Our Clergy

At Central Synagogue

Bimah Clergy

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

Rabbi Angela Warnick Buchdahl serves as the senior rabbi of Central Synagogue in New York City, the first woman to lead the large Reform congregation in its 180-year history. Rabbi Buchdahl first joined Central Synagogue as senior cantor in 2006. In 2014, she was chosen by the congregation to be senior rabbi.

Rabbi Buchdahl was invested as a cantor in 1999 and also ordained as a rabbi in 2001 by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion 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 service 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 worship, which draw large crowds both in the congregation’s historic Main Sanctuary and via live stream and cable broadcast to viewers in more than 100 countries.

Rabbi Buchdahl has been featured in dozens of news outlets including the Today Show, NPR, PBS and was listed as one of Newsweek’s “America’s 50 Most Influential Rabbis.” She serves on the boards of Auburn Theological Seminary, Avodah Jewish Service Corps, AJC, and UJA-Federation of NY.

Rabbi Buchdahl and her husband Jacob Buchdahl have three children.


 
Daniel  Mutlu
Daniel Mutlu
Senior Cantor
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(212) 838-5122 ext. 1000

Cantor Daniel Mutlu is a first-generation American born to Turkish Jewish parents. Raised in Worcester, Massachusetts, Cantor Mutlu attended the Yeshiva Academy Achei Tmimim where he forged a strong Jewish identity and a broad religious perspective. Cantor Mutlu went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance from New England Conservatory of Music in Boston in 2001. After serving as a cantorial soloist at Temple Emanuel of Worcester, MA, Cantor Mutlu pursued a Master’s Degree in Sacred Music at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City. Upon ordination in 2008 he served as cantor of Community Synagogue of Rye, NY until 2011. He was then honored to serve as cantor of Congregation Beth Israel of Houston, TX from 2011 to 2017. In Houston, Cantor Mutlu served on the board of the Anti-Defamation League Southwest Region, where he worked within their interfaith committee.

A passionate teacher, in 2011 Cantor Mutlu joined the faculty of the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music where he taught traditional nusach in the Cantorial Ordination Program. He currently teaches a variety of classes in the Cantorial Certification Program, ranging from technology to modern and traditional repertoire.

Cantor Mutlu has performed with many premier musical ensembles including the Houston Symphony, Houston Grand Opera, Ars Lyrica, Houston Bach Society, Alarm Will Sound, and Park East Synagogue Choir. As a member of NYC’s Trinity Choir Wall Street, he earned two glowing musical reviews from the New York Times. Cantor Mutlu can be heard as tenor soloist on Naxos’ eight-disc set The Complete Haydn Masses as well as on Navona Records’ Requiem: For the Living. He was a featured soloist on Musica Omnia and Trinity Choir Wall Street’s release Handel: Israel in Egypt, which was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2013.

Cantor Mutlu was called to serve as senior cantor of Central Synagogue in 2017. Cantor Dan lives in the Upper West Side with his wife Nina and their three children.

 


 
Julia R. Cadrain
Julia R. Cadrain
Cantor
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(212) 838-5122 Ext. 1000

Cantor Julia Cadrain joined Central’s clergy team in 2012, after being ordained by HUC-JIR’s Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music. She loves serving the congregation in numerous and varied capacities. Some highlights include co-producing a record of music from Central’s Friday night service called Sounds of Shabbat, overseeing Central’s adult bnei mitzvah program, and conducting the teen choir. Throughout it all, she has had the privilege of ushering many families through peak life cycle moments.

Cantor Cadrain is also a certified vinyasa yoga instructor, and member of a clergy cohort with the Institute for Jewish spirituality. She is passionate about exploring the interplay between Judaism, mindfulness, and yoga, creating new and innovative yoga practices with integrated Jewish content.

Cantor Cadrain grew up in West Hartford, Connecticut, and studied classical vocal performance at the New England Conservatory in Boston. She lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn with her partner Elana.

 


 
Ari S. Lorge
Ari S. Lorge
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.


 
Daniel S. Ross
Daniel S. Ross
Rabbi
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(212) 838-5122 (212) 838-5122 Ext. 1000

Rabbi Ross was ordained in 2018 from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York where he was a Wexner Graduate Fellow. During his studies, he received awards for his achievements in Hebrew, liturgy, homiletics, and ecumenical studies. While in rabbinical school, he served for three years as rabbinic intern at Columbia/Barnard Hillel and for two years as student rabbi at Temple Beth Ha-Sholom in Williamsport, PA. He also completed a summer chaplaincy internship at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. Prior to joining the clergy team at Central, Rabbi Ross was privileged to serve as Senior Jewish Educator at the Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale.

Originally from Merion Station, PA, Rabbi Ross graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in History and Science, Technology, and Society. After graduating, he served for two years as a Teach For America corps member in Prince George’s County, Maryland, teaching 7th grade social studies while earning a Master of Arts in Teaching from American University. Following the Corps, Rabbi Ross worked for two years at the Advisory Board Company, a health care research and consulting firm based in DC.

A fitness enthusiast, Rabbi Ross ran the Philadelphia Marathon in 2017 and has been a frequent participant in the Spartan Race at Citi Field. He lives with his wife Rabbi Jade Sank Ross and their adorable dog Rashi.

 


 
Maurice A. Salth
Maurice A. Salth
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.


 

Engagement Clergy

Rabbi Nicole Auerbach
Rabbi Nicole Auerbach
Director of Congregational Engagement
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(212) 838-5122 ext. 4042

Rabbi Nicole Auerbach joined Central Synagogue full-time in 2016, as the Reform Movement’s first-ever Rabbi for Small Groups.  She now serves as Central’s Director of Congregational Engagement, directing a wide-range of adult programming.  She oversees Central’s “CORE Groups” initiative, which creates and supports lay-led groups of congregants that come together on a regular basis to discuss Jewish ideas, explore shared passions, and build relationships.  She also plans trips, retreats, and other special programs geared toward connecting members more deeply with one another, with Central, and with Jewish tradition.  Rabbi Auerbach is the author, with Dr. Ron Wolfson and Rabbi Lydia Medwin, of The Relational Judaism Handbook, which offers a step-by-step guide to building deeper relationships within Jewish communities and institutions.

Rabbi Auerbach also leads Central’s new “Mishkan” Shabbat morning service, an intimate, participatory service that allows our members to dive deep into both prayer and Torah.

Ordained by HUC-JIR in New York, Rabbi Auerbach serves as a member of the CCAR delegation to the North American Board of the Union for Reform Judaism.

As a rabbinical student, Rabbi Auerbach was a Rabbis Without Borders Rabbinical Student Fellow and a Daniel and Bonnie Tisch Rabbinical Fellow.  She traveled with the American Jewish World Service to El Salvador as part of its Rabbinical Student Delegation, and served as a founding member of AJWS’s New York Action Committee.

Before rabbinical school, Rabbi Auerbach worked as an attorney for 10 years, first as a federal public defender, and then as a media lawyer specializing in First Amendment issues.  She lives on the Upper West Side with her husband and two daughters, Catherine and Vivian, who are active members of our LCLJ community.

 


 
Rabbi Hilly Haber
Rabbi Hilly Haber
Director of Social Justice Organizing and Education
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(212) 838-5122 Ext. 4034

As Director of Social Justice Organizing and Education, Rabbi Haber works with the lay leaders in our Community Organizing Leadership Team (COLT) on systemic justice questions such as criminal justice reform and immigration, as well as on other areas of our social justice programming.

Rabbi Haber also has taught men and women on Rikers Island through Manhattan College. She and her wife, Rabbi Rachel Marder of Congregation Beth El in New Jersey, are the rabbinic chaplains at Northern State Prison in Newark, NJ.

Ordained at Hebrew Union College, Rabbi Haber was a Wexner Graduate Fellow and a Tisch Fellow. She previously served as the Director of Urban Mitzvah Corps in New Brunswick, NJ, as an intern at Temple Beth Jacob in El Centro, CA, and an intern with the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR). She is a contributor to CCAR Press’s book, Moral Resistance and Spiritual Authority: Our Jewish Obligation to Social Justice.

Rabbi Haber is currently pursuing her PhD at Union Theological Seminary. Prior to joining Central, she was a student rabbi at Temple Emanu-El in Westfield, NJ. Rabbi Haber earned a BA from Mount Holyoke College and a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School. Rabbi Haber, along with Rabbi Ross, helped lead the Spartan Race team during their time at Hebrew Union College. Originally from New York, she lives in New Jersey with her wife.

 


 
Rabbi Rebecca  Rosenthal
Rabbi Rebecca Rosenthal
Director of Youth and Family Education
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(212) 838-5122 ext. 4031

Rabbi Rebecca Rosenthal joined Central Synagogue in the summer of 2015 as the Director of Youth & Family education.  Prior to coming to Central, Rabbi Rosenthal was the Director of Children and Family Education at IKAR, a nationally recognized, innovative spiritual community in Los Angeles. While at IKAR, she reimagined and redesigned the religious school, supervised the Early Childhood Center from its creation to present and created the IKAR Teen program. She also taught in IKAR’s adult education program and participated in pulpit and pastoral duties. Prior to IKAR, Rabbi Rosenthal was the Director of Education at Congregation B’nai Zion in El Paso, TX and the Youth & Family Shabbat and Holidays coordinator at B’nai Jeshurun in New York City. She has been involved in numerous national conversations about the future of congregational education, including the Conservative Moment’s Taskforce on Congregational Education and the ReFrame Initiative, to examine and implement experiential education in a religious school setting.

Rabbi Rosenthal is a native New Yorker, having grown up on the upper west side and attended Dalton. She received a BA from Yale University and was ordained as a Rabbi from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2009.  She also received a Master’s Degree in Jewish Education and was a Wexner Graduate Fellow. She lives on the east side with her husband, Dr. Adam Arenson, a professor of American History at Manhattan college and their three children, Simon, Leo and Madeline. 


 
Rabbi Lisa Rubin
Rabbi Lisa Rubin
Director, Center for Exploring Judaism
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(212) 838-5122 Ext. 5002

Rabbi Lisa Rubin joined Central Synagogue in June 2010. She was ordained from the New York campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2006. As a rabbinical student, Rabbi Rubin served congregations in Brookhaven, Mississippi, and Worcester, Massachusetts, co-edited the HUC student publication, and trained as a chaplain at the Jewish Healthcare Chaplaincy in New York City. After ordination, she served Temple Beth-El of Great Neck for three years. In each of those years, she was selected as the Jewish leader for Project Understanding, a foundation on Long Island that sends Catholic and Jewish teens to Israel after a period of interfaith study.

Rabbi Rubin graduated from the University of Michigan with honors, after which she worked in youth marketing and advertising at Leo Burnett in Chicago before beginning her rabbinical career.

Rabbi Rubin currently serves on the boards of Elem, a nonprofit organization that aids youth in distress in Israel, and United Hatzalah, a nonprofit organization of first medical responders in Israel.

She resides in Westchester with her husband and three children.


 
Rabbi April Davis
Rabbi April Davis
Rabbi in Center for Exploring Judaism
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(212) 838-5122 Ext. 4044

Before she became a rabbi, Rabbi April Davis taught English literature at an independent boarding school. She then served as a student rabbi at Temple Beth Yehuda in Lock Haven, PA and as a Tisch fellow at Temple Micah in Washington D.C. She has also worked as a chaplain intern in the palliative care department at Mount Sinai Hospital. Rabbi Davis is extremely passionate about teaching and learning with both teens and adults, and has led courses on myriad subjects including Hebrew, Israel, and liturgy.


 

Emeritus Clergy

Peter J. Rubinstein
Peter J. Rubinstein
Rabbi Emeritus
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(212) 838-5122 ext. 1000

Rabbi Peter J. Rubinstein joined Central Synagogue as senior rabbi in 1991. Under his leadership and vision, Rabbi Rubinstein revitalized the congregation in all areas including liturgy, education, and organizational structure, bringing Central Synagogue into the twenty-first century.  In 2014, he stepped aside as senior rabbi.  In his current role as rabbi emeritus—along with being an active member of the congregation—Rabbi Rubinstein is a member of our Melton teaching team.  Rabbi Rubinstein also works both locally and globally to further his commitment to Jewish life. He oversees the Bronfman Center for Jewish Life as the 92Y’s Director of Jewish Community and sits on the board of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation.

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.


 
Richard Botton
Richard Botton
Cantor Emeritus

Cantor Richard Botton, with a rich Sephardic background and breadth of musical and liturgical innovation, served as cantor of Central Synagogue for near a quarter century. He was ordained and graduated with honors from the School of Sacred Music of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and holds a Masters Degree from Adelphi University. In November, 1998 Cantor Botton received a Doctor of Music degree from Hebrew Union College.

Well schooled in secular music, he has appeared as soloist for major orchestras and choruses, performing Ernest Bloch’s Sacred Service, and Leonard Bernstein’s “Dybbuk.” A first prize regional Metropolitan Opera Auditions winner, he has performed opera nationally, mostly of Jewish content on the operatic stage. (Lazar Weiner’s “Golem”, and Frederick Piket”s “Isaac Levi”)

In 1974 Cantor Botton was called to the pulpit of Central Synagogue after distinguishing himself as a musical innovator, having commissioned musical and multi-media dramatic works for use in worship. In 1967 he commissioned the first complete published Jewish worship service in the Jazz Idiom which was televised nationally on CBS. During his tenure at Central Synagogue, he collaborated musically with the renowned Jazz Ministry of St. Peter’s Church, NYC.

Cantor Botton served The American Conference of Cantors as both President and Director of Placement. He was awarded Reform Jewish Educator status by the UAHC (now URJ) for his extensive work with children, particularly those with learning diablities.

Cantor Botton now performs a lecture/concert about his Sephardic background, entitled, ”Living Ladino”. There is a CD with many songs he sings from his childhood sold internationally by the same name.