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		                            <span class="slider_description">To provide the finest quality of service to our members, Congregation Etz Chaim  hires the best and brightest individuals to join our staff. Our team is available to make your experience in the community as positive and uplifting as possible. Our temple's spiritual wisdom is represented by our clergy. They teach a heart-centered Judaism that inspires each member of our temple community's spiritual, intellectual, and cultural lives.</span>
 

Rabbi Andrea Cosnowsky

SENIOR RABBI

Rabbi Andrea Cosnowsky was ordained in 2004 at Hebrew Union College and served as the associate rabbi of Congregation Etz Chaim from 2005 to 2016.

She is committed to strengthening Etz Chaim’s presence as the center of Jewish life in the western Chicago suburbs. She believes strongly in building community by connecting people to each other and to the traditions of Judaism. Rabbi Cosnowsky actively builds bridges between people of all faiths and participates in DuPage United and the Glen Ellyn Religious Leaders group. 

She teaches an intro to Judaism course at Elmhurst College as an adjunct professor and uses her passion for music, teaching, and learning to help others see the world through a lens of spirituality. Her warm and engaging presence, along with her willingness to embrace families and individuals including interfaith families, opens the door to Judaism in an accessible manner and invites others to explore their spiritual path.

Born and raised in Ardsley, NY, Rabbi Cosnowsky earned her BA in English Literature at SUNY Empire State College. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Education from Xavier University and a Master’s in Hebrew Letters from the Hebrew Union College.


 

Rabbi Jessica Wainer

ASSOCIATE RABBI

Rabbi Jessica Wainer was ordained from the Cincinnati campus of Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in 2016 and previously served as the associate rabbi and director of congregational learning for Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation in Reston, VA.  

She loves to develop creative worship experiences, walk with families through their times of sorrow and joy, and bring Torah to life for people of all ages.

Born and raised in Oak Park, IL, Rabbi Wainer is thrilled to be home to serve the Jewish community of the western suburbs of Chicago. 

In addition to her ordination, Rabbi Wainer earned a Master’s degree in Hebrew Letters in 2015 from Hebrew Union College, as well as a Master’s in Education Administration from Xavier University in 2015. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Jewish Studies, with honors, and minored in Hebrew and Psychology from Indiana University - Bloomington.

Rabbi Wainer currently serves as the head of faculty for the Union of Reform Judaism’s Six-Points Creative Arts Academy where she is a founding faculty member. She also previously served on the Central Conference of American Rabbi Taskforce on Women’s Experience in the Rabbinate.

Outside of her work in the Jewish community, Rabbi Wainer enjoys scuba diving, long walks with her dog Tali, playing various musical instruments, and baking challah.


 

Aaron Robbin

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Aaron Robbin grew up in Deerfield and Buffalo Grove so his position at Etz Chaim represents a kind of homecoming. He left the area to attend the University of Iowa/Bradley University, where he received an undergraduate degree in business. He also has a Master’s in Education from DePaul University, an executive MBA from Quantic School of Business and Technology, and a certificate in Experiential Jewish Education from M2 - The Institute for Experiential Jewish Education. 

Prior to Etz Chaim, Aaron oversaw BBYO’s travel department and sent 1,000 teens abroad each year. Funnily enough, his wife Anne (Richardson) Robbin grew up at Etz Chaim! Now they have two children together, Samuel and Madeline, who are also a part of the Etz Chaim community. 


Jacob Cynamon-Murphy

PRESIDENT

Jacob Cynamon-Murphy and his wife Rebecca have been a part of the Etz Chaim family since 2013. (And now their three children are too!) Jacob grew up outside of Syracuse, NY, but Rebecca grew up next door in Glen Ellyn so it’s a treat to be back in the area. 

Prior to becoming president of the Congregation Etz Chaim, Jacob was vice president, a board member, and a member of the education committee as well as facilities committee. For his day job, Jacob works at LinkedIn and of course would love to connect with you.


 

Marla Aviva Bentley

DIRECTOR OF LIFELONG LEARNING

Marla Aviva Bentley (she/her/hers) is the Director of Lifelong Learning at Congregation Etz Chaim. She has worked in the field of Jewish education for more than 20 years. Before coming to CEC, Marla served as the Director of Music at Temple Beth Israel in Skokie. Marla is passionate about fostering Jewish identity through learning, music and Tikkun Olam, the repair of our world. She cares deeply about her congregants and seeing each person as a unique and precious individual created B’tzelem Elohim, in the image of God. 

Marla serves on the Executive Board of the Guild of Temple Musicians, an affiliate of the American Conference of Cantors, as the Immediate Past President. She is the conductor of HaZamir Chicago, a chapter of HaZamir: The International Jewish Teen Choir, and on the camp faculty of Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute (OSRUI). 

Marla is a student in the Executive MA program at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) earning a degree in Jewish Education. She has a Bachelor of Music degree with Honors in Choral Music Education from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a Master of Music degree in Vocal Pedagogy from Oakland University, Rochester. 

A native of Metropolitan Detroit, Marla now calls Deerfield home. She is a lifelong learner and loves to read and listen to audiobooks. Marla also loves to be in nature, camp, sing, bake, and spend time with her husband, Newell, and their children, Hannah and Jaret, and rescue dog, Duke.


 

Rachel Wood

INCLUSION SPECIALIST

 

Rachel Wood has been a proud member of Congregation Etz Chaim since 1979. She began teaching in the Religious School shortly after becoming a member, first Judaica but then as part of the Hebrew faculty. 

Her varied posts were 3rd grade Hebrew teacher, language lab creator for learners with differences, 6th grade Hebrew teacher, and the B’nai Mitzvah tutor. These days she works as an inclusion specialist not only at Etz Chaim, but also as a mentor to support Jewish institutions as they provide inclusion opportunities for their students. She aids teachers and teaching assistants who have children in their classes with diagnosed learning disabilities. She offers suggestions and materials for children who need to approach learning in a non-traditional manner. On top of that, she supports adults by providing a sign language interpreter as well as use of a CART system (closed captioning).

Rachel is a licensed speech/language pathologist with an emphasis in child development and learning styles. She put that to use in public schools, private practice, and early intervention programs.


 

Wed, November 30 2022 6 Kislev 5783