Our Staff

Our Staff

Rabbi Samuel N. Gordon

Rabbi Samuel N. Gordon leads Sukkat Shalom after more than twenty-five years experience as a rabbi in the Chicago area. He was ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1980 and received an MBA degree from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. In 2005 he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Divinity from HUC-JIR. He is Vice President of the Central Conference of American Rabbis. Rabbi Gordon is a member of the President’s Advisory Council of the Hebrew Union College and a Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the Hartman Institute of Jerusalem. In 2013, President Barack Obama appointed Rabbi Gordon as a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. He has been in the forefront of creating new models for Jewish family education and worship. He has devoted himself to the work of Outreach, creating innovative programs serving intermarried couples and families. In addition to his work in Outreach and Family Education, Rabbi Gordon has been widely recognized as a leader in Social Justice throughout our community and beyond. Contact Rabbi Gordon at sgordon@sukkatshalom.org

Sermons by Rabbi Gordon

Andrew Schultz, Executive Director

Andrew Schultz is Executive Director of Sukkat Shalom. After a long career in publishing, he began thinking about how to combine his experience in business with his interest in progressive Judaism and social justice. He is a Chicago native who spent his youth in St. Louis, where he was a member, bar mitzvah and confirmant at United Hebrew. He earned a B.A. in English and Political Science at Grinnell College and a Masters of Management at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School. His previous experience includes diverse and senior roles at Meredith, Time Inc. and Random House. Most recently he was chief operating officer for Imagination Publishing, a content marketing agency in Chicago. He is a member of the National Association of Temple Administrators and of the Chicago Association of Synagogue Administrators.  Contact Andy Schultz at aschultz@sukkatshalom.org

Kenny Lyons Picture Kenneth Lyons, Cantorial Soloist

Kenneth Lyons, the Cantorial Soloist at Congregation Sukkat Shalom, was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Bachelor’s of Music in Vocal Performance. In Madison, he performed frequently in professional productions as both a soloist and ensemble member. As a cantorial soloist, song leader, and educator, Kenneth has worked in schools, synagogues, and summer camps, where he enjoys sharing his love of communal music.
klyons@sukkatshalom.org

Carlie Daniels Headshot Corrected Carlie Daniels, Assistant Rabbi/Director of Lifelong Learning

Rabbi Carlie Weisbrod Daniels was born and raised in Rockledge, Florida. She graduated from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida with a B.M. in Voice. She earned a M.A. in Hebrew Literature and Rabbinic Ordination at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Prior to attending HUC-JIR, Carlie worked for two years at the Helene G. Simon Hillel Center at Indiana University. During her years at the College-Institute, Carlie served as Student Rabbi at Temple Beth Shalom in Steubenville, OH, Rabbinic Intern at Jewish Home Lifecare in Manhattan, and also as the Rabbinic Intern at Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York. Carlie most recently served as the Assistant Director of New Parent Engagement at the Jewish United Fund. Carlie met her husband, Ryan Daniels, during their first year in rabbinical school, and they currently live in Evanston. cdaniels@sukkatshalom.org

Judy Buckman, Executive Director Emerita

Judy Buckman is Executive Director Emerita of Sukkat Shalom. She served the temple in the role of its executive director for 20 years before retiring in 2017. During her tenure, she set the standard for operational excellence while creating and maintaining a warm and caring atmosphere. Her organizational and people skills, coupled with a strong financial background helped Sukkat Shalom grow and prosper to the vibrant and healthy community it is today. Judy was a member of the National Association of Temple Administrators, the Chicago Association of Synagogue Administrators, and is a member of the Jewish Book Council. In her emerita role Judy will continue to apply her exceptional experience and interest in adult educational programming for the congregation.

Contact Judy Buckman at jjbuckman@sukkatshalom.org

Ronit LevyRonit Levy, Hebrew Master Teacher

Ronit Levy was born and raised in Israel. For the last 20 years, she has been involved in teaching Hebrew on the North Shore sharing her love of Israel, it’s history and people. Ronit has vast experience working with children of all ages and adults. In addition to teaching Hebrew, she has prepared numerous children and some adults for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah and specialized in one-on-one tutoring, where she teaches children according to their abilities and interests. Nine years ago, she was asked to bring her knowledge and experience to Sukkat Shalom where she has helped develop the Hebrew program and curriculum ever since. rlevy@sukkatshalom.org

alanAlan Goodis, Music Specialist

Alan Goodis is a National touring Jewish musician. Born and raised in Toronto, Alan is a product of URJ Goldman Union Camp Institute. Noted for his dedication to building relationships and community through music, Alan travels throughout North America to serve as an Artist-In-Residence and performer at Temples, Youth Conventions, and Jewish summer camps.  Alan is a strong presence in the Reform Jewish movement and works tirelessly to engage and empower Jewish youth and adults through music.  Alan and his music have become a fixture at Congregations, URJ Camps and Youth events from coast to coast.

maxKelli Max, Youth Advisor

Kelli Max has been the sixth grade teacher for the past five years at Sukkat Shalom and is beginning her new role of Youth Advisor of our SUSHY Youth Group.

Kelli graduated from the University of Iowa in 2008 with a Bachelor’s Degree in elementary education. She has been a teacher for six years and is currently teaching 2nd grade at Rowe Elementary in Chicago, IL. Kelli’s enthusiasm with children is quite apparent and she looks forward to building strong connections with the youth of Sukkat Shalom.

Shira SenderShira Sender, Operations and Administration Assistant

Shira is the Operations and Administration Assistant at Congregation Sukkat Shalom.  Shira was born in Rochester, NY and completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University at Buffalo.  Shira moved to Chicago for her graduate program in Counseling Psychology and decided to take permanent residence in the Windy City.  Shira met her husband, Marc, when studying in Chicago.  They have since gotten married, moved to Vernon Hills and have three young children.  Shira’s background is in Psychology, and her outside interests lie in Jewish education and technology.  Shira is passionate about educational technology, inclusion, and Jewish education.  Shira has taught both Hebrew and Judaica for 8 years at multiple Chicagoland schools and online, in addition to tutoring B’nai Mitzvah students.  Shira is excited to join the Congregation Sukkat Shalom team.  Contact Shira Sender at SSender@sukkatshalom.org.

Kyle Weinstein, Administrative Assistant

Kyle Weinstein is Sukkat Shalom’s administrative assistant. It’s often her voice you hear when you call in, or her smile greeting you or your children when they come in for Hebrew School. Kyle received her BA from Tulane University, where she double majored in education and psychology. After college, she taught in the Chicago Public Schools for ten years before leaving to raise three children. She then resumed teaching at the Children’s Center at Lakeside Congregation. Her Jewish education includes membership at Temple Jeremiah and three trips to Israel, including one as a teen working on a kibbutz. The most recent trip was for her eldest son’s bar mitzvah at the Western Wall.

Gail Gustave, Bookkeeper

Gail has been a bookkeeper and graphic designer for 25+ years. She started while raising her two children in Grayslake, IL. Gail has been working with synagogues for 10 years. Gail has a warm personality accompanied with her skills in bookkeeping, graphic design, web design and synagogue administration. She is so happy to join the Congregation Sukkat Shalom team and looks forward to building relationships with the community. Contact Gail Gustave at GGustave@sukkatshalom.org.