Today is July 28, 2016 -
Rabbi Jeremy Wiederhorn began serving as the spiritual leader of The Conservative Synagogue in July 2008. He dedicates his pulpit to building and fostering sacred community through inspirational teaching, gentle guiding, creative programming, meaningful relationships, and genuine leadership.
Rabbi Wiederhorn is passionate about supporting Israel. He encourages our community to “speak with our feet” and visit Israel often. In January 2009, and again in the summer of 2014, he mobilized Emergency Missions to Israel in response to the missile strikes from Gaza and the war with Hamas. Two larger missions in April 2010 and April 2012 brought 80 members of our community over to Israel together on a special 10-day family experience of a lifetime.
A teacher to all, Rabbi Wiederhorn can be found sitting on the floor sharing stories with our youngest pre-school students, making sushi rolls with our teens while discussing kosher fish, or in a New York City office discussing Jewish business ethics with our members who commute.
Rabbi Wiederhorn remains active in the larger community, serving as the President of the Interfaith Clergy Association of Westport and Weston since 2011. He is also a member of the Rabbinic Cabinet of the Masorti Foundation, officer of the New York Board of Rabbis, Regional Board Member of ADL, National Council Member of AIPAC, and serves on the Board of Directors of MERCAZ USA.
Prior to The Conservative Synagogue, Rabbi Wiederhorn served for eight years as the first full-time rabbi of Midbar Kodesh Temple in Henderson, Nevada where he helped grow the young congregation to 300 families, started a Hevra Kadisha, and helped create the Solomon Schechter Day School of Las Vegas.
Born in Michigan and raised in Southern California, the rabbi earned a BA in Judaic Studies from the University of California, San Diego. He also received a Masters in Hebrew Letters from the University of Judaism and another MA with his rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) in New York.
Rabbi Wiederhorn is the proud husband of over 20 years to Rebecca (Riki) and father to Meital (16 years), Ayelet (14 years), and Avi (11 years).
Born in Uruguay, Cantor Cattan undertook Judaic studies in Uruguay (Nativ), in Israel (Machon L’madrichei Chul), and at the Latin American Rabbinical Seminar “Marshal T. Mayer” of Buenos Aires. He is a CICA graduate of the Cantors Assembly. He studied Voice and Music Theory at the Falleri-Balzo conservatory and the National Lyric Art School in Montevideo, Uruguay. Hazzan Cattan has also earned Certification in Family Education issued by the Education Department of the Cantors Assembly.
Hazzan Cattan has a Degree in Advertising and Marketing from the Catholic University of Montevideo, where he became the first Jewish student appointed as a delegate to the Academic Council. He has a decade of experience in the advertising corporate world.
In Latin America, Cantor Cattan served as the Executive Director of the World Zionist Organization’s Zionist Activities Department. There he developed multiple cultural and artistic programs that reinforced ties between Israel and Latin American communities. He was the Cantor, Youth Director, and Religious School Director of the NCI (New Israelite Congregation), the main Conservative congregation in Montevideo, for over 15 years. He co-founded the Masorti Uruguay. Such involvement led to his election as one of five International Vice Presidents of Masorti Olami (the Zionist branch of the Conservative Movement).
Cantor Cattan served as Cantor and Education Director at Beth Torah Benny Rok Campus in North Miami Beach before coming to TCS and making his home in Westport. He also served at the Cuban Hebrew Congregation as Cantor and Executive Director. He has recorded two CDs and performed in Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Israel, Panama, Colombia, Puerto Rico and the United States.
Cantor Cattan is married to Silvia, a Jewish educator and a psychopedagogist. They have four children, Maia, Uri, Mili and Ilai.
Julia Brennan, Executive Director, joined TCS in July 2014. With extensive professional and community experience in the corporate and non-profit worlds, Julia brings a diverse skill set including budget management, program design, fundraising, community outreach and overall business administration. A native of Connecticut (and whose family was a member of TCS in the B’nei Baskin-Robbins’ days), Julia lives in Stamford with her family.
Danny Kochavi, Religious School Director, joined The Conservative Synagogue in July 2007. He shares his passion for Jewish education with our youth, overseeing the kindergarten through sixth grade program, Atid (grades seven and eight), and Kollel (grades nine through twelve).
Prior to joining our staff, Danny was the Director of Education and Youth at Congregation Beth Shalom in Oak Park, Michigan, where he developed and implemented a vibrant and innovative school curriculum. Danny also held positions as an Assistant Educational Director, a Youth Activities Programmer, a High School Director, and an Age Group Leader at Camp Ramah.
Danny received his Master’s Degree in Judaic Studies, Education and Synagogue School Administration from the William Davidson School of Jewish Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. Prior to that, he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Judaic Studies and Biology from the State University of New York at Albany. He has studied at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem and participated in the year long Nativ USY leadership course in Jerusalem as well. He currently sits on the Board of the Jewish Educators Assembly.
Danny was born in Israel, raised in Forest Hills, New York, and currently resides in New York City with his wife, Danielle, his son Netanel Dov and his daughter Atara Chana.
Jamie Klein-Zoref, our Director of Early Childhood Education, joined The Conservative Synagogue in July 2010. Jamie brings over 25 years of experience in the field of
Jewish early childhood education.
Jamie spent 18 years at the Solomon Schechter Day School in West Hartford, beginning as a lead teacher and ultimately becoming the Director of Early Childhood Education. Subsequent to her work at Solomon Schechter, Jamie joined the Greater Hartford JCC as the Director of the Early Childhood Community Center. In this role, she supervised and directed all aspects of the early childhood program for over 300 children in three separate locations. Prior to her employment at TCS, Jamie was the Director of the Child and Family Development Resource Center at Eastern Connecticut State University where she oversaw all aspects of their innovative, on-campus preschool.
In each of her roles as a Director, Jamie has worked hard to enhance teacher development and ensure kindergarten readiness through a series of goals based on national and local standards. Jamie has achieved NAEYC accreditation (the mark of quality) in all of the early childhood programs she directed, including TCS! Her experience and keen understanding of the needs of young children and their parents allow her to implement creative, new ideas in the Jewish preschool classroom. Above all, however, Jamie exudes a love of children and Judaism that fuses modern educational thinking with strong Jewish educational programs. When you meet Jamie, we are sure you will immediately agree that she is energetic, creative, and extremely approachable.
Jamie holds two Masters Degrees in early childhood education, one of which is from the renowned Bank Street College of Education. She lives in the local community with her husband, Steve.
Jason Kirschner is very excited to be joining The Conservative Synagogue as its rabbinic intern. A fifth-year student at the Jewish Theological Seminary, Jason is pursuing a degree in Pastoral Care and Counseling, and recently finished a period of work as a hospice chaplain. Committed to Torah and its power to transform lives, Jason has always sought to take action and bring Jewish wisdom to Jews when they need it most. In his time at the Jewish Theological Seminary he has also served as a rabbinic intern at the YM & YWHA of Washington Heights and Inwood, taught in the religious school at Congregation Rodeph Shalom, and compiled testimonies of Holocaust survivors for the Claims Conference. An ardent Zionist, Jason has studied at both the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Jason earned a Bachelor’s Degree in History, with minors in Judaic Studies and Political Science, from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA. An avid genealogist, he enjoys researching his family history in his spare time as well as reading and visiting museums. Jason is a native of Forest Hills, NY and now lives in Washington Heights with his wife, Yonah, a Jewish educator and digital media manager for the DigitalJLearning Network at The Jewish Education Project.
Tibi, as he is fondly known, has been bringing music to Kehillah and TCS since September 1987. You can often find him at Friday night services leading prayers with his guitar or cooking a Chaverim Dinner for the congregation with his wife, Asya.
In 1981, after a successful dancing career in Israel, Tibi came to the United States to further his education in choreography and theater production. After reconnecting with his technical education, Tibi sought to expand his creative range by developing exceptional skills in film & video editing. He designed and built several editing suites, including one for the first Russian Television Network (RTN) in the United States. Tibi has edited numerous award-winning films including The Emmy award-winning 1995 public service announcement entitled,“It’s Up to YOU.” For the last thirty years Tibi has created, installed, and operated multimedia presentations for corporations, schools and non-profit organizations.
Today Tibi is also the Vice President and Director of Technology at the Hartley Film Foundation in Westport, CT where he works on creating films to better the world. He is the Multi-Media Producer for Chromate Industrial Corporation from Bohemia, NY, and manages Studio Tibi, the Multi-Media Production business in Trumbull, CT. In his free time you may find him dancing around the world.