Today is December 22, 2014 -
Neil Kurshan serves as the rabbi of the Huntington Jewish Center. He received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University and his Doctorate in Education from Harvard. Rabbi Kurshan was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary and has served Conservative congregations in Port Washington and Huntington, N.Y. He is the author of the acclaimed book, Raising Your Child to be a Mensch. Rabbi Kurshan is married to Alisa Rubin Kurshan and is the father of four children. The rabbi’s current professional interest is spiritual formation, helping members of his congregation to clarify their understanding about God and the spiritual dimension of their lives.
Cantor Israel Gordan has been an active part of the music scene of the independent minyans, which are drawing thousands of young adults back to synagogue and Judaism with their traditional, but captivating music. Cantor Gordan brings this music to the Huntington Jewish community, and this can be experienced at our synagogue’s Friday Night Live services, which feature instrumental music and spirited singing. “We need to sustain the traditional music of Jewish worship, but do it in a way that touches people’s souls and attracts them to synagogue – especially our teenagers and young adults, according to HJC’s Rabbi Neil Kurshan. In addition to leading services, Cantor Gordan (Izzy) teaches music in the religious and nursery schools, prepares students for Bar/Bat Mitzvah and runs adult education programs, such as adult Bar Mitzvah training. Cantor Gordan is also our Director of Synagogue Programming & Religious School Innovation. In an important component of this role, the Cantor provides internal consulting advice and substantive input to our school curriculum that is intended to help us re-imagine our educational vision. The Cantor’s expanded role will extend beyond the school and into programming for the synagogue at large as well.
Born in Seattle, WA, Izzy grew up in Massachusetts. He majored in Urban Studies at NYC’s Columbia College, and spent a semester studying at the Rothberg International School of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. After graduating college, Izzy moved to Los Angeles where he worked for Camp Ramah, and for Marc Platt Productions at Universal Studios. Returning to New York, Izzy worked for the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 2007, Izzy began his studies at the H. L. Miller Cantorial School of the Jewish Theological Seminary and quickly became a student of the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education as well. Cantor Gordan graduated from JTS in May of 2011 with a Masters in Jewish Education, a Masters of Sacred Music, and ordination as Hazzan. Izzy is married to Abigail Uhrman, who earned her Ph.D. in Education and Jewish Studies from NYU and is an assistant professor of Jewish education at JTS. They are the proud parents of Noa Ariel and Eli Jonah.
Ilene Brown has been affiliated with the Huntington Jewish Center for sixteen years. Her children began attending the Early Childhood Center 16 years ago, and since then, it has been her “home away from home.” After she had her first child, she left a career in retail management to pursue a career in education. She received her Masters of Science Degree in Elementary Education from NYIT and is permanently certified to teach Early Childhood – Grade 6. Soon after her daughter was born, Ilene began teaching at HJC as an assistant teacher in the 4 year old program. The following year, she became the lead teacher of a 3 year old class and the librarian for the ECC. She also taught many enrichment classes during this time. Ilene taught at HJC for 11 years before happily accepting the role of the Early Childhood Director.
Ilene has been married to her husband, Duncan, for 22 years. She has two children, Cameron and Lauren. She is active board member for her civic association, volunteers at a local cat shelter and does work for a local head start program. Ilene loves the outdoors, reading and music.
William Wertheim became Huntington Jewish Center’s President in June, 2013.