Our Clergy

At Central Synagogue

Peter J. Rubinstein
Peter J. Rubinstein
Senior Rabbi
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(212) 838-5122 Ext. 1000

Rabbi Rubinstein graduated from Amherst College and was ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in New York where he received a Master of Hebrew Letters degree with honors.  Prior to joining Central Synagogue, he served as the Rabbi of Woodlands Community Temple in White Plains, N.Y., and at Peninsula Temple Beth El in San Mateo, California.  Throughout his career, Rabbi Rubinstein has taught at Manhattanville College, Colgate University, San Jose State and the HUC-JIR in both New York and Cincinnati. In addition to his professional affiliations and responsibilities, Rabbi Rubinstein is a founder and Chair of the Rabbinic Council of the World Union of Progressive Judaism and Co-chair of the Partnership of Faith in New York City.  He is the Founder and Chair of the Rabbinic Vision Initiative aimed at the evolution of Reform Judaism in North America and he is a frequent lecturer on the role of a Rabbi now and in the future.  Rabbi Rubinstein serves on the Board of several prominent organizations including Auburn Theological Seminary of which he is the immediate past Chairman of the Board, the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, UJA-Federation of New York, United Way of New York, and the Rabbinic Council of HUC-JIR.  He is recognized as a leader in the changing face of the Jewish community and was ranked number 3 in Newsweek’s 2012 list of “America’s 50 Most Influential Rabbis”.  He has been on the list since its inception.

His writing has been included in several books including, Our Rabbis Taught (1990), How Can I Find God (1997), Restoring Faith (2001), and Shine by Star Jones (2006).

Rabbi Rubinstein is married to Kerry Rubinstein.


 
Angela W. Buchdahl
Angela W. Buchdahl
Senior Cantor
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(212) 838-5122 Ext. 1000

Angela Warnick Buchdahl was invested as a cantor in 1999 and also ordained as a rabbi in 2001 from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in New York where she was a Wexner Graduate fellow.  She earned a B.A. in Religious Studies from Yale University in 1994.  Born in Korea to a Jewish American father and a Korean Buddhist mother, Rabbi Buchdahl is the first Asian American to be ordained as cantor or rabbi in North America.  Prior to her appointment as cantor at Central Synagogue, Rabbi Buchdahl served as associate rabbi/cantor at Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, N.Y. 

Rabbi Buchdahl has been nationally recognized for her innovations in leading services and has served as faculty for the Wexner Heritage Foundation and for the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) Kallot programs. She has been actively involved in Just Congregations, the Reform Movement’s Congregation Based Community Organizing effort at Central and on a national level.  Rabbi Buchdahl has been featured in articles in Reform Judaism, Shema Journal of Jewish Ideas, Newsweek’s 2012 list of “America’s 50 Most Influential Rabbis” and the PBS documentary 18 Voices Sing Kol Nidrei.  She serves on the Board of Auburn Theological Seminary and the Multiracial Jewish Network.

Rabbi Buchdahl and her husband Jacob Buchdahl have three children.


 
Michael S. Friedman
Michael S. Friedman
Associate Rabbi
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(212) 838-5122 Ext. 1000

Rabbi Friedman grew up in Great Neck, N.Y., where his family was proud to be dedicated members of Temple Beth-El.  He holds a B.A. in History from Yale University and was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in 2004.  He has served as associate rabbi at Central Synagogue since 2008.  Prior to that, Rabbi Friedman was director of high school programs at the Union for Reform Judaism from 2004 until 2006 and served as assistant rabbi at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in Short Hills, N.J., from 2006 until 2008. 

During his time in rabbinical school, Rabbi Friedman spent two years as a rabbinic intern at Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, N.Y., and one year as a rabbinic intern at the New York Kollel.  Rabbi Friedman served as program director for Project Understanding, an interfaith experience for Jewish and Catholic youth on Long Island, and as a coordinator of the HUC-JIR Soup Kitchen.  He is a member of the Running Rabbis, who use distance running to improve the world in which we live.  In his free time, Rabbi Friedman likes to play golf, hike, run marathons, and cook.


 
Maurice A. Salth
Maurice A. Salth
Associate Rabbi
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(212) 838-5122 Ext. 1000

Rabbi Salth was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in 2005. Before enrolling, he spent more than 10 years working in the fields of youth development, community service and leadership training. He served on the start-up team for AmeriCorps, where he co-designed and implemented the National Civilian Community Corps. Later, Rabbi Salth became the director of education and community service for Up with People in Denver, Colorado, where he worked on projects that ranged from environmental restoration after natural disasters to violence prevention and leadership training in high schools.

Prior to his appointment at Central Synagogue, Rabbi Salth served as the Rabbi/Director of Jewish Learning for Temple Beth-El in Hillsborough, N.J. He holds a B.A. in Economics from the State University of New York at Binghamton and M.A. in Religious Education from HUC-JIR’s School of Education.

A hiker and a two-time New York City Marathon finisher, Rabbi Salth is also a devoted fan of both the New York Mets and Denver Broncos.


 
Julia R. C. Katz
Julia R. C. Katz
Assistant Cantor
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(212) 838-5122 Ext. 1000

Julia Katz was among the first cantors to be ordained by HUC-JIR’s Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music in 2012 (previously, cantors had only been invested).  During her time as a student there, she was privileged to serve a number of communities in the New York area, including Shaaray Tefilah as a b’nei mitzvah tutor, B’nai Jeshurun as a children’s service leader, and the Jewish Home and Hospital as pastoral care provider.  She has also been honored to serve as student cantor for Adat Chaverim in Plano, Texas, and most recently Temple Adas Israel in Sag Harbor, New York. 

Cantor Katz grew up in West Hartford, Connecticut, and studied at the New England Conservatory in Boston, where she earned a bachelors of music with a major in classical vocal performance and a concentration in music in education.  She is also a certified vinyasa yoga instructor, and is interested in exploring the interplay between Judaism and yoga, creating new and innovative yoga practices with integrated Jewish content.

Cantor Katz lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn.


 
Ari S. Lorge
Ari S. Lorge
Assistant Rabbi
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(212) 838-5122 ext. 1000

Rabbi Lorge comes to the rabbinate as a product of the Reform movement, including its summer camps and national youth group.  He grew up in Skokie, Illinois and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He was ordained in 2013 from Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Cincinnati, Ohio.

During his studies, Rabbi Lorge received the Abraham and Anna Helman Memorial Prize, the Rabbi Morris H. Youngerman Prize for best sermon preached, the Simon Lazarus Memorial Prize for highest academic standing, and was a two time recipient of the Frederick C. Schwartz Prize for contributions to youth engagement.

 As a rabbinical student he was privileged to serve numerous congregations as well as Hillels in the Midwest and the South.  He also spent three years serving as the coordinator of the HUC-JIR and American Jewish Archives High School and College Program, which brought together leaders of the Reform Jewish youth movement from across North America for intensive weekend retreats.

 Additionally, Rabbi Lorge spent a summer serving as a Critical Care Chaplaincy Intern at a Chicago-area hospital.

 Rabbi Lorge currently serves as the co-chair of Jewish Women International’s Clergy Taskforce to End Domestic Abuse.  He also is the co-founder of Reyut: The Jewish Campaign for Healthy Relationships, which runs programming for Jewish youth focused on healthy relationship education.

 Rabbi Lorge resides on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.