Rabbi Michael Churgel
Rabbi Michael S. Churgel, RJE, comes to NCRT with over 20 years of congregational experience, having served synagogue communities as Rabbi and/or Education Director from Southern California, to the Gulf Coast of Florida, though he has spent most of his career within the greater NY Metropolitan area (Brooklyn, Long Island, Rockland County).
Following his undergraduate education at UCLA, Rabbi Churgel received Rabbinic S’micah from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in 2001, in addition to his Master of Arts in Jewish Education. Rabbi Churgel earned the title “Reform Jewish Educator” (RJE) from the Association of Reform Jewish Educators (ARJE), for his teaching and administrative experience, and he also served as a part of its national board. Rabbi Churgel is a “graduate” of the first cohort of the Leadership Institute for Congregational School Principals, a two-year professional development program for Jewish Educators throughout the Greater New York area.
Rabbi Churgel’s involvement in the Jewish community at large extends to his participation in many local rabbinic, educational, and interfaith groups in every community in which he has served. With a strong connection to Jewish camping and Israel, rabbi Churgel has served as staff and/or faculty at close to a dozen Jewish camps and Israel summer programs. He most recently served as a Rabbinic Faculty member at URJ 6-Points Creative Arts Academy, where each of his three children has attended as campers. Rabbi Churgel was a charter/founding member of Rockland Clergy for Social Justice, an interfaith clergy group established to stand up for the rights of students in the East Ramapo School District, and battle the injustices being rendered to them by the local school board and the state legislature. Rabbi Churgel served on the executive committee, and he lobbied on its behalf at the State Capitol in Albany multiple times.
When not serving the community, Rabbi Churgel’s interests include quality time with his wife, Shara, and their three children, Daphne, Zoe, and Jason, travelling, swimming, concerts, theatre, movies, reading, eating sushi, or rooting on one of his UCLA Bruins sports teams.
Rabbi Janet Liss (Rabbi Emerita)
Rabbi Dr. Janet B. Liss, is a spiritual leader who involves herself in every aspect of Temple life, including worship, personal counseling and life cycle observances.
Rabbi Liss joined our Congregation in 1996 after having served as the associate Rabbi at Temple Kol Ami in Plantation, Florida. She was ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1988. Rabbi Liss has a BA in Jewish Studies from American University, an MA in Hebrew Literature from Columbia University where she completed doctoral coursework in Hebrew Language and Literature and a Doctorate of Ministry from Hebrew union College- Jewish Institute of Religion.
Rabbi Liss plays an active role in local and national Jewish and interfaith organizations. She is president of the North Shore Clergy Group. She is on the Community Advisory Board of North Shore- LIJ Hospital-in Glen Cove, the Community Advisory Board for the BioGene Bank Research Project at the North Shore LIJ Health System and she is currently a Human Rights Commissioner for Nassau County. Rabbi Liss is active in the Central Conference of American Rabbis and the Women’s Rabbinic Network. She is a member of the Long Island Temple Educators organization. Rabbi Liss retired in 2022, but we are so pleased that she will continue to serve our congregation as Rabbi Emerita.