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David Behrend (he/him) is a third generation congregant of Rodeph Shalom.  After getting his Master’s Degree in Career Counseling, he worked for Jewish organizations, including the Center for Career Services (JEVS) and the Belmont Center for Career Services (PPC).  In the 1980’s David opened his own career counseling practice, which eventually developed into Career Planning Services for Lawyers, providing counseling and guidance to lawyers nationally.   For eight years, David was a frequent co-host on radio station WWDB-FM providing career advice to listeners in the tri-state region.  He still does a monthly webinar, now in its eleventh year, through the FBA/FLA for lawyers in career transition.

Cara Schneider Bongiorno (she/her) spent her career at Philadelphia nonprofits, holding development positions at WHYY and JEVS Human Services before joining the communications team at VISIT PHILADELPHIA ®.  There, she represented the city to travel media for 20+ years.  Mid-pandemic, Cara chose to devote her time to volunteer teaching with Mighty Writers and hosting Philly History Pop Ups, fun gatherings where she presents intriguing but little-known stories about the city’s past.

Karen DiLossi (she/her) is the Director Strategic Partnerships for Partners for Sacred Places where she brings outside entities together with congregations who have space to share with them. Karen has guided contractual agreements, written space assessment reports, and led community engagement activities. She works to find the mission and vision alignment between entities to solidify their partnerships and provide a solid foundation for their future together. Karen also works to negotiate and find compromise to find a place where they both can thrive from sharing space with one another.        

Jane Friedman (she/her) graduated from Temple University with a degree in early childhood education and taught special education in Philadelphia.  In 1986 she obtained her master’s degree in fashion design from Drexel University, after which she sold her original fashion and home accessories to local boutiques, including Joan Shep.  She has been a docent at the Philadelphia Museum of Art for over 20 years where she specialized in the architecture of the Museum itself and its historic houses in Fairmount Park.  Having spent most of her life in Philadelphia, she loves the city for its beauty and historic interest.

Adam Grode (he/him), a Philadelphia native, is a Silk Road ethnomusicologist and linguist.  A two-time Fulbright Scholar and Smithsonian Baird Resident Fellow, he completed his Master’s with honors at the University of Pennsylvania in 2020.  The following year he launched Rudaki Language Academy, a Zoom-based elearning platform offering affordable instruction in the Persian family of languages.  In close coordination with groups like HIAS, Rudaki is proud to have trained scores of resettlement specialists and volunteers who work directly with the Afghan refugee communities now spread across the US and EU.  For more information, please visit

Michael Hauptman (he/him), AIA, is a founding partner of Brawer Hauptman + Larkin, Architects. One of the firm’s specialties is synagogue design, and their work includes the renovation, expansion, and new construction of synagogues, Hillels, and JCC’s from New England to New Orleans. Michael received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Brandeis University and his Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. He has been a regular guest speaker at the Weitzman
School of Design at Penn, the Dona Gracia Chapter of Hadassah, and the Kaiserman JCC. Michael is Immediate Past President of RS and served as chair of the master planning effort that resulted in the synagogue’s expansion project completed in 2015.

Mon Kramer (they/them) is a queer and non-binary realtor who is committed to helping folks of all genders, sexualities, and family structures buy and sell homes with confidence. Mon is also co-chair of the EID (Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity) task force at Rodeph Shalom and serves on the Board of Directors. They are passionate about LGBTQ+ rights, animals, food, and Judaism. When not working, you can find them hiking, reading, or exploring all that Philly has to offer. 

Resa Levinson (she/her) is a proud graduate of the Philadelphia public schools (yay, Girls High!) and is a retired Philadelphia School District teacher who had the great fortune to teach gifted students at one of the best elementary schools (Go Loesche) in the city.  Resa attended Hebrew school and Gratz College and taught supplementary Hebrew school as well.  When the now Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History was being built in 2009, Resa applied to be in the pioneer class of docents, combining her love of history, Judaism, storytelling, and engaging people.  Resa has traveled the world in person and on Zoom and is a lifelong learner.  She especially enjoys learning about and fashioning her tours of the special exhibits that the Weitzman has curated.

Brady Santoro (he/him) is a madrich/assistant teacher and a member of the Confirmation Class of 2023 at Rodeph Shalom.  In his free time, he enjoys studying and interacting with Jewish texts, especially those concerning Jewish law’s minutiae and breadth, playing klezmer, and learning how to say ridiculous things in Yiddish.

Fred Strober (he/him) is a long-term member of Rodeph Shalom who served as president from 2008-2011 and is now a member of the Israel ConnectRS Connection Group.  Over his lifetime, Fred has gathered first-hand stories about Jerusalem from family members (some born in the 19th century) and numerous primary source written accounts, and he weaves a tale of a journey from early 19th century Vilna to the modern Israel we know today.  Fred has numerous cousins in Israel and his daughter, Rebecca Strober, made aliyah in 2008 and currently resides in Tel Aviv.

Clergy bios

Bios for our clergy presenters—Rabbi Jill Maderer, Rabbi Eli Freedman, and Cantor Brad Hyman—appear on the RS website under About Us, Leadership.