Interim Rabbi David Katz
Rabbi David Katz was born in Rochester, New York. He studied theatre at Northwestern University where he received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts degrees. At Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion he was granted his Masters of Hebrew Letters and Master of Arts in Hebrew Education. He was ordained in 1981, became an RJE (Reform Jewish Educator,) and was awarded the degree of Doctor of Divinity in 2006. Rabbi Katz brought innovative programming and the highest standards of education to Temple Israel of Staten Island, where he served as spiritual leader for 16 years. During his tenure the congregation became known as a leader in interfaith relations. Rabbi Katz was a Scholar in Residence at Wagner College and also served on faculty at St. John’s University. He has served congregations as an Interim Rabbi in Pleasanton, Ca, Pittsburgh, PA, Armonk, NY, Johns Creek, GA and most recently, Stony Brook, N.Y.
Rabbi Katz helped conceive and edit many of the Reform movement’s liturgical texts, including its official siddur “Mishkan T’filah.” He has written numerous articles and is the co-editor of Reading Between the Lines, New Stories From the Bible.
Rabbi Katz comes to Temple B’nai Or with his wife, Nancy, a painter and ceramic artist. They have two children. Emily is the Communications Director for French philosopher/political activist Bernard-Henri Levi and Benjamin is a professional harpsichordist.
Cantor Galit Dadoun Cohen
Cantor Galit Dadoun Cohen was born and raised in Ashdod, Israel. She earned her Bachelor’s of Music and Artist Diploma from the Ruben Academy of Music in Tel Aviv University. She came to America to prepare for her Master’s of Music, which she received from City University of New York’s Brooklyn College. In 2010, Dadoun-Cohen was ordained Cantor from the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR). Since then, she has served as the Cantor of Temple B’nai Or, where she is affectionately referred to as Cantor Galit.
Galit Dadoun Cohen has sung opera and classical song in Europe, Israel and the United States prior to becoming a Cantor. In addition to her service to Temple Bnai Or, Cantor Galit serves the larger Jewish community through invitations to sing in concerts, festivals, and diverse projects throughout the United States. In honor of her 40th birthday, she gave an opera concert to raise funds to buy a grand piano for the Temple B’nai Or sanctuary. She is also scheduled to take part in the revival of the Jewish Opera Hannah, which will be performed in December of 2014.
During her studies at HUC, Cantor Galit interned in Temple Shalom in Levittown PA, Temple Sinai in Bayshore, NY, Greenwich Reform Synagogue in Connecticut and Congregation Kol Ami in White Plains, NY. Her Master’s thesis explored the fusion of traditional Sephardic folk song with Western art music in Jewish music of the 20th and 21st century. She deeply loves contemporary Israeli music, classical music and traditional Eastern European Hazzanut.
Along with her husband Joe, Cantor Galit shares the gratitude and endless joy of raising their three daughters Danielle, Naomi and Maya.
Rabbi Emeritus Donald Rossoff
Rabbi Emeritus Donald B. Rossoff, DD, RJE, joined as the Senior Rabbi of Temple B’nai Or in 1990, and retired in 2015. During his tenure he fostered an innovative, inclusive and caring community. Long an advocate for Jewish education and camping, Rabbi Rossoff, has spoken at various congregations and Reform movement settings on Jewish theology and mysticism, Bible, Outreach to the Intermarried, and issues surrounding death and mourning. Long active in Israel affairs within the Reform Movement, in 2005, he was awarded the “Ohev Yisrael – Lover of Israel Award” from the Rabbinic Counsel of the Association of Reform Zionists of America, and in 2012, he was given an award for his dedication to the community by the Martin Luther King Memorial Committee.
Rabbi Rossoff has published a children’s book on spirituality, The Perfect Prayer, Adonai Li, a musical setting of Psalm 118:6, and contributed chapters to The Jew in the Modern World: A Documentary History, edited by Paul Mendes-Flohr and Jehuda Reinharz and Chosen Tales: Stories Told by Jewish Storytellers, edited by Peninnah Schram. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, Spertus College of Judaica, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and the Rhea Hirsch School of Education.
Rabbi Rossoff is married to the former Francine Schulman, RN, who has been recognized and awarded for her outstanding volunteer work in the community. The Rossoffs have four children.