Clergy, Staff & Board of Directors

Clergy

Rabbi Asher Knight
704-366-1948
Rabbi Asher Knight- Senior Rabbi
Rabbi Asher Knight is Senior Rabbi of Temple Beth El in Charlotte, North Carolina. He joined Temple Beth El in July of 2016. Prior to coming to Temple Beth El, he served for nine years as Associate Rabbi of Temple Emanu-El, in Dallas Texas and as the rabbinic intern for Rockdale Temple in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Rabbi Knight grew up in Denver, Colorado. He graduated with a B.A. from the University of Denver cum laude in 2001, with a major in International Studies and a concentration in Middle East security. Rabbi Knight attended Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion at its Jerusalem and Cincinnati campuses, receiving his M.A. in Hebrew Letters in 2006 and rabbinical ordination in 2007.
Rabbi Dusty Klass
704-366-1948
Rabbi Dusty Klass- Assistant Rabbi
Rabbi Dusty Klass was born and raised in Seattle WA. She completed her undergraduate work at University of California, Santa Barbara and spent her junior year abroad in Dublin, Ireland. Before entering rabbinic school, Rabbi Klass spent two years as NFTY-SoCAL Regional Advisor, supporting and guiding teen leaders of the Reform Jewish youth movement. She was ordained from the Los Angeles campus of Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion with masters degrees in Hebrew Letters and Jewish Educational Leadership. Rabbi Klass is passionate about youth work, social justice, and meeting people where they're at.
Cantor Mary Rebecca Thomas
704-366-1948
Cantor Mary Rebecca Thomas- Cantor
Cantor Mary Rebecca Thomas is the Cantor at Temple Beth El in Charlotte, where she has served since July 2011. A native of Bayonne, New Jersey, Cantor Thomas studied History and Jewish Studies at Rutgers University with a particular emphasis on Jewish women’s history. Following graduation, she worked for three years at Temple Beth El learning about Jewish professional life from the inside. She was ordained as Cantor in May 2011 after completing the 5 years of study at the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music of the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem and Manhattan.
Rabbi Judith Schindler
704-366-1948
Rabbi Judith Schindler- Rabbi Emerita
Rabbi Judith Schindler served as Senior Rabbi of Temple Beth El from 2003-2016 and as Associate Rabbi from 1998-2003. She is currently Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and Director of the Stan Greenspon Center for Peace and Social Justice at Queens University of Charlotte. Prior to coming to Charlotte, she was an Associate Rabbi at Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, New York. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Tufts University in 1988 (magna cum laude), her Master’s from the Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles in 1993, and her rabbinic ordination at the Hebrew Union College in New York in 1995.
Cantor Andrew Bernard
704-366-1948
Cantor Andrew Bernard- Cantor Emeritus
Andrew Bernard served as cantor at Temple Beth El in Charlotte, NC from 1999 to 2017. Under his leadership, the synagogue launched a number of nationally-recognized initiatives including the b’nei mitzvah peer tutoring program, the teen band and teen vocal ensemble, and a comprehensive human sexuality program known as STAR (Sex, Torah, and Relationships). While engaged in many aspects of congregational life, Cantor Bernard’s focus was creating innovative, engaging, and meaningful worship, and working with youth. As the congregation’s longest-serving clergyperson, Cantor Bernard was a teacher and mentor to students in grades 3–12 and beyond for 18 years. Upon his retirement, the congregation recognized Cantor Bernard’s work by renaming the youth engagement fund in his honor.

Staff

To reach a staff member, please visit contact us.

Controller
Lead Administrative Assistant
Communications Manager
Hospitality Manager
Director of Congregational Engagement
Program Support
Gift Shop Manager
Director of Education
Executive Assistant to the Director of Education
Membership Administrator
Director of Member Services
Director of Youth Engagement
Operations Assistant
Patty Torcellini
Music Specialist

Board of Directors

2018-2019

EXECUTIVE BOARD
President…..Evan Wilkoff
1st VP/Administration…..Ben Benson
VP Finance…..Mark Rosen
Treasurer…..Liam Stokes
VP Youth Engagement…..Allen Sherman
VP Demographic Engagement…..Rachel Campbell
VP Congregational Engagement…..Ken Katz
VP Community and Action…..Lisa Garfinkle
Recording Secretary…..Jamie Bryan
Immediate Past President…..Ginny Rosenberg
Legal Counsel…..Rick Glaser

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
3 Year Term…..Doug Benson, Jeremy Naman, Stephen Philipson, A-J Secrist
2 Year Term…..Marla Emery, Deidre Grubb, Don Liss, Cyndee Patterson
1 Year Term…..Stephen Phillips, John Small, Becky Stamler, Renee Sutker
Board of Directors Appointee…..Annie Lord

HONORARY LIFETIME BOARD MEMBERS
Honorary Lifetime President…..Jonathan Howard
Honorary Lifetime President…..Norman Levin

REPRESENTATIVES
Brotherhood…..Bob Abroms
Sisterhood…..Julie Dermack
SPICE…..Bob Wolf
LIBERTY…..Max Lewin

Teachers

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Sam Swire
Director of Youth Engagement
Tami Bernat
Fifth Grade Teacher
Lee Bierer
Third Grade Teacher
Julie Dalli
Teacher
Stephanie DiPaolo
Drama Teacher
Renie Fernbach
Hebrew Teacher
Tracey Lederer
Religious School & B'nei Mitzvah Assistant
Linda Lepow
Second Grade & Sheva Teacher
Frances Liss
First Grade Teacher
Susan Meyer
Kindergarten & Fourth Grade Teacher
Amy Montoni
Fifth Grade Teacher
Betsy Olinger
First & Third Grade Teacher
Dawn Sakai
Kindergarten Teacher
Jennifer Sawyer
Second & Third Grade Teacher
Patty Torcellini
Music Specialist
Dalia Widis
Sixth Grade Teacher
Allison Winston
Sixth Grade Teacher