Rabbi Noah Chertkoff, Senior Rabbi
Rabbi Noah Chertkoff joined Shalom after three years as the Assistant, then Associate Rabbi of Temple Kol Ami Emanu-El in Plantation Florida. A native of Toronto, Canada, he graduated from York University with a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies. He received his Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters and Rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion on May 31, 2008 from the Cincinnati campus.
Before entering rabbinical school, Rabbi Chertkoff worked at Seeds of Peace International Camp which is dedicated to empowering young leaders from regions of conflict with the leadership skills required to advance reconciliation and coexistence, served as a Special Assistant to a Federal Cabinet Minister in the Canadian Government and worked as the National Social Action Coordinator for the Canadian Council for Reform Judaism.
As a student Rabbi, he has served both Reform and Conservative congregations in Cincinnati, Ohio, Billings, Montana, and Toledo, Ohio. Rabbi Chertkoff has been involved in youth programming, through his participation with NFTY as a mechanech (tour guide and educator) in Israel and worked as a program coordinator at Camp Coleman. He also enjoyed teaching at the Academy of Adult Interfaith Studies at HUC-JIR.
His volunteer activities throughout the years have included his involvement in ARZA, Habitat for Humanity, NaMeRes (Street Help Direct Response to Homelessness), the Interfaith Social Assistance Coalition, and the Maquila Solidarity Network. Rabbi Chertkoff served as a board member of SEACCAR, the South Eastern Assembly of the Central Conference of America Rabbis and was a member of the Broward Board of Rabbis. He loves to bike, sail, canoe, hike, camp and play guitar (badly), watch baseball and hockey. Rabbi Noah is married to Lauren Berger and their family includes Hannah, Judah, Josie and Kaiah (their dog).
Rabbi Noah became Congregation Shalom's Senior Rabbi effective July 1, 2015.
Rabbi Rachel Kaplan Marks, Assistant Rabbi
Rabbi Rachel Kaplan Marks is thrilled to be part of the Congregation Shalom community as its Assistant Rabbi. Born and raised in suburban Chicago, from a very young age she was involved in her synagogue, youth group, and as a young camper, then counselor and unit head at Olin-Sang Ruby Union Institute, the Reform Movement’s summer camp in Oconomowoc, WI. It was these experiences that led Rabbi Rachel to discover her passion for the Jewish People, the Jewish State, and for Torah – Jewish learning. Rabbi Rachel felt called to the rabbinate to be a leader and a teacher in the Jewish community with the mission of transmitting Jewish wisdom and promoting a vibrant Jewish life for people on all stages on their journeys.
Rabbi Rachel received a Bachelor of Arts in Jewish Studies from Indiana University. Prior to beginning her studies for the rabbinate, she worked as a youth group advisor and teacher at Temple Chai, in Long Grove, IL; she also worked for the American Conference of Cantors. Afterwards, Rabbi Rachel attended the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Los Angeles where she earned her rabbinic ordination, a Master of Arts in Jewish Education from the Rhea Hirsch School of Education, and a Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters. She also earned her Master’s Concentration in Israel Education from the iCenter in Chicago, IL. During her time at HUC-JIR, Rabbi Rachel served as president of the student body and as the Student Ambassador to the Admissions department.
Prior to her ordination in 2015, Rabbi Rachel served as Rabbinic Intern at Congregation Beth El in San Pedro, CA and Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills, CA. She also served as the Mishpacha – Family Education Coordinator at Congregation Or Ami in Calabasas, CA. Rabbi Rachel spent a summer serving as a Critical Care Chaplaincy Intern at Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, IL. It was this experience that informed her work on her rabbinic thesis titled, “Learning Lament: A Spiritual Guide to Selected Hebrew Bible Texts Pertaining to Pain, Suffering, and Grief.”
When Rabbi Rachel isn’t at Congregation Shalom, she loves to cook and entertain new and old friends and family. She also enjoys hiking and traveling with her husband, Albert Marks.
To contact Rabbi Rachel by email, click here.
Cantor Karen Berman
Cantor Karen Berman has had the joy of being a part of Congregation Shalom since 1987. In addition to her vocal cantorial duties she directs Shalom's Youth Choir, teaches music in the Religious School, and offers classes in the Department of Life Long Learning for the Synagogue. Central to her duties is coordinating and teaching in the B’nai Mitzvah Tutorial program. Cantor Berman participates in the heartbeat of congregational life at weddings, baby namings, B’nai Mitzvah, and funerals.
Cantor Karen Berman has long been involved in the Milwaukee Jewish community, organizing and performing music for the Community Woman's Seder and Rosh Chodesh programs, participating in a variety of concerts and programs, including the Annual Chanukah concert with the Milwaukee Jewish Community Chorale. Additionally, she is often a programming liaison to the Interfaith Community.
Beyond her contributions in the area of music, she has also been honored as an educator in the community. She has received the Milwaukee Association for Jewish Education's prestigious "Educator of the Year Award," as well as recognition from the Keshet of Wisconsin program for her efforts on behalf of students with exceptional needs.
She has been a guest soloist with the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra and has appeared in a Public Television special "To Thee We Sing: Music in American Religion." Among her credits are solo and ensemble performances on stage and in worship at several national conventions of the Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education (CAJE), the American Conference of Cantors (ACC) and the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) Biennial. Cantor Berman became a full member of the American Conference of Cantors in 1998, following five years as an associate member.
Karen's family includes husband Elliot and children, Sam Berman and Sam and Hannah Hamilton.
To contact Cantor Berman by email, click here.
Rabbi Marcey Rosenbaum
Rabbi Marcey Rosenbaum joined the Congregation Shalom staff as our Rabbi Educator on August 1, 2013. Rabbi Marcey graduated and was ordained from Skokie IL's Hebrew Seminary in 2013 and began her Rabbinic Career at Congregation Shalom as the Rabbi Educator and Director of Life Long Learning. Prior to coming to Milwaukee, Rabbi Marcey was a Registered Nurse in the Chicagoland area for many years. Rabbi Marcey began her journey to the Rabbinate as a voracious learner of Jewish tradition and has taught Judaism to children and adults for the last 13 years and she is a life long learner herself, currently enrolled in a Masters program through Spertus College. Rabbi Marcey and her husband Alan love being part of the Congregation Shalom family and love living in Milwaukee. The Rosenbaums are parents to Jessica and her husband Dan and son Daniel and have a sweet dog named TrixieBelle.
To contact Rabbi Marcey by email, click here.
Rabbi Ronald Shapiro, D.D., Rabbi Emeritus
Rabbi Ronald Michael Shapiro, D.D., has served as the Senior Rabbi at Congregation Shalom, Milwaukee, Wisconsin since 1980. Rabbi Shapiro arrived in Milwaukee in 1978, in order to serve as Congregation Shalom's Associate Rabbi, until his election to the position of Senior Rabbi in 1980. He was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and attended the University of Minnesota, receiving his B.A. degree in 1969. He then attended the Hebrew Union College/Jewish Institute of Religion, in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he received a Master of Arts degree in Hebrew Letters. He was ordained a rabbi in 1974. Rabbi Shapiro served Temple B'rith Kodesh in Rochester, NY, prior to his arrival in Milwaukee in 1978. Rabbi Shapiro served as past-president of the Midwest Association of Reform Rabbis, and served on the Executive Board of the Central Conference of American Rabbis. He served as the president of the Wisconsin Council of Rabbis, a board member of the Interfaith Conference of Milwaukee. As a member of the Rabbinic Cabinet of the United Jewish Appeal, Rabbi Shapiro traveled internationally in order to bring solace and learning to Jews who lived in countries where they we were the unfortunate recipients of persecution and discrimination. He traveled to the former Soviet Union in order to meet with " Refuseniks" where he taught Judaism, conducted life-cycles events, and brought a spirit of hope to those Jews who found themselves in difficult straits due to the oppression they suffered. Rabbi Shapiro has been actively involved in interfaith activities. He is the past co-chair of the Catholic/Jewish Conference and serves as the co-chair of the Rabbi/Priest Dialogue, and the Richard Lux Center of Jewish Studies at Sacred Heart Seminary in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In addition, Rabbi Shapiro has taught classes in Judaism for twenty-eight years at Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Within the congregation, Rabbi Shapiro has officiated at thousands of life-cycle events, taught numerous classes, developed small fellowship groups, created an ambiance of pastoral care, and inculcated a spirit of performing deeds of social justice and interfaith activities within the greater community. He was offered the the honor of receiving the Frank Zeidler Award, for his leadership in social justice and interfaith relations by The Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee in 2014. He received the 1997 Human Relations Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews; and he received the Community Partner Award from Jewish Family Services in 2009.
In addition, Rabbi Shapiro has led numerous congregational trips to Israel and Europe over the years, in order to create community, develop a joy of learning, and to underscore an appreciation for the human family created in the image of God.
Rabbi Shapiro is married to the former Judy London. They are blessed with dear children, Ben and Roxanne, Ari and Samara, Dan and Tera and six wonderful grandchildren.
To contact Rabbi Shapiro, contact Rabbinic Executive Assistant Amy Sugent here.
Linda Holifield, Executive Director
Linda Holifield became Congregation Shalom’s Executive Director on July 1, 2011. Born in Newark, New Jersey, Linda attended college at the University Of Wisconsin-Madison. She received a BS degree in Rehabilitation Education in 1974, an MS degree in Rehabilitation Counseling in 1976, and an MBA degree in 1990.
Prior to becoming Congregation Shalom’s Executive Director, Linda was actively involved as a lay leader. She was the temple’s President from July 2010-July 2011, and before that, she served as a Vice President from July 2007 to June 2009. She has been a member of Congregation Shalom since 1996 and served on the Board from 2005-2011.
Prior to her time at Shalom, Linda worked at the Milwaukee Jewish Day School as their Marketing and Development Coordinator. Prior to that, she was the Executive Director at the Center for Blind and Visually Impaired Children, a local non-profit organization that served young children impacted by vision loss. Linda held the position of Executive Director at Volunteer Services for the Visually Handicapped and has done grant writing for Sojourner Truth House and the Parenting Network. Her other work experience has been in county government where she managed job development programs and evaluated child welfare programs. In addition to Board involvement at Congregation Shalom, Linda served on the Boards of numerous non-profit organizations including the Junior League of Milwaukee, the Foster Care Review Board, Tikkun Ha-Ir, and the Wisconsin Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired.
Linda has two children, Lauren and Brian Bell. She resides in Fox Point with her husband, James.
To contact Linda by email, click here.
Abby Habush Schroeder, Director of Synagogue Relations
Abby Habush Schroeder, Director of Synagogue Relations of Congregation Shalom, was born in Milwaukee, WI. Abby was raised at Shalom attending Religious School, becoming a Bat Mitzvah, and becoming confirmed.
She has returned to her spiritual home in 2005 after leaving COA Youth and Family Centers, where she worked as the Events and Communications Coordinator for four years.
Abby graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee with a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication. She has spent much of her life in journalism and photography, working for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and running a student newspaper at UW-Milwaukee for four years.
Abby is to married David Schroeder, an high school teacher and Waukesha native. They became proud parents to Sophie Isabella in 2005 and Kenzie Tatum in 2010.
To contact Abby by email, click here.