Rabbi Ned Soltz
Rabbi Ned Soltz comes to Congregation Mvakshe Derekh after a 36 year career in the rabbinate, retiring in June 2009 as Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Beth Shalom in Arlington, Texas.
A native of Norfolk, Virginia with strong roots in the Conservative and Orthodox communities, he received his undergraduate degree from Old Dominion University summa cum laude with a major in psychology and minor in philosophy. From Norfolk, he attend Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati where he was ordained in 1973. From 1971-1973 he served as student rabbi at Temple Sinai in Portsmouth, Virginia and was asked to remain as full-time rabbi following ordination. Subsequently, he has served congregations in Rochester, Toronto, Orange County California and New Hampshire.
Rabbi Soltz also served as an adjunct Assistant Professor of Philosophy at St. john Fisher College in Rochester. Throughout his rabbinate he has been involved in local Jewish communal affairs as well as serving in national capacities with National Jewish Community Relations Council, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and the Union for Reform Judaism.
He is the author of numerous papers and articles and has devoted much of his study to the period of Rabbinic Judaism. He is an annual participant in the Rabbinic Torah Study program at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem and was honored in 2009 as a Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the Institute.
In addition to his years of experience in the Rabbinate, Jewish studies and Jewish communal life, Rabbi Soltz is a filmmaker and technical writer, consultant and producer in broadcast and professional video.
Rabbi Soltz and wife Mary reside in Teaneck where they both look forward teaching the ideals and principles of Reconstructionist Judaism through service to Congregation Mvakshe Derekh.
Rabbi Emeritus Emanuel S. Goldsmith
Rabbi Emanuel S. Goldsmith was a Professor of Hebrew and Yiddish Literature and Judaic Studies at Queens College of the City University of New York. Dr. Goldsmith has also taught Yiddish and Hebrew Literature and Jewish Studies at Oxford University, as well as Brandeis University, Clark University, Boston University, and the University of Connecticut.
He is the author of the books Modern Yiddish Culture: The Story of the Yiddish Language Movementand Modern Trends in Jewish Religion.He has edited the two-volume anthology in Yiddish entitled Yiddish Literature in America. He is also the coeditor of Thinkers and Teachers of Modern Judaism, The American Judaism of Mordecai M. Kaplan, Dynamic Judaism: The Essential Writings of Mordecai M. Kaplan, Shapers and Thinkers of Modern Judaism, and Men and Ideas of East European Jewry.
His work has also appeared in Jewish Book Annual and in Numerous journals and anthologies, including. His recording, I Really Love Yiddish: A Mini-Course in Yiddish Based on Literature, Folklore and Humor, has been widely acclaimed.
Rabbi Goldsmith served on the editorial board of Jewish Frontier, and on the executive committees of Congress for Jewish Culture, and Highland Institute for American Religious and Philosophical Thought.
Rabbi Goldsmith published two essays on the thought of Rabbi Mordecai M. Kaplan in these books: Religion in a Pluralistic Age, edited by Donald A. Crosby and Charley D. Hardwick, published by Peter Lang Publishing, and Beyond Tradition: The Struggle For a New Jewish Identity edited by Bonnie Cousens, published by the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism.
Cantor Nomi Chiel
Ms. Chiel, a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jersualem, is the founder and a former teacher of the religious school at the Actors Synagogue in New York City. She has been a consultant and coordinator on the staff of the Board of Jewish Education of Greater New York. Ms. Chiel is a fifth year cantorial student at the Academy for Jewish Religion, Riverdale, N.Y.