Clergy & Senior Staff

Rabbi Josh Whinston

RABBI JOSH WHINSTON first seriously contemplated becoming a rabbi after his bar mitzvah. “I really loved being on the bimah, and the feeling of pride when I stepped off and was embraced by my parents and family,” he says. He would later lead services for his synagogue youth group, and in college at Hillel. “One summer during college,” he recalls, “I was working at a Reform-movement camp, and I received a phone call from an acquaintance. He told me his mother had died and that he wanted me to come to the funeral and lead the shiva minyan after.” It was, he says, “one of the most important, meaningful moments of my life.” His path was set. Rabbi Whinston was ordained at the Hebrew Union College/Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles; he has earned master’s degrees in Hebrew Letters and Jewish Education and a doctorate in Pastoral Ministry. He served congregations in Connecticut, California and Washington state before arriving at Temple Beth Emeth in 2016. Married to Sarah Raful-Whinston, Rabbi Whinston is the proud father of Mollie, Eva and Ori.

Cantor Regina Lambert-Hayut

CANTOR REGINA LAMBERT-HAYUT was raised in a secular Jewish home home, where Yiddish was spoken, and an equal emphasis on Jewish and secular education was placed. Throughout her Long Island upbringing, her family often said from early childhood on that she was destined to be a cantor. “I’ve always loved to sing,” she explains. However, it wasn’t until she spent five years as a cantorial soloist at Temple Sinai of Massapequa that she knew in her heart that being a cantor—combining her love of Judaism and music—was the right path. During high school, Cantor Lambert-Hayut attended The Juilliard Pre-College for voice, however life took a decidedly more academic turn when she earned a bachelor’s degrees in Biological Chemistry, from Swarthmore College. After completing her undergraduate studies, she returned to singing and Jewish life. She attended the Hebrew Union College/Jewish Institute of Religion to become a cantor; earned a Masters in Sacred Music. Upon ordination, she served at two congregations prior to Temple Beth Emeth. Cantor Lambert-Hayut is married to Avishay, and has two musically talented sons, Yoav and Alon.

Rabbi Daniel Alter

RABBI DANIEL ALTER is Temple Beth Emeth’s Director of Education. A thoughtful, contemplative man, for whom selfless sharing is a fundamental principle. He was inspired by the values and actions of his role models to become a religious and educational leader who could offer advice to those facing difficult or impenetrable theological questions. “Rabbi” literally translates as “teacher,” of course, and this sort of instruction is a vocation some seem simply destined to pursue. So it is with Rabbi Alter here at TBE, his first post-ordainment position; earning master’s degrees in Hebrew Letters and Jewish Education at the Hebrew Union College/Jewish Institute of Religion. He grew up in Beaumont, Texas, raised in a family that was deeply active in the local Jewish community. “I vividly remember lighting Shabbat candles as a child,” he reminisces. “We went to Friday night services most weeks, but once I could read and follow in Hebrew … that’s when Judaism truly came alive for me.” It’s this love of learning that Rabbi Alter shares with, and nurtures in his students, Torah study members, and other program participants.

Melissa Sigmond

MELISSA SIGMOND is an executive with over 25 years’ experience working in-house and consulting for Fortune 500 companies and Wall Street firms, as well as philanthropic organizations (from tech and education focused non-profits to faith-based foundations). After graduating UCLA, Sigmond’s professional life began in Hollywood feature film production, segue to finance, initially for Bank of America, then hedge and venture capital funds. During an intermission from investment banking, she led the undergraduate events at Columbia University, including coordinating the 250th Anniversary celebration, and a series of events at the Kraft Center for Jewish Student Life. In 2013, Sigmond shifted her focus and career path in to nonprofit management starting with Senior Planet Exploration Center in New York City, a flagship initiative of Older Adults Technology Services Center (OATS); two years later she was appointed the Executive Director at Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim, a National Historic Landmark Reform synagogue in Charleston, South Carolina. Subsequently, Melissa joined Temple Beth Emeth, as its Executive Director, in 2018. She is married to the author Aaron Sigmond, and is the mother of Dashiell.

Administrative Staff

Amie Brockman

AMIE BROCKMAN oversees all the accounting functions and general financial operations of Temple Beth Emeth. Originally from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan (the northeastern end of the Upper Peninsula, on the U.S.-Canada border,) Ms. Brockman moved to Ann Arbor to escape the U.P. winters, and be closer to family. She has been with TBE since 2011.

Victoria Gross

VICTORIA GROSS is one of the most familiar faces in the TBE office, having been on staff since 2011. She works directly with congregants, manages member accounts and religious school tuition and fees. Ms. Gross and her family immigrated to the U.S. from the Ukraine, and have made Ann Arbor their home since 1994.

Nellie Stansbury

NELLIE STANSBURY directs all the temple communications initiatives and efforts, including the weekly digital update, the monthly bulletins, the TBE website, the annual report, as well as the managing the event calendar. Born and raised in Ann Arbor, Ms. Stansbury left to attend Allegheny College in Meadville, PA, and returned in 2016, starting at TBE the following year.

Sarah Davidson

SARAH DAVIDSON is the coordinator for the religious and Hebrew schools; she implements administrative systems, procedures, and program policies, and acts as the primary school liaison between children, families and congregants, and the Director of Education. Originally from Iowa, Ms. Davidson arrived in Ann Arbor via Chicago. She has been with TBE since 2015.

Nikki Feinberg

NIKKI FEINBERG works in the office overseeing all of the temple youth engagement and activities. In addition to working at TBE, Ms. Feinberg is also the Jewish Community Center (JCC) Camp Director/Youth Director. Originally from San Antonio, Texas, she attended Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, prior to moving to Ann Arbor.

Clare Kinberg

CLARE KINBERG has been supervising the ongoing curatorial effort of the TBE book collection housed in the library since 2012, as well as managing the existing bibliotheca. Ms. Kinberg has a Master of Library and Information Science from Wayne State University), and was previously the Managing Editor of BRIDGES: A Jewish Feminist Journal.

Emily Alter

EMILY ALTER, TBE’s Shabbat School Coordinator, has been in this position since the 2011-12 school year. Emily has an M.A. in education and has extensive experience in both the secular and Jewish fields. She recently retired from being the Director of Education in a combined Reform and Conservative religious school in Flint for 33 years. In addition to coordinating our Shabbat School, Emily also works with Cantor Hayut tutoring B’nai Mitzvah students.

Emeriti Clergy

RABBI EMERITUS LEVY led Temple Beth Emeth from 1984 until his retirement in 2016. Originally from New York City, he returned to the Eastern Seaboard after his tenure at TBE, and now resides in Washington D.C.

Rabbi Emeritus Robert Levy

RABBI EMERITUS LEVY led Temple Beth Emeth from 1984 until his retirement in 2016. Originally from New York City, he returned to the Eastern Seaboard after his tenure at TBE, and now resides in Washington D.C.

Cantor Emerita Annie Rose

CANTOR EMERITA ROSE joined Temple Beth Emeth in 1994, and led the congregation in song until her retirement in 2014. Cantor Rose remains an active member of the congregation and an involved volunteer at TBE.

Board of Trustrees

TBE’s Board President

Ketl Freedman-Doan


Officers

Joe Pollak, Vice President for Administration
Wendy L. Lawrence, Vice President for Fund Development
Steve Lonn, Vice President for Education and Youth
Stephanie Newell, Vice President for Finance
Candace Bulkley, Vice President for Membership
Jack Zaientz, Vice President for Religious Practice
Abbie Egherman, Vice President for Social Action
Bonnie Keen, Treasurer
Deb Schild, Secretary


Members-at-Large

Sarah Cohen
Rachel Glick
Barry Levin
Dave Ostreicher
Beth Pearson
Jodi Wallo
Greg Lewis
David Ostreicher
Joan Cohen Jones


Genesis Board Members

Lisa Perchke
Murray Rosenthal


Ex-Officio

Susan Gitterman, Immediate Past President
Trina Fuller, WTBE President
Bill Parkus, Brotherhood President