Clergy : Aaron Melman, Rabbi
Rabbi Aaron Melman assumed the role of head rabbi at Congregation Beth Shalom in July, 2015. He has been a rabbi at Beth Shalom for over seventeen 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 Norton and Elaine Sarnoff for Jewish Genetics, and is a 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.
Rabbi Melman's Sermons
Rabbi Warner Ferratier was born and raised in Springfield, Illinois. He received his undergraduate degree in History at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, with minors in Secondary Education and Teaching of Spanish. He taught a variety of subjects in the Champaign public schools, where he also supervised several extra-curricular activities and was active in the local teachers’ union.
His activity within the local Jewish community eventually led him to pursue the rabbinate as a calling. After a preparatory year studying at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem, he entered the Rabbinical School at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, from which he received ordination in May, 2019 with a Master’s degree in Midrash.
Rabbi Ferratier has been employed as the student rabbi both at Congregation Sons of Israel in Amsterdam, New York and at Congregation Torat El in Oakhurst, New Jersey. In his spare time he enjoys reading many types of literature, practicing music, and crafting. He and his husband, Dr. Luis Guzmán Valerio, are looking forward to getting settled in and meeting everyone here in Northbrook.
Clergy : Steven Stoehr, Hazzan
Hazzan Stoehr is beginning his 32nd 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. 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. He has co-chaired 6 international conventions. In 2010, the C.A. awarded him the Samuel Rosenbaum Award for scholarship and creativity. In 2015, Steven received the Moses Silverman Award for Service to the Assembly. He is currently director of a project that couples Cantors and IDF soldiers in a musical project telling the story of each soldier’s life 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.Under Cantor Stoehr's direction, CBS began hosting SELAH, a choir for adults with special needs. For JUF in Chicago, he was on the Synagogue Federation Commission for Inclusion and also the Jewish Community Relations Council. With the FJMC, Cantor Stoehr was the primary author of a Minyan of Comfort, a guidebook for how to conduct minyanim in a house of Shivah, 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. Recently he wrote a musical drama, The Lost Supper, based on the relationship between Abraham Joshua Heschel and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Cantor Steve is married to Susan, who teaches both Bar/Bat Mitzvah studies and Adult Education at CBS. They are blessed by their children Jacob and Ilana, 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. For the High Holidays through Simchat Torah, 2018, Rabbi Wolkin will be serving as interim Rabbi at Temple Adath Yeshurun in Syracuse, NY, his home congregation.
Rabbi Wolkin is married to Judy, and they have four children: Joshua and David and daughters-in-law, Aurelia and Keeli.