Union for Reform Judaism Member Congregation


Photo of Stephanie Kolin Stephanie Kolin Rabbi Email Rabbi Kolin

Rabbi Stephanie Kolin

Prior to becoming Union Temple's rabbi, Rabbi Kolin most recently served as a Rabbi of Central Synagogue in Manhattan. Before moving back to NYC, Rabbi Kolin was Co-Director of the Union for Reform Judaism’s Just Congregations, then the community organizing arm of the Reform Movement, and lead organizer and a founder of Reform CA (now RAC-CA), a statewide campaign of Reform congregations to work for a more just and compassionate California. Previously, she was Associate Rabbi at Temple Israel in Boston. Rabbi Kolin is an Auburn Seminary Senior Fellow, and has been named a “Game Changer” by the Los Angeles Jewish Journal, one of Newsweek’s “Rabbis to Watch,” and one of the Forward’s “America’s Influential Women Rabbis.” Rabbi Kolin has led successful campaigns for immigration, criminal justice, and affordable housing reform as part of interfaith coalitions and is a contributing author to the Reform Movement’s new book on social justice, Moral Resistance and Spiritual Authority: Our Jewish Obligation to Social Justice. She has served as an adjunct professor of the Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles and as faculty at the Wexner Foundation. Rabbi Kolin grew up in NYC and lives in Brooklyn with her wife, Jocelyn, and their two-year old daughter.
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Interim Rabbi Mark Sameth

Rabbi Mark Sameth was named one of “America’s Most Inspiring Rabbis,” by The Forward, inaugural list, 2013. Rabbi Mark did his interim ministry training with Interim Ministry Network (Baltimore); pastoral training at the Wexner Summer Chaplaincy Internship in Clinical Pastoral Education (New York Hospital, NYC); spirituality leadership training with the Institute for Jewish Spirituality (NYC); rabbinical internship at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun (NYC); and rabbinical training at Hebrew Union College (NYC)— where, prior to his ordination in 1997, Professor of Homiletics Rabbi Dr. Margaret Wenig declared him “one of the greatest preachers of our times.” He was the founding rabbi of Pleasantville Community Synagogue in Pleasantville (Westchester) New York, where he served for eighteen years, introduced innovative programs for children and adults alike, and helped membership to more than quadruple over the course of his tenure. Rabbi Mark’s widely-read essays have appeared in books and periodicals published by Jewish Lights, The CCAR Press, The Forward, and The New York Times. He is featured in Jennifer Berne and R. O. Blechman’s book God: 48 Famous and Fascinating Minds Talk About God, and in Sidney Schwartz’s Finding A Spiritual Home: How a New Generation of Jews Can Transform the American Synagogue. Brooklyn-born Rabbi Mark Sameth (he/him/his) is excited to be Union Temple’s Intentional Interim Rabbi (2018 – 2019), joining us for our congregation’s 170th year, as we begin our journey into the future.
Photo of Dr. Linda Henry Goodman Dr. Linda Henry Goodman Rabbi Email Rabbi Goodman

Rabbi Emerita Dr. Linda Henry Goodman

A native New Yorker, Rabbi Goodman came to our pulpit in 1992.  She has long been a champion of women's rights, outspokenly fighting to protect reproductive choice and health care access for women in New York State and throughout the country. She participates actively in the Reform Jewish Voice of New York State, and serves on the Clergy Advisory Board of Concerned Clergy for Choice in Albany. In 2012, she was installed as the first woman to serve as President of The New York Board of Rabbis. For many years she has studied at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, and in July of 2016 became a Senior Rabbinic Fellow of that Institute. She received rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, from which she also holds a Master of Arts in Hebrew Literature, a Doctor of Ministry, and an Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree.  She has served as Assistant Rabbi of Temple Emanu-El of New York, as Hillel Director and Jewish Chaplain at Adelphi University, and on the Jewish Studies faculties of Molloy College and the New York Theological Seminary. A talented musician, she holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Queens College and The Mannes College of Music (now renamed Mannes College the New School for Music after a move to The New School), earned an M.A. from Queens College, and taught at both schools as well as at SUNY Purchase. Music has always been a dominant source of her inspiration in life. She is married to Rabbi Stephen Wise Goodman, and they have an adult son, Philip.
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Student Cantor Benjamin Harris

Benjamin Harris is a fourth-year student at the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music of the Hebrew Union College (DFSSM). He is a native of Atlanta, Ben is a graduate of the Boston University School of Music. During this past year of studies at the DFSSM in Jerusalem, he has sung with Nava Tehila, a progressive community that has amassed a significant following all over Israel in recent years. Ben has a wealth of experience as a NFTY song leader, both in the Boston and Atlanta areas. He served as the Music Educator and Youth Advisor at Temple Sinai in Brookline, MA, Head Song Leader and Assistant Director of Judaic Programs at Camp Micah in Bridgton, ME, Song Leader of NFTY-SAR (South Atlantic Region), and as a teacher at Temple Sinai of Atlanta, GA, his home congregation. In addition to English and Hebrew, Ben speaks fluent French, and is an accomplished guitarist and pianist.