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Our Clergy

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Rabbi Natalie Shribman

Senior Rabbi

Rabbi Natalie Louise Shribman was ordained in May 2020 from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati. She moved here from central Wisconsin where she worked as a hospital chaplain for the Marshfield Clinic Health System on the Oncology floor and the intensive care units in Marshfield, Wisconsin.  While she was a chaplain, Rabbi Shribman was part of the Health, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion team, providing a comfortable hospital experience for patients and employees. During the pandemic, Rabbi Shribman was the rabbi for Temple Sholom in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, a small Conservative congregation. For this community, she guided several students through conversion, officiated baby namings, a B Mitzvah, and a queer wedding, in addition to leading Shabbat services and Torah Study. Prior to that, Rabbi Shribman was a rabbi for many small Reform congregations throughout the Midwest, including Temple Beth El in Dubuque, Iowa, Temple Beth El in Jefferson City, Missouri, Temple Israel in Marion, Ohio, and Temple Sha’arei Shalom in Columbus, Indiana. 

Rabbi Shribman was born to interfaith parents. Having not been raised to be Jewish, she chose to be Jewish as a young girl. Her interfaith background has inspired to be engaged in many interfaith efforts, including being Camp Director at Kids4Peace, a day camp for Jewish, Christian and Muslim middle and high school students in Cincinnati. This inspired her rabbinic thesis on using experiential education to bring together adults of different religions, creating a close interfaith community. This effort was her way of creating a journey for people of any religion to learn and grow as a person while being amongst a diverse community. Since becoming a rabbi, she has loved guiding others in their Jewish journeys and lifecycle events. 
To create balance in her life, Rabbi Shribman enjoys being outdoors—running, hiking, skiing, boating, and going for walks with her husband. She likes challenging herself, making gluten-free baking treats and reading historical fiction novels with female protagonists. Rabbi Shribman is an avid Steelers fan, being from Pittsburgh, and loves to watch sports. She lives with her husband, Rabbi Benjamin Altshuler, and her cat, Bsamim. She looks forward to spending time with you and connecting over a walk or a cup of tea.
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Rabbi Norman T. Roman - Rabbi Emeritus

Rabbi Norman T. Roman

Rabbi Emeritus

Rabbi Norman Roman served as the senior Rabbi at Temple Kol Ami for 30 years. Since he joined the Temple in 1986, it has grown in both size and stature. His knowledge and love of Judaism, his spiritual presence and his leadership have been at the forefront of Temple Kol Ami’s existence moving into the 21st century.
Rabbi Roman, born in New York City and raised in the Cleveland, Ohio area, was educated at John Carroll University (1971) and ordained at the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati (1975). He received the title of “Reform Jewish Educator” from the URJ and the National Association of Temple Educators in 1991.

Additionally, he earned a Master’s Degree in Hebrew Letters and an honorary Doctor of Divinity from HUC-JIR. He has served at congregations in Cleveland, Santa Monica, California, and Bloomfield Township, Michigan, before coming to Temple Kol Ami. The Rabbi serves on numerous civic committees and boards and is an Adjunct Instructor in Religious Studies at the University of Detroit Mercy.

Rabbi Roman is an accomplished folk singer and guitarist, performing at Temples, Universities and community functions throughout the United States and Israel. He is recognized nationally for his work with Jewish youth and his service as Rabbi-in-Residence at the NFTY Leadership Institute (Camp Kutz) and the Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. His love for and commitment to Israel are very strong. He is descended from chalutzim (pioneers) who were early settlers of Zichron Yaakov, and he visits Israel at least once per year.
The Rabbi and his wife Lynne are living in Arizona.

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Janet Head shot

Janet Christensen

Cantorial Soloist

Janet Christensen is a cantorial soloist born and raised in Northern Virginia and Temple B’nai Shalom in Fairfax Station. Her teachers and mentors include Cantor Rosalie Will, Robyn Helzner, and Rabbi Amy Perlin. Janet graduated from Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids MI, with a Bachelors of Music and continued on for a Masters in Music at Boston University, where she was very active in BU Hillel leading Reform Friday night services. She was the founder of Joco Jobim, a Grand Rapids Bossa Nova ensemble and Klezmatics, a Klezmer trio based in Grand Rapids. Janet Christensen is also a notable composer and arranger. Most recently in 2015 the Detroit Chamber Winds premiered Ocho Kandelikas, a Spanish Hanukkah holiday brass quintet piece.

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Professional Staff

Clara Silver

Executive Director

Melissa Mesa

Melissa Mesa

Religious School Education Director

Cheryl Spektor

Cheryl Spektor

Rabbi & Temple Assistant

Julie Phillips

Julie Phillips

Bookkeeper

Paul Oates

Facilities

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