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Our Clergy

Rabbi Jim Stoloff

201-489-2463 ext. 207

Beloved for his warmth and humor, people of all backgrounds have been inspired by Rabbi Jim Stoloff as a teacher of Jewish values and tradition, as a spiritual counselor and leader, and as a rabbi whose door is always open. He arrived at Temple Avodat Shalom in July 2019 and hit the ground running with the lay leadership and professional staff, including guiding our community through the COVID-19 crisis starting in his first year.  He is profoundly and passionately committed to teaching Torah in the broadest sense and to helping people strive to “Be Torah” in their daily lives.

His goals are shaped by seeing the rabbinate as a Helping Profession and include creating opportunities for Jewish memory making, Tikkun Olam (Social Justice / Social Action), and creating kehilah kedosha, a sacred and inclusive community. Essential to his view of Judaism is that all people are welcome as an integral part of the community, including LGBTQ Jews, Jews of color, and people from all types of Jewish and non-Jewish backgrounds. Rabbi Stoloff has a highly collaborative work style in and out of the synagogue. He has developed professional and personal relationships with American, Israeli, and international organizations, Jewish and non-Jewish, covering a range of educational and social justice causes. He performs all rabbinical duties including education, worship, life cycle events, pastoral care, tikkun olam, and social interactions with people of all ages. 

Born and raised in Chattanooga, TN, Rabbi Stoloff graduated with a Bachelor of Music History from the University of Memphis and was ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati. Previously he served as Assistant/Associate Rabbi of Temple Israel of the City of New York from 2013-2019. Rabbi Stoloff, his wife Charlotte Rocker, and their son Hudson have settled into their NJ home with their cats, Albus and Minerva. An avid reader in his spare time, Jim also enjoys the outdoors, traveling, and anything pertaining to his past life as a musician.

Cantor Maria Dubinsky

201-489-2463 ext. 209

Cantor Maria DubinskyCantor Maria Dubinsky was born in Moscow, Former Soviet Union. In 1990, she and her family made an Aliyah to Israel, where she completed her high school education, served in the Israeli Defense Force and earned her bachelor degree in Vocal performance from the Rubin Academy of Music and Dance in Jerusalem. After pursuing a career of a classical performer and an opera singer, Maria relocated to the United States in 2006, where she was ordained as a Cantor by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2010.  Following her ordination from HUC-JIR, Cantor Dubinsky served in North Shore Synagogue in Syosset, NY and in Temple Shaaray Tefila in New York, NY. She was also a student Cantor at Union Temple of Brooklyn, NY and in Garden City Jewish Center, NY.
Cantor Dubinsky is very excited to join the Temple Avodat Shalom congregational family. In her cantorate, Maria is seeking to share her deep passion for Jewish Music, Judaism, and Torah.  She is eager to engage the community in music and prayer, as she greatly enjoys her roles as a teacher, musician, spiritual leader, community builder and friend. Cantor Dubinsky is looking to establish and foster meaningful relationships with community members of different generations and backgrounds.  Along with her cantorial and performing career, Maria is searching for creative outlets in different forms of arts, such as jewelry design, book illustrating, and writing. Cantor Dubinsky is married to Arcady Litmanovich and has two daughters – Maya and Noa. 

Cantor Emerita Ronit Josephson

Cantor Emerita Ronit JosephsonCantor Ronit Josephson was born and grew up in Israel. She came to the United States to study music. After graduating from the Julliard School of Music, she performed leading roles with the Seattle Opera, the Philadelphia Opera and the American Opera Center at Lincoln Center, New York, to name a few. She also appeared as guest soloist with the Houston Symphony and the Utah Symphony, among others.

Cantor Josephson studied at Hebrew Union College and was invested as Cantor in 1993. She served as Cantor at Temple Israel of Northern Westchester from 1992 to 1995. Cantor Josephson came to Temple Avodat Shalom in August of 1995.

Cantor Josephson is married to Howard Josephson and they are the parents of daughter Nicole.

Rabbi Emeritus Neal I. Borovitz

Rabbi Emeritus Neal I. BorowitzRabbi Borovitz was elected the Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Avodat Shalom in River Edge in June 2013 after serving the synagogue as rabbi for the previous 25 years. Prior to assuming his position in River Edge in the summer of 1988, Rabbi Borovitz served as Hillel Rabbi and Instructor in Biblical and Religious Studies at the University of Texas in Austin (1975-82), the Executive Director of the Labor Zionist Alliance on the United States, (1982-83) and as the Rabbi of Union Temple in Brooklyn, New York (1983-88).

Rabbi Borovitz, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, received his B.A. from Vanderbilt University in 1970, his M.A. from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religious (HUC-JIR) in 1973 and was ordained at HUC-JIR in June 1975.  In March of 2000, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity from HUC-JIR.

Rabbi Borovitz is an active leader in community affairs. He has been a member of the Bergen County Interfaith Brotherhood Sisterhood committee for 25 years. He is a past chair of Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey and has also served on the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey Board. He currently serves as Vice Chair of the National Board of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs.

Rabbi Borovitz is past President of the Bergen County Board of Rabbis and the North Jersey Board of Rabbis as well as the founding chairman of the Jewish Learning Project of Bergen County. Rabbi Borovitz is a frequent contributor to the Jewish Standard and the Bergen Record and a frequent lecturer on Judaism; The Middle East and Interfaith cooperation. 

Rabbi Borovitz is married to Ann Appelbaum and they are the proud parents of Abby Friedman and her husband Mike; Jeremy Borovitz and his wife Rebecca Blady; and the very proud grandparents of Spencer Isaac Friedman

Read Rabbi Neal's blogs

Mon, July 22 2024 16 Tammuz 5784