Kollel Faculty

Fall/Winter 2019-2020


Bonnie Abrams is a folksinger and songwriter with five locally produced CDs. Her program, "Voice of the 2nd Generation", teaches Holocaust history and led to her becoming the Director of the Center for Holocaust Awareness & Information (CHAI) - a position she held for 12 years. Her program was presented at Yad Vashem in Israel. Her Yiddish recording, "A Sudenyu of Yiddish Song", was sold at the USHMM for several years. She has performed Klezmer and Ladino music locally and regionally and has taught Kollel courses on Jewish music as well as the Holocaust.

Stu Berger has been retired for 19 years and during that time traveled extensively.   He and his wife enjoyed many trips while living in the Netherlands and later, and visited and researched local Jewish sites throughout Europe.  Their most recent trip was to Jewish Spain sponsored by TBK.

Howard Brill has been studying Mussar with The Mussar Institute for over 10 years and facilitating TMI courses at both introductory and advanced levels. He is vice-president for education at Temple Beth David.

Dr. Thomas J. Driscoll, D. Min. has been an instructor in the Rochester Kollel since 2001. He is an alumnus Colgate Rochester Divinity School, a grandfather of six, a Holocaust Researcher, and a supporter of the NY Yankees and Toronto Maple Leafs.

Elliot Fix has held a variety of positions serving individuals with developmental disabilities for over 40 years.  He is the past recipient of the Jan Katz Grinspoon Award for Excellence in Jewish Education, a national honor presented by the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester. The Jewish Living Program, which he developed, is now in its 19th year.

Andrea Gluckman is an expert on policy, culture, education, and languages of the Middle East.  She has worked as a diplomatic advisor, professor, and writer at Harvard University, the University of the Middle East, and the University of Rochester.

Barbara Grosh has been studying Mussar with the Mussar Institute for over 8 years.  She has facilitated Mussar classes in Rochester for four years.

Dr. Joseph Kelly retired from full-time teaching after 37 years. For 11 years, he was Professor of Hebrew Scriptures at St. Bernard’s Seminary on Lake Avenue in Rochester and then served for 26 years as Professor of Religious Studies at Nazareth College. Now he devotes his time to teaching Adult Education courses in Scripture and Religious Studies in various parishes and congregations in the Rochester and Upstate areas.

Orna Korn was born and raised in Tel Aviv, Israel.  She teaches Hebrew, Judaica and Israeli culture to both young and adult students.  She is currently teaching at Temple B’rith Kodesh Religious School.

The Rev. Dr. Christopher S. Luedde is an Episcopal Priest, retired from active parish ministry. Formerly rector of St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church, Rochester, NY, he is an Adjunct Professor of Classics at SUNY at Buffalo in the Honors College teaching a class in Conflicts in Science and Religion, Ethics and Politics. He has led tours to Israel for over 20 years.

Rabbi Rochelle Tulik is the Assistant Rabbi at Temple B’rith Kodesh. She was ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2009.  She also holds an MA in Hebrew Letters and an MA in Jewish Education from HUC-JIR.  Her undergraduate studies were at the University of California at San Diego, where she crafted an Independent Studies Major in Modern Israeli Society and Israeli Culture.  She comes to TBK from Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles.

David Orange is a Jewish spiritual leader and passionate educator serving the Jewish, and non-Jewish community of Rochester. David has been a member of Temple B'rith Kodesh for over 30 years and currently teaches 9th grade in the Religious School. He serves Jewish Senior Life as Worship Leader and provides the Jewish residents of St. John's Meadows and St. John's Home with spiritual care, life-cycle observances, and study. 

Sharon Shafrir was born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel. She worked as an aide to Knesset Members and was the Spokesperson for a multi-cultural county municipality in Northern Israel; formerly taught a Melton graduate course as well as Hebrew for adults in various local venues. Sharon earned her B.A. in Middle East History and Political Science at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, and her M.Sc. in Communication at Cornell University. She is an independent policy communication consultant and an advocate for early childhood special education programs.

Herb Skerker is a retired Secondary Social Studies and Special Education teacher and administrator. Currently, Herb is the Director of The Rochester Kollel.

Gene Spiro, MEd., has been teaching Hebrew, religious school and music at TBK for over 30 years. She is a member of TBK’s adult choirs and the Rochester Jewish Chorale.

Juleen Squires is a member of Temple B’rith Kodesh and has been playing Mah Jongg since 1999.  She has taught the game to a variety of people over the years.  She taught other classes and seminars while working as an Industrial Designer at DuPont.

Rabbi Peter W. Stein, MAHL, is the Senior Rabbi at Temple B’rith Kodesh. He came to Rochester after serving Temple Sinai in Cranston, RI and Rodef Shalom Congregation in Pittsburgh, PA. His rabbinate is defined by a love of teaching and learning.


Parashat Vaera
January 25, 2020

In this Torah portion, God tells Moses and Aaron to go to Pharaoh to demand freedom for the Israelites. Pharaoh refuses, and God unleashes plagues on the Egyptians. Pharaoh promises to free the Israelites, but God hardens Pharaoh’s heart. The portion ends with the plague of hail stopping and Pharaoh changing his mind once again.