William I. Kuhn, Rabbi
William I. Kuhn became Senior Rabbi of Congregation Rodeph Shalom in 1998. Rabbi Kuhn was ordained in 1994 by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and became the senior rabbi of Congregation Rodeph Shalom in 1998 after having served as assistant and associate rabbi since 1994. He brings broad and distinctive life experience to the congregation's historic pulpit. Throughout his tenure, Rabbi Kuhn has initiated and overseen Rodeph Shalom's ambitious and wide-ranging efforts to create a Jewish community of profound connections through transformative study, prayer, and urban engagement.
Nationally, Rabbi Kuhn serves as the Vice President of Financial Affairs for the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and he is active in the Union for Reform Judaism. In Philadelphia, Rabbi Kuhn is an active member of the boards of Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, Jewish Family and Children's Services and the National Conference for Community and Justice. He has served on Mayor Street's Transition Committee as co-chairman of the Volunteer and Faith-Based Organizations Sub-committee and has served as a Commissioner on the Human Relations Commission for the City of Philadelphia.
A native and longtime resident of Nashville, Tennessee, Rabbi Kuhn's great love for Judaism was nurtured at Congregation Ohabai Sholom and within his family, which had founded the synagogue in the 1860's. He continued the Kuhn family tradition of leadership as a board member and officer of that congregation, particularly while chair of the Social Action Committee, when he was instrumental in establishing a homeless shelter based in the Temple.
Rabbi Kuhn is a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. After leaving Penn, he served as vice-president of Kuhn's Big K Stores Corporation, a family-owned retail business, and later established and was president of General Property Investor's Corporation, a real-estate investment firm. Throughout this period, he was active in Nashville's Jewish and general community.
Rabbi Kuhn and his wife, Emily, live in the Society Hill section of Philadelphia. Their two children Michael and Sarah Kuhn live in New York. They are blessed with three grandchildren.
Jill L. Maderer, Rabbi
Jill L. Maderer has served Congregation Rodeph Shalom since her ordination from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in New York in 2001. When Rabbi Maderer first began her work at Rodeph Shalom, she chose for the text on her tallit: "Open for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter and give thanks to God" (Ps 118:19); and she has been thankful for the sacred work of the rabbinate ever since! At Rodeph Shalom, Rabbi Maderer serves as a member of the senior staff and works in partnership with the Board and volunteers. She works passionately to build community, especially through exploring new approaches to study and ritual. Rabbi Maderer is responsible for overseeing the congregation’s Caring Community, Pastoral Care, Adult Education, our highly interactive and dynamic Contemporary High Holy Day services, and Families with Young Children. Rabbi Maderer serves on the faculty at URJ Camp Harlam where she interacts with many of our students.
Rabbi Maderer is involved in key leadership roles in our greater community. She serves as Co-president of the Philadelphia Board of Rabbis, as Co-chair of the Board of the Center City Kehillah and is a member of the Federation of Greater Philadelphia Board of Trustees and the Religious Leaders Council (multi-faith) of Greater Philadelphia. She has partnered with The Mussar Institute as an instructor training Reform rabbis in Mussar leadership and she has co-chaired the Central Conference of American Rabbis' conference for training clergy in the use of the Reform Movement's new High Holy Day machzor.
Rabbi Maderer's early life was shaped by her involvement in the Reform youth movement and in her hometown Reform congregation in Westfield, New Jersey. She graduated from Brandeis University with a major in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and minors in Women's Studies and Peace and Conflict Studies.
Rabbi Maderer, her husband Len Lipkin and their two children reside in Fairmount, a stone's throw from the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Eli C. Freedman, Rabbi
Eli Freedman was ordained at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in May 2010 after receiving his undergraduate degree from Brandeis University. Prior to joining the clergy team at Rodeph Shalom, Rabbi Freedman served as Rabbinic Intern at the NYU Hillel, spent three years of rabbinical school in London and ran the outreach and engagement program at Columbia/Barnard Hillel.
Rabbi Freedman’s three major areas of work at Rodeph Shalom are our Berkman Mercaz Limud (Religious School), our RiSe Up! (Social Justice) Initiative, and young adult work which included our Young Friends group and Next Dor. He also is engaged in all other rabbinic duties, including life cycle events, leading services, preaching, counseling, and adult education. Rabbi Freedman, his wife, Laurel Klein, and their daughter, Josephine, live in the wonderful Kensington neighborhood where they enjoy dinning out, live music, and home-brewing!
Cantor Erin R Frankel
Cantor Erin R. Frankel joined the RS clergy team in 2012. She was ordained by the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2003. She served Beth Emet The Free Synagogue in Evanston, Illinois as a full-time cantor, Beth Shalom Synagogue in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for the High Holy Days, and Brooklyn Heights Synagogue in Brooklyn, NY as a student cantor before moving to Philadelphia.
Cantor Frankel is a native of Newton, Massachusetts and a graduate of Columbia University. While in college she also studied at the University of Bristol in England. She is fortunate to have lived in multiple cities around the United States and around the world and to have experienced Jewish life in many diverse communities.
She is privileged to participate in all aspects of synagogue life here at Rodeph Shalom: worship, adult and youth education, pastoral care, and visioning. She is most proud of two initiatives she has created in her time at RS. First, Ani Kinor:The RS Orchestra, a “mini-orchestra” of seven pieces including strings, enlivens our Shabbat service twice a month, providing a lush musical foundation from which our prayers can soar. Additionally, each May the RS Youth Theater, in partnership with the MacGuffin Theater and Film Company here in Philadelphia, stages an original musical based on Jewish texts. Thirty of our congregation’s children rehearse all winter and spring to bring the production to life and Jewish theater to the stage.
Cantor Frankel currently serves on the Executive Board of the American Conference of Cantors and is a co-chair of the 2016 ACC/GTM Convention to be held in Philadelphia. She lives in Center City with her husband David and daughters, Sivan and Meital.
Alan D. Fuchs, Rabbi Emeritus
Alan D. Fuchs holds a BA degree from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. He was ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1963. Rabbi Fuchs led Congregation Rodeph Shalom as Senior Rabbi from 1988 to 1998. Prior to that, Rabbi Fuchs served as Senior Rabbi of the Isaac M. Wise Temple in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was also rabbi at Temple Sinai in Pittsburgh, Congregation Keneseth Israel in Elkins Park, and Temple Beth El in Somerville, New Jersey, and served as a Chaplain in the US Army at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and Verdun, France. In July of 2001, Rabbi Fuchs served as interim Rabbi at Temple Beth El in Chappaqua, New York, while the congregation searched for a senior rabbi.
Rabbi Fuchs and his wife, Carol, live in Center City Philadelphia and have two sons and five grandchildren.