Clergy : Jill L. Maderer, Senior Rabbi
Jill L. Maderer has served Congregation Rodeph Shalom since her ordination from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in New York in 2001. In 2017, Rabbi Maderer became our senior rabbi. In partnership with our senior staff, professional team, Board of Trustees and many involved congregants, she works passionately to build community, and pursue our vision: creating profound connections.
Our connections exist both within and beyond the walls of the synagogue. The one stipulation Jewish law provides for the building of a sanctuary is the presence of windows to the outside. With that relationship to the world around us, the words of our prayers are influenced by the life of our city and our experience of prayer inspires us to go forth into the world empowered by Jewish values. The new photographs of our professional team depict Rabbi Maderer’s outward perspective, a view of our neighborhood and the city we love and to which we feel responsible.
That perspective leads Rabbi Maderer to partner with other organizations throughout our Jewish, multi-faith and Philadelphia communities. Rabbi Maderer serves on the Board of the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia, the Executive Board and is the immediate past president of the Board of Rabbis of Greater Philadelphia, and she serves as a member of the Jewish Federation Board of Trustees. She has served as a chairperson of the Center City Kehillah, a member of the Religious Leaders Council (multi-faith) of Greater Philadelphia, as a Mussar Institute instructor training Reform rabbis in Mussar leadership, and she has co-chaired the Central Conference of American Rabbis’ conference for training clergy in the use of the Reform Movement’s new High Holy Day machzor. Rabbi Maderer serves on the faculty at URJ Camp Harlam where she interacts with many of our students.
Rabbi Maderer’s early life was shaped by her involvement in the Reform youth movement and in her hometown Reform congregation in Westfield, New Jersey. She graduated from Brandeis University with a major in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and minors in Women’s Studies and Peace and Conflict Studies.
Rabbi Maderer, her husband Len Lipkin and their two children reside in Philadelphia.
Clergy : Eli C. Freedman, Rabbi
Rabbi Freedman was ordained at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in May 2010 and received his undergraduate degree from Brandeis University.
For the past two years Rabbi Freedman has served as Rabbinic Intern at the NYU Hillel. He spent the first three years of rabbinical school in London and worked as a student rabbi at Edgware and District Reform Synagogue,the largest Reform congregation in Europe. He also ran the outreach and engagement program at Columbia/Barnard University, where he worked to attract unaffiliated Jews to Jewish life.
Rabbi Freedman is responsible for our Mercaz Limud (Religious School.) He also is engaged in all other rabbinic duties, including life cycle events, leading services, preaching, counseling, adult education, and social action leadership.
Clergy : Erin Frankel, Cantor
Cantor Erin Frankel received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia University in Political Science. She earned her Cantorial Investiture and Master of Sacred Music from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (our Reform Jewish seminary). She served as the cantor of Beth Emet, The Free Synagogue, Evanston, Illinois (suburban Chicago) for six years, where she served as a full clergy partner. She collaborated with congregants, clergy and other faith based communities to create many inspirational opportunities for musical education and engagement. Cantor Frankel is experienced in working with adult and children’s choirs and she has a keen intellect, and the ability to understand the meaning and essence of Jewish prayer. At RS, Cantor Frankel will be teaching adult education, Torah Study, B’nai Mitzvah students as well as pastoral counseling and officiating at life cycle events. Cantor Frankel is married To David and they have two daughters, Sivan and Meital.
Clergy : William I. Kuhn, Rabbi Emeritus
William I. Kuhn became Senior Rabbi of Congregation Rodeph Shalom in 1998. Rabbi Kuhn was ordained in 1994 by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, became the senior rabbi of Congregation Rodeph Shalom in 1998 after having served as assistant and associate rabbi since 1994. He brings broad and distinctive life experience to the congregation’s historic pulpit. Throughout his tenure, Rabbi Kuhn has initiated and overseen Rodeph Shalom’s ambitious and wide-ranging efforts to encourage all members of the congregation to volunteer a significant amount of their time in the betterment of their community.
A native and longtime resident of Nashville, Tennessee, Rabbi Kuhn’s great love for Judaism was nurtured at Congregation Ohabai Sholom and within his family, which had founded the synagogue in the 1860’s and remains vitally active in it to this day. He continued the Kuhn family tradition of leadership as a board member and officer of that congregation, particularly while chair of the Social Action Committee, when he was instrumental in establishing a homeless shelter based in the Temple.
Rabbi Kuhn is a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. After leaving Penn, he served as vice-president of Kuhn’s Big K Stores Corporation, a family-owned retail business, and later established and was president of General Property Investor’s Corporation, a real-estate investment firm. Throughout this period, he was active in Nashville’s Jewish and general community.
In Philadelphia, Rabbi Kuhn is an active member of the boards of Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, Jewish Family and Children’s Services and the National Conference for Community and Justice. He has served on Mayor Street’s Transition Committee as co-chairman of the Volunteer and Faith-Based Organizations Sub-committee and has served as a Commissioner on the Human Relations Commission for the City of Philadelphia.
Rabbi Kuhn and his wife, Emily, live in the Society Hill section of Philadelphia. Their two children Michael and Sarah Kuhn live in New York. They are blessed with three grandchildren.
Clergy : Alan D. Fuchs, Rabbi Emeritus
Alan D. Fuchs holds a BA degree from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. He was ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1963. Rabbi Fuchs led Congregation Rodeph Shalom as Senior Rabbi from 1988 to 1998. Prior to that, Rabbi Fuchs served as Senior Rabbi of the Isaac M. Wise Temple in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was also rabbi at Temple Sinai in Pittsburgh, Congregation Keneseth Israel in Elkins Park, and Temple Beth El in Somerville, New Jersey, and served as a Chaplain in the US Army at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and Verdun, France. In July of 2001, Rabbi Fuchs served as interim Rabbi at Temple Beth El in Chappaqua, New York, while the congregation searched for a senior rabbi.
Rabbi Fuchs and his wife, Carol, live in Center City Philadelphia and have two sons and five grandchildren.