Rabbi Jennifer L. Frenkel grew up in Oak Park, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. She graduated summa cum laude from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology and a specialization in Jewish Studies. She received her Master of Arts degree in Hebrew Letters from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and was ordained from HUC-JIR in Cincinnati in June 2009.
Prior to her service at M’kor Shalom, Rabbi Frenkel worked at the Isaac M. Wise Temple in Cincinnati, Ohio, and also served congregations in both Petoskey and Saginaw, Michigan, during Seminary. While in Cincinnati, Rabbi Frenkel completed advanced chaplaincy training and was part of the Pastoral Care Team at The Jewish Hospital for several years. Her rabbinic thesis is on the topic of Jewish Pastoral Care Theology and End-of-Life Decision-Making, and Rabbi Frenkel also has four published essays in the book, God: Jewish Choices for Struggling with the Ultimate.
Rabbi Frenkel serves as the Immediate Past President of the Tri-County Board of Rabbis, and is a member of the Institutional Review Board for the Kennedy Health System and a member of the Jewish Hospice Advisory Council for Samaritan Hospice. In her free time, Rabbi Frenkel enjoys playing ice hockey and cheering on her Michigan State Spartans in college football and basketball. Rabbi Frenkel is also an avid reader, writer and cyclist.
You can send Rabbi Frenkel an e-mail at RabbiFrenkel@mkorshalom.org.
As spiritual leader, music director and educator at M'kor Shalom, Cantor Anita F. Hochman has helped make music a fundamental part of our identity as a congregation, providing a thread of continuity and source of strength throughout all the years she’s been part of the M'kor Shalom family.
Cantor Hochman, a Cherry Hill resident who grew up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, holds a BS in Music Education from West Chester University, and an MA in Jewish Music from Gratz College. She served as president of the Women Cantors' Network for 5 years.
Arriving at M'kor Shalom in November 1981, Cantor Hochman has taught every Bar and Bat Mitzvah student since then. Her extraordinary gifts as a teacher have made a most positive impact on all of our M'kor Shalom families who love and respect her.
Cantor Hochman's infectious love for Jewish choral music has inspired both singers and listeners of all ages. As conductor of M'kor Shalom's renowned 45-member volunteer choir, the Cantor and our choir recorded, SHIREI MAKOR – Songs of Our Source and together they have performed in Israel, at Carnegie Hall, with the New Jersey Opera company at Symphony Hall and at the North American Jewish Choral Festival. In addition, The Unity Choir that she has helped to form through a partnership with Dr. Beverly Collins, Evelyn Thomas and Donavon Soumas is a source of great excitement and pride and every Martin Luther King, Jr weekend draws attendance of 1,000 people from the community and beyond.
Under Cantor Hochman's direction we have enriched our worship experience with our Chavurah Ensemble, a folk vocal and instrumental group that serves to encourage congregational participation. All of our Shabbat and holiday services are enriched by Cantor Hochman's inspiring musical contribution.
You can send Cantor Hochman an e-mail at CantorHochman@mkorshalom.org.
Rabbi Richard Hirsh joined the M’kor Shalom community as assistant rabbi in August of 2016. He is originally from New York, and first moved to the Philadelphia area in 1976.
He also serves as Adjunct Associate Rabbi at Main Line Reform Temple-Beth Elohim in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, where he was Interim Associate Rabbi in 2014-2015.He has been a High Holiday rabbi at Congregation Darchei Noam in Toronto since 1998. Rabbi Hirsh has previously served congregations in Chicago, New York, New Jersey and Toronto as well as holding executive positions in several Jewish agencies.
Rabbi Hirsh received his B.A. in Jewish Studies from Hofstra University, his M.A. in religion with a specialization in the New Testament from Temple University, and was graduated as a rabbi from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. He has been a member of the Reform Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) since 1985.
Rabbi Hirsh is a member and a past co-chair of the Clergy Task Force on Domestic Violence of Jewish Women International, and has served on the Board of the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia and on the advisory board of the Jewish journal Sh’ma.
Among his interests are meditation, spirituality, cooking, theatre, and collecting and restoring vintage percussion instruments.
Rabbi Hirsh and his wife Barbara, who is the Director of the Center for Jewish Life and Learning of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, have two adult children, Shira and Nadav.
You can send Rabbi Hirsh an e-mail at RabbiHirsh@mkorshalom.org.
Suzanne has been the Cantorial Soloist at M’kor Shalom since August 1, 2014. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from West Chester University with a Major in Voice and Minor in Piano, was awarded an apprenticeship with the Pennsylvania Opera Theater in her senior year and has taught early childhood through eighth grade music in New Jersey public schools.
Opera, oratorio and musical theater highlights include: the World Premiere of “The Sibyl” by Vincent Persichetti, United States premiere of “Ballad of Matthausen” by Theodorakis, soloist with Pottstown Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Society of Philadelphia, soloist in Handel’s “Messiah” for New Jersey Cable Television, original reading of “The Visit” by Michael Ogborn and the World Premiere of “Eleanor and Hick” by Tom Wilson Weinberg.
Suzanne’s Cantorial Soloist work began at Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, from 2006-2010. She is thrilled to be continuing in this sacred work at M’kor Shalom co-leading services, leading shiva minyan services, teaching music to our students from Preschool through Post-Confirmation, coordinating the Mitzvah Program, tutoring B’nai Mitzvah students, conducting our Youth Choir, serving as Music Director of our Purim Shpiel, mentoring our next generation of Jewish song leaders, sounding the shofar and leading our community in prayer through song.
She is a member of the Women Cantor’s Network, Guild of Temple Musicians and 1998 recipient of the Women’s Way Recognition Award. Suzanne practices yoga, enjoys nature and being with her boys (cats Horatio and Max).
You can send Suzanne an e-mail at SuzanneGuinane@mkorshalom.org.
A longtime member of M’kor Shalom, Michelle Bross is currently serving as the congregation’s Executive Director. As she describes her skill set, she’s a creative person who is also highly organized.
“Stepping into this kind of position is exciting for me,” says Michelle, a Mount Laurel resident who grew up in Edison, New Jersey. “I look at this as one big organizational project.”
Michelle’s most recent fulltime position was as the administrator for an IT consulting company. She spent the last few years teaching mosaics in her home studio, which she will continue to do, and also creates commissioned pieces. Examples of her work are available online at MichelleMosaics.com, and some of her pieces can be found at local gift shops.
She said she relishes the opportunity to help M’kor Shalom cultivate younger members with its new program providing free membership to our Post-Confirmation graduates. The initiative is named in memory of Judge Steven P. Burkett, a past president of M’kor Shalom and treasured Post-Confirmation teacher in our Religious School.
Michelle is married to Bob, a family physician. She has two sons – Zack, a high school physics teacher, and Ari, an electrical engineer.
You can send Michelle an e-mail at ExecutiveDirector@mkorshalom.org.
Merle always knew she was going to be a teacher, and once she began Hebrew School she was drawn into the world of Jewish education. This journey began upon graduation from Gratz College with a teachers’ certificate and her first classroom of enthusiastic 7th graders.
Merle has a B.S. in Education from Temple University and also completed post-graduate Jewish studies programs at Gratz.
Originally from Philadelphia, Merle joined M’kor Shalom when she moved to southern New Jersey, and she soon began teaching in our Sunday School. Merle served as the Assistant Education Director under Yossi Afek and assumed her current role as Education Director in 2001.
Merle is also known for her love of Israel and for Israel travel. She has planned and led over 30 trips for the students and families of M’kor Shalom.
Merle and her husband, Bernie, are always looking forward to their next trip to Virginia to visit their daughters Julie and Robin and their families.
You can send Merle an e-mail at MerleSteinberg@mkorshalom.org.
Sharon came to the M’kor Shalom Preschool and Kindergarten to participate in an Eema and Me class with her youngest child…and she never left. She has facilitated Parent/Child programs, taught transitional twos, and served as Parent/Child and Summer Program Coordinator, but is mostly recognized for twenty-five years of teaching pre-K. Sharon is excited about her new adventure as Director of Early Childhood Education at her second “home.”
Sharon has a B.S. in Math Education from SUNY at Albany and an M.Ed. in Reading and Learning Disabilities from Adelphi University. She also has post-graduate credits in Learning Disabilities from Glassboro State College (now Rowan). She is a member of NAEYC, DVAEYC and Early Childhood Educators of Reform Judaism.
Sharon loves going to New York to spend time with her children, Daniel, Becca and Talia. She also loves to read and do puzzles – crosswords, jigsaws, kakuros and more.
You can send Sharon an e-mail at SharonHalperin@mkorshalom.org.