Clergy : Aaron Melman, Rabbi
Rabbi Aaron Melman assumed the role of head rabbi in July, 2015. He has been a rabbi at Congregation Beth Shalom in Northbrook, IL for fourteen years. He is originally from Toronto where he graduated York University with BA in Judaic Studies. He attended the Jewish Theological Seminary where he received his ordination in May 2002.While at JTS, Rabbi Melman taught Hebrew School at Or Zarua, a Conservative synagogue on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and served as a student chaplain with the New York City Fire Department (FDNY).
Rabbi Melman is involved in the community through the Northbrook Clergy Association, serves on the Board of Directors of the Center for Jewish Genetics, and is the immediate Past-President of the Chicago Region of Rabbinical Assembly. Rabbi Melman also serves as the only Chaplain to the Northbrook Fire Department. Rabbi Melman is married to Elisa Rotman and they have two children Jordan and Hannah. He enjoys golf, hockey, camping and SCUBA diving.
Clergy: Ari Averbach, Assistant Rabbi
earned certification in chaplaincy at Children's Hospital LA, and currently volunteers as a chaplain at Glenbrook Hospital. He is the founding leader of the Rabbinical Assembly affinity group for assistant rabbis and serves as Treasurer of the local RA chapter.
After graduating from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, Rabbi Averbach worked in the film industry in Los Angeles, then for Jewish World Watch, a non-profit organization fighting genocide in Darfur and Congo. He has taught at Camp Ramah and LA Hebrew High School.
Clergy : Steven Stoehr, Hazzan
Hazzan Stoehr is beginning his 30th year at Congregation Beth Shalom in Northbrook Illinois. Steven is a graduate of the Jewish Theological Seminary. In 2002 they granted him the Hazzan David Putterman Award for excellence in his career and then in 2008 he was awarded a Doctorate in Music, Honorius Causa.
For the Cantors' Assembly he has served as its international President and in 1998 Steven produced an international concert on Ellis Island and sang in Carnegie Hall as part of the Assembly’s Jubilee Celebration and has co-chaired 6 international conventions.
The C.A. awarded him in 2010 the Samuel Rosenbaum Award for scholarship and creativity and in 2015 received the Moses Silverman Award for Service to the Assembly. He is currently director of a project which couples Cantors and IDF soldiers in a musical project in which the story of each soldier’s life will be expressed through song.
Through Hazzan Stoehr’s leadership and foresight our CBS community has its own Chevre Kaddishe (Burial Society) as well as committees focused on LGBTQ rights, (PRIDE @ CBS) and H.U.G.S @ CBS, (Healthy, Understanding and Growing Spaces), a ritually focused series of holiday programs for families with Special Needs. In 2017 we are beginning to host SELAH, a choir for adults with special needs, under his direction. For JUF in Chicago he was on the Synagogue Federation Commission for Inclusion and also the Jewish Community Relations Council.
He was the primary author of a Minyan of Comfort, a guidebook for how to conduct minyanim in a house of Shivah with the FJMC, now translated into Spanish and French for use within the Masorti Movement worldwide. Steven has edited several educational booklets primarily in the realm of mourning rites and traditions for our community.
Steven has released three music cd’s and his first book of fiction, MY BrOTHER’S KEEPER.
Cantor Steve is married to Susan, who teaches Bar/Bat Mitzvah studies at CBS and also in our Adult Education program and are blessed by their children Jacob, Talia and Alana.
Clergy : Carl Wolkin, Rabbi Emeritus
Rabbi Carl Wolkin graduated from Columbia University in 1968 with a BA in Classics and received his rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1973. Before coming to Congregation Beth Shalom in 1980, he served as the Associate Rabbi of Temple Israel of Great Neck, NY from 1972-1980. In June, 2015, he retired after 35 years as the Senior Rabbi of Congregation Beth Shalom, and now serves as Rabbi Emeritus.
In 2004, Rabbi Wolkin was in the first group of graduates of the Center for Rabbinic Enrichment of the Shalom Hartman Institute. This group of North American Rabbis completed a three year program of study both in Jerusalem and in the U.S. He also studied at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem in January, 2011.
During his tenure at CBS, Rabbi Wolkin has served as the President of the Chicago Region of the Rabbinical Assembly, President of the Chicago Board of Rabbis, and President of the Northbrook Clergy Association. He was President of the Community Mikvah of the Conservative Movement from its inception in 1998 until 2016. Rabbi Wolkin served for several years on the JUF Board.
In addition to being the Secretary of the World Council of Conservative/Masorti Synagogues, also called Masorti Olami, he has served as Rabbi-in-Residence of St. Albans Masorti Synagogue in the UK. In April 2016, he received the Rabbi Mordecai Simon Memorial Award from the Chicago Board of Rabbis. Recently Rabbi Wolkin was elected to the Board of the Rochelle Zell Jewish High School.
Rabbi Wolkin is married to Judy, and they have four children: Joshua and David and daughters-in-law, Aurelia and Keeli.