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Leadership

Maintaining strong and well-trained lay leadership in both religious and administrative areas is a direct result of the dedication and passion of our professional and lay leaders and staff. Strong leadership builds a strong Community.

Meet Our Clergy

 RABBI ELLIOT SALO SCHOENBERG

Rabbi Schoenberg served as the Senior Vice President and Global Director of Rabbinic Career Advancement of the Rabbinical Assembly, the international professional association of Conservative rabbis, since 1991. He was responsible for the career development of rabbis in North America, South America, Israel and Europe. He served as teacher, coach, counselor and confidante to rabbis around the world.  He directed programs for rabbis’ professional development and personal growth. He is the Conservative Movement’s expert on congregational dynamics.  In this capacity, he created the interim rabbi platform that allows congregations to hire temporary rabbis while they continue to clarify their mission.   He introduced the idea of “intentional transition” with his Eit Ratzon seminar held every June which has been attended by hundreds of lay leaders of synagogues.   He combines his love of Torah with expertise in the literature of the business world, of organizational dynamics and of church organizations. His books Netivot: A Rabbinic Manuel for Career Transition  2020  and Aliyah: A Congregation’s Rabbinic Search Guide 2018 are foundational texts for congregations doing searches and for rabbis seeking professional growth.

Rabbi Schoenberg received his B.A. degree from Brandies University.  He was ordained a rabbi and received a Master’s Degree in Talmud from the Jewish Theological Seminary.  He studied philosophy and hasidism at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.  He is trained as a disaster chaplain by the Disaster Chaplaincy of New York and served as an on-call resource for New York City Department of Emergency Management.  In 2009 he was the first rabbi certified by the National Career Development Association as a Certified Master Career Development Professional (MCDP). Rabbi Schoenberg served as the spiritual leader of Temple Aliyah in Needham, MA and began his rabbinic career as the associate rabbi of Temple Emanuel in Newton, MA. 

HAZZAN SHELDON LEVIN

Hazzan Sheldon Levin is well known as a cantor, conductor and educator. From 2001 until 2003 he served as the President of the Cantors Assembly. For twenty-five years, he was the cantor and educational director for two congregations in Philadelphia.

Since  1999, he has been the hazzan at Neve  Shalom in Metuchen, where  he also is the Adult Education Director and directs the  Hebrew School. Under his direction the Neve Shalom Adult  Education program was honored with the Gold Solomon Schechter Award by United Synagogue nationally for its performing arts programming and the Hebrew School accredited with Framework For Excellence.

He has edited seven books on Jewish music and education and recently edited Torah and Haftarah books for bar and Bat Mitzvah students for every Shabbat of the year. Hazzan Levin holds degrees in Opera, Voice, Hebrew and a Masters Degree in Choral Conducting and was granted Doctor of Music honoris causa from the Jewish Theological Seminary. Together with Anna West Ott, he formed a new Jewish Community Choir which meets in Highland Park and he also directs the NJ Cantors Choir. Prior to coming to NJ, he directed the Arbel Chorale in Philadelphia for eighteen years and for many summers has been on the staff of the North American Jewish Choral Festival. He has also spent several summers as music or prayer director at Camp Ramah in the Poconos and for twenty-one years he taught at the Solomon Schechter Day School in Philadelphia. When asked, he helps with the seniors at the JCC to perform, teach or lead the Seder. He regularly volunteers to lead services at Whispering Knolls. 

His cantorial teachers include Joseph Levine and Max Wolberg, for whom he edited a book of congregational melodies. Many of Hazzan Levin’s choral arrangements are published and sung by Jewish choirs throughout the country. He has written choral settings for composers including Debbie Friedman, Craig Taubman and many Israelis.

He was presented with the “Ateret Kavod” award by United Synagogue of the Delaware Valley. Together with his wife, Nita Polay Levin, they were honored by Israel Bonds with the “Crown of Jerusalem” award. He was recently honored at Neve Shalom with a special concert and reception highlighting his years there entitled “Levin@11.” On April 4, 2016 he will receive the Cantorial Award for Scholarship and Creativity the highest honor given by the Cantors Assembly.

RABBI EMERITUS GERALD L. ZELIZER

Rabbi Gerald L. Zelizer came to Congregation Neve Shalom, Metuchen, New Jersey in 1970 and served as the Congregation's rabbi for 45 years until 2015. Under Rabbi Zelizer’s leadership Neve Shalom has merged with two congregations. Since Rabbi Zelizer arrived at Neve Shalom, his Adult Education classes, participatory services, and relationship to the youth have been commended for their excellence.

A fourth generation rabbi, born in Columbus, Ohio (1938), he was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America where he also received a Masters in Hebrew Literature (1964). Rabbi Zelizer writes op/ed essays for USA TODAY where he has written over 70 essays on matters of religion and American society, including the topics such as religion and the media; His op/ed essays on religion and popular culture also appear regularly in the Newark Star Ledger. Other of his writings have been published in many journals and newspapers, including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, and major Jewish publications, including Judaism, The Jewish Spectator, The Reconstructionist and Conservative Judaism.  Rabbi Zelizer is currently instructor of homiletics of the senior class at the Jewish Theological Seminary. From 1992 to 1994 Rabbi Zelizer served as President of the International Rabbinical Assembly. From 1994-1999 he served on the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards, which formulates religious policy for the Conservative Movement.   Since 2000 he has been a member of the Ethics Committee of the RA.

In 1980, Rabbi Zelizer established the Jewish Family Service of Middlesex County. From 1995 to the present, he has been a member of the New Jersey Committee for a moratorium on the death penalty, served on its Executive Committee, and interacted with the Governor and legislative leadership to achieve a moratorium in 2006. In 1999, he was appointed to the Coalition of Religious Leaders of New Jersey, which crafts public positions on social issues and dialogues with New Jersey’s Governor and Senators on matters of public policy. In 2006, the United Synagogue of New Jersey bestowed upon him the Keter Torah Leadership Award for distinguished rabbinic service.

Prior to his arrival in Metuchen, he served as Rabbi of Congregation Beth El in Buenos Aires, Argentina (1964-1966), and Temple Israel in Union, NJ (1966-1969). (His wife Viviana, is a Professor of Sociology at Princeton University, and their son Julian E. Zelizer, is Professor of American History and Public Policy at Princeton University.) Julian is married to Meg Jacobs, Associate Professor History at MIT. Julian has two children, a daughter, Sophia Miriam, born June 1, 2002, and a son, Nathan Solomon, born on December 26, 2003; Meg has two children, Abigail, born June 8, 2001; and Claire born February 19, 2004.

Rabbi Zelizer's selected sermons, op/ed pieces, and schedule of upcoming classes are available on his website at rabbizelizer.com.

Board of Directors

If you wish to contact any of the board members, please send an email request to: office@neveshalom.net

President

Harold S Geller

Vice-Presidents

Alan Stern – Ritual
Mike Seidner – House
Melissa Boxer – Education
Jeff Schulman - Development                                              Rena Kallman - Membership

Treasurer

Mel Thor

Financial Secretary

Ira Grubman

Recording Secretary

Sandy Wunder

Board 2022-2023

Ron Anes
Fran Cohen                                                                            
Lawrence Dombrow

Heidi Haiken                                                                         Stuart Shlossman
Eric Teboul

Board Two-Year Term 2022-2024

Steve Alter
Judi Harrison
Michele Rosenfield                                                              Daniel Rushefsky
Cory Schneider
Marc Sessler                                                                  

Men's Club President

Dan Hirsch

Sisterhood President

Jennifer Bullock

Nominating Committee 2021-2023

Steve Alter

Ken Braverman

Andrea Colby, chairperson

Christina Daniels

Jamie Grubman

Steve Nagel

Barbara Spack

Thu, December 1 2022 7 Kislev 5783