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Our Clergy Team

Our clergy are always available to meet with members of the congregational family. The spiritual and personal needs of every congregant are their main concerns. Our clergy visit members in local hospitals, at nursing homes as well as those who are home bound. Our Rabbis and Cantor are always available to meet Temple Israel’s pastoral needs.

The Temple Israel Bimah exudes the spirituality of Jewish Prayer.  Jewish music, prayer, and humor are utilized to share the strength of their faith and to help us all draw upon God’s healing power. Challenging sermons, thoughtful Torah study and personal leadership offer each of us the insights of over two thousand years of Rabbinic teaching.

Michael Wolk (email) became Senior Rabbi of Temple Israel in July 2020. Rabbi Wolk is a native of Long Island, and growing up as the “Cantor’s Kid” in his shul imparted on him an early love of Jewish life that helped guide him toward the rabbinate. Rabbi Wolk graduated from Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary’s List College before attending rabbinical school at JTS. After being ordained in 2012, he moved to Louisville to serve as the Rabbi of Keneseth Israel Congregation. He was happy to learn that there were Jews in Kentucky and even developed an appreciation for Bourbon. At Keneseth Israel, Rabbi Wolk is proud to have developed new programs like Tot Shabbat, Dinyan, Big Rock Shabbat, and Shabbat Salons. He is especially proud of the students he has taught to lead services and read Torah, and of leading the synagogue’s first trip to Israel.



Shira Lissek (email) became Cantor of Temple Israel in July 2018 after previously serving as Associate Cantor of Park Avenue Synagogue in NYC since 2013. Cantor Lissek earned a Masters in Music from the Manhattan School of Music, where she majored in Voice as a merit scholar, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Indiana University School of Music in Vocal Performance. Born and raised in St. Louis, MO, she learned the art of being a Cantor from her father, Cantor Leon Lissek of Congregation B’nai Amoona. She is also the granddaughter of the late Rabbi Pinchas Chasin of Philadelphia and great-granddaughter Hazzan Hirsch L. Chazin of New Jersey. She began serving as Hazzan Sheni at age 19, when she was invited to lead High Holiday services for Congregation Beth Shalom of Kansas City and then Congregation Gesher Shalom (The Jewish Community Center of Fort Lee, NJ). Prior to Park Avenue Synagogue, she served as Hazzan and Music Director of Congregation Mount Sinai in Brooklyn Heights for six years.


Murray Ezring serves as Rabbi Emeritus. He was the spiritual leader of Temple Israel for 25 years before retiring in June 2019. A native of Rock Island, Illinois, he received his Liberal Arts Degree in History and Social Studies from the University of Illinois. Rabbi Ezring received his MA and ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), taking his first pulpit in Oakhurst, New Jersey for ten years, followed by six years in Boca Raton, Florida.


Elias Roochvarg serves as Cantor Emeritus, having retired from Temple Israel in June 2018 after serving as Cantor for 23 years. A native of NJ, he earned his Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from UNC-Chapel Hill, and his Masters Degree in Voice from Boston University. He received his cantorial training at the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion, and spent three years at the college’s Jerusalem campus, the last two of which he served as Cantor and Music Director. Cantor Roochvarg previously served as Cantor for 15 years at Congregation Beth Israel in Owings Mills, MD. He has performed and lectured widely at venues including The Smithsonian Institution. He and his wife Linda have three children, Aaron, Miriam and Michael. 

Tue, October 3 2023 18 Tishrei 5784