Jill L. Maderer, Senior 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. In 2017, Rabbi Maderer became our senior rabbi. In partnership with our senior staff, professional team, Board of Trustees and many involved congregants, she works passionately to build community, and pursue our vision: creating profound connections.
Our connections exist both within and beyond the walls of the synagogue. The one stipulation Jewish law provides for the building of a sanctuary is the presence of windows to the outside. With that relationship to the world around us, the words of our prayers are influenced by the life of our city and our experience of prayer inspires us to go forth into the world empowered by Jewish values. The new photographs of our professional team depict Rabbi Maderer's outward perspective, a view of our neighborhood and the city we love and to which we feel responsible.
That perspective leads Rabbi Maderer to partner with other organizations throughout our Jewish, multi-faith and Philadelphia communities. Rabbi Maderer serves on the Board of the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia, the Executive Board and is the immediate past president of the Board of Rabbis of Greater Philadelphia, and she serves as a member of the Jewish Federation Board of Trustees. She has served as a chairperson of the Center City Kehillah, a member of the Religious Leaders Council (multi-faith) of Greater Philadelphia, as a Mussar Institute 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 serves on the faculty at URJ Camp Harlam where she interacts with many of our students.
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 Philadelphia, not far from Rodeph Shalom.
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 major areas of work at Rodeph Shalom our RiSe Up! (Social Justice) Initiative, Families with Young Children, 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, and their daughters, Josephine and Nora, live in the wonderful Kensington neighborhood where they enjoy dining out, live music, and home-brewing!
Rita Glassman is an ordained Cantor, Board Certified Chaplain, and composer with a particular interest in writing music that lifts the heart and brings people closer together in community. She is a member of the Helfman Composers’ Group in Los Angeles since its inception in 2008 and just prior to the pandemic was one of five Jewish women composers who presented a concert of original songs at Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, CA. In 2008, Cantor Glassman was appointed by the World Union for Progressive Judaism to its “Yad B’Yad” Task Force to provide outreach and support to Reform congregations in Argentina and Brazil, including the historical Templo Israelita de Libertad in Buenos Aires. While there, she sang and mentored many cantors serving in those congregations.
In her Cantorial role, Rita has served congregations in Erie, PA, Iowa City, IA, Marin County, CA and most recently the historical Congregation Sherith Israel in San Francisco where she served for nine years. She has recorded and produced six cds with original music including “A World of Peace in Song and Prayer”, “Walk With Me”, “Journey to Shabbat”, “All The Way Home”, “River of Peace” and her newest cd “Begin Again-Songs of Hope and Renewal”. Rita’s meditative version of the “SHEMA” can be heard on the interfaith cd “Sacred World Chants” and her prayerful rendition of Carly Simon’s “Let The River Run” is on “Sounds of the Vineyard” which she recorded on Martha’s Vineyard with various local artists.
Cantor Rita was greatly honored to have her “Song For Peace/Oseh Shalom” performed at the White House for President Barack and Michelle Obama in 2015 at an interfaith holiday gathering. Rita has sung the National Anthem at two San Francisco Giants’ games and at two Golden State Warriors’ games on Jewish Heritage Night. Rita believes that even during a pandemic, the music of prayer, the music of our hearts will keep hope alive and carry us through.
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, have two sons and five grandchildren.
William I. Kuhn, Rabbi Emeritus
William I. Kuhn became Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Rodeph Shalom on June 1, 2017, after serving as Senior Rabbi of the congregation since 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 initiated and oversaw 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 served 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 was a 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, have two children, Michael and Sarah, and are blessed with three grandchildren.
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