor Berke attended Cornell University and received a BA in History with Distinction in all Subjects. During that time she spent her Junior year at University College London, and attended as much theater at as her budget allowed. Upon completion of her undergraduate degree, Cantor Berke enrolled in the Cantors Institute (now H.L Miller Cantorial School) at the Jewish Theological Seminary, which included a year in Israel at the precursor to the Conservative Yeshiva, Midreshet Yerushalayim. In 1994 Cantor Berke completed her Masters in Sacred Music, received her Diploma of Hazzan, and graduated from JTS' Graduate School (now William Davidson school of Education) with a Masters in Jewish Education. Her thesis was an examination of conversion programs across the United States, with an emphasis on the inclusion of music and culture.
Since graduation, Cantor Berke has worked in a variety of educational settings and across the age span of Jewish education in cities including New York, NY, Houston, TX, Cherry Hill, NJ and Springfield, MA. She has worked in classrooms, educational administration, tutored b'nai mitzvah, sung in concerts and led High Holiday services for congregations of all sizes. She is a contributing author for an assortment of publications, including a Rabbinical Assembly document on Rabbinic Installation, and for many years she has served on the Education Committee of the Cantors Assembly. Cantor Berke began working at Anshet Emet in 2011, and currently she oversees the Jews by Choice program and the Raymond Arbetman Center for Adult Jewish Education. She also enjoys serving the interfaith families of Anshe Emet and being a member of the Inclusion Committee.
She and her husband, Hazzan Steven Berke, are the proud parents of Eden and Aviva.
Contact Cantor Elizabeth Berke at [email protected] | 773-868-5117.
Naomi Weiss-Weil, Ritual Director
Naomi Weiss-Weil is a student in the Cantors Assembly CICA program, working towards investment as a Cantor. She has worked for 13 years as a freelance song leader and cantorial soloist. Most notably, she worked every Shabbat morning for 7 years at Beth Emet the Free Synagogue leading the well-known Kahal Minyan, and tutored hundreds of b’nai mitzvah students at Beth Emet, Anshe Emet, JRC, Chicago Sinai, and Temple Sholom. During those years she was a member here at Anshe Emet, and led various High Holy Day services as a lay-person. From 2012 until 2016 she served as the Ritual Director at Congregation Beth Shalom in Northbrook, IL.
Before moving to Chicago, she was the lead singer in the ethereal folk band The FloatingHouse, playing the clubs in Los Angeles for 15 years. Her day job was in the Visual Resources profession, most notably, as the Slide Librarian at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Librarian at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. She holds a B.A. in design with a focus in color theory and ceramics, and an M.A. in the history of design from UCLA. Her Master’s thesis is entitled “Spiritualism and Technological Rhetoric in the Pedagogical Writings of 5 Bauhaus Artists.”
She now resides with her husband, David Weil, in the Lakeview neighborhood.
Contact Naomi at [email protected] | 773-868-5113.