Rabbi Brent Gutmann – Senior Rabbi
Rabbi Norman T. Roman – Rabbi Emeritus
Rabbi Ernst J. Conrad z”l – Founding Rabbi
Rabbi Brent Gutmann
Rabbi Gutmann is a native Midwesterner who was raised in Dayton, Ohio. He received his undergraduate degree from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. After spending three years working in banking and marketing, he returned to school for five years to attain rabbinical ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio.
In his early career, Rabbi Brent Gutmann has distinguished himself as thoroughly authentic and approachable, an inspirational teacher and an intelligent leader. His leadership has been complimented and enhanced by his wife, Jill, who has taken an active role building community and teaching in every congregation he has served. Dedication, emotional accessibility and a welcoming spirit have characterized them in each of their three rabbinic postings.
Rabbi Gutmann’s first rabbinic experience was serving as Student Rabbi of Temple B’nai Israel of Petoskey, Michigan for two years. Under his leadership, the tiny congregation began bustling with life, never failing to draw a minyan, even in the heart of winter. In summertime, he offered an education series in Jewish mysticism and organized congregational biking clubs for the congregation’s swelling ranks, many of whom being Detroiters with summer homes in the area. In Northern Michigan, Rabbi Gutmann learned to snowshoe and sail. Still years later, Rabbi and Jill reflect on their earlier days in Michigan as some of the happiest moments serving the Jewish world.
After Michigan, Rabbi Gutmann served as Rabbinic Intern under Rabbi Irving Wise of Adath Israel Congregation in Cincinnati, Ohio. Rabbi Gutmann played an active role in creating and enhancing Adath Israel’s offerings to young people and families. He founded and named Mazel Tots, Adath Israel’s bustling Sunday morning preschool program, as well as Brunch and Learn, a monthly program including music, stories and schmoozing at the local Jewish nursing home. Most significantly, Rabbi Gutmann cultivated friendships with every age demographic of the congregation and received the expert mentorship of Rabbi Wise in managing and leading a diverse, large Jewish congregation.
Next, Rabbi Gutmann was appointed Rabbi of Beth Shalom, a 220+ household congregation in the exotic locale of Auckland, New Zealand. Working tirelessly, he began a robust adult learning program and expanded the congregation’s annual retreat to over 120 participants; as the only non-Orthodox Rabbi in the country, he created a forum of five liberal New Zealand congregations, and was elected to the Executive Board of the Auckland Interfaith Council. In 2014, he helped the congregation balance its budget for the first time while supporting a resident rabbi. Yet, what distinguished Rabbi Gutmann in New Zealand has been the way Jill and he have hamsishly opened their family and their home for meals and socializing to their congregants.
Above all his professional accomplishments, Rabbi Gutmann is proudest of his family. Jill is a bio-ethicist and health policy analyst by profession, but also holds a Master’s degree from Hebrew Union College. In Auckland, she has served on the faculty of the Auckland Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Education. Jill and Rabbi Gutmann are the proud parents of two daughters, Daria and Tzipora.
Rabbi Gutmann and his family are excited to be part of the Temple Kol Ami congregational family!
Rabbi Emeritus Norman T. Roman
Rabbi Norman Roman has been the Rabbi at Temple Kol Ami for 25 years. Since he joined the Temple in 1986, it has grown in both size and stature. His knowledge and love of Judaism, his spiritual presence and his leadership have been at the forefront of Temple Kol Ami’s existence moving into the 21st century.
Rabbi Roman, born in New York City, raised in the Cleveland area, was educated at John Carroll University (1971) and was ordained at the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati (1975). He received the title of “Reform Jewish Educator” from the URJ and the National Association of Temple Educators in 1991. Additionally, he earned a Master’s Degree in Hebrew Letters and an honorary Doctor of Divinity from HUC-JIR. He has served at congregations in Cleveland, Santa Monica, California and Birmingham, Michigan before coming to Temple Kol Ami. The Rabbi serves on numerous civic committees and boards and is an Adjunct Instructor in Religious Studies at the University of Detroit Mercy.
Rabbi Roman is an accomplished folk singer and guitarist, performing at Temples, Universities and community functions throughout the United States and Israel. He is recognized nationally for his work with Jewish youth and his service as Rabbi-in-Residence at the NFTY Leadership Institute (Camp Kutz) and the Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. His love for and commitment to Israel are very strong. He is descended from chalutzim (pioneers) who were early settlers of Zichron Yaakov and he visits Israel at least once per year.
The Rabbi, his wife, Lynne, and their children live in West Bloomfield.
Article about Rabbi Roman while on Sabbatical in Australia:
“Roaming Roman: Temple David’s temporary Rabbi-in-Residence, Rabbi Norman Roman”, The Maccabean, March 21, 2008, Australia
Hilary Joy Duberstein – Cantorial Soloist
Cantorial Soloist Hilary Joy Duberstein has a Bachelor of Music Degree, cum laude, in Vocal Performance from the University of Evansville, and a Master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance with an Opera Cognate from Indiana University. She began her work in the Jewish music world when she served as the Intergenerational Choir Director of Congregation Temple Israel in St. Louis, Missouri. She has served as the Cantorial Soloist and Executive Director at Moses Montefiore Temple in Bloomington, Illinois before moving to Michigan. Hilary has also served as a freelance Cantorial Soloist locally, as well as throughout the country, most recently leading High Holy Day Services at Congregation B’nai Emmunah in Tarpon Springs, Florida. She has worked as a Jewish Educator at Congregation Shaarey Zedek, Congregation Shir Tikvah, Temple Shir Shalom and the JCC since coming to Michigan. She is also a private voice instructor. Hilary is a fine vocalist with varied styles in her repertoire. Her ability to draw others into song with her is a gift many congregations have enjoyed. She encourages participation and is always open to new musical ideas. She hopes you and your family will come and experience the warm, friendly, family oriented environment that Kol Ami has cultivated over its fifty year history.
Hilary, her husband, Adam and their dog Malka make their home in Waterford, where she enjoys her hobbies of gardening, reading and crafting.
Faith Brasch – Religious School Education Director
At the TKA annual meeting, an update was shared that we were in the process of searching for a new Education Director for the TKA Religious School and had hoped to announce something soon.
We are thrilled to share with you that the new TKA Religious School Education Director for the is Faith Brasch. Faith and her husband Jeff are active members of TKA and frequently attend Torah study on Saturday mornings. In the fall, they will have a 7th grader in the religious school, as well as a 12th grader serving on the BBYO regional board for 2016-17.
Faith has an extensive educational background in both secular and Jewish schools. She has worked at Hillel Day School, Adat Shalom, and most recently with the Jewish Community Center where she is not only a teacher, but also their Jewish family educator. Faith’s credentials and visions made her the right fit for TKA.
Please join us in congratulating and welcoming Faith as the TKA Religious School Education Director. She officially begins in her new position on July 1st, the start of the TKA fiscal year, and is eager to get started and lead our wonderful religious school.
Nathalie Conrad – Music Director Emerita
Temple Kol Ami’s Music Director Emerita, Nathalie Conrad, worked with her husband, Rabbi Ernst Conrad, of blessed memory, from the founding of the Temple in 1966 until his death in 2009.
An accomplished musician, Nathalie has coordinated much of the music heard at Temple Kol Ami. She is a member of the Guild of Temple Musicians.
Born in Baltimore, Nathalie began playing piano as a child and graduated from the Peabody Conservatory of Music there in 1954. Over the years as Kol Ami’s Music Director, she has directed the Temple choir, composed and arranged music for services, played at numerous life cycle events and worked with Bar/Bat Mitzvah families to prepare the musical portion of the ceremony. Nathalie still remains active in Temple musical life, occasionally coordinating the music for special musical Shabbat services, and sometimes even including her own musical compositions.
Nathalie has two grown children and one grandchild.
Melanie Gorman – Membership Engagement Director
Melanie is responsible for planning and implementing many TKA programs, handling publicity, and welcoming prospective members. She has a wealth of experience, having served as Program Director at Congregation Ner Tamid in Las Vegas, NV, Program Director at Meer Jewish Apartments, and CEO of her own program consulting firm, Programs4U Consulting. In addition to her position at TKA, she is currently the Program Director for Congregation B’nai Moshe (part time). Melanie and her family have been active members at TKA since 2008. She taught 7th grade religious school 2014-2015, and served as the Temple Assistant from 2008-2011. Melanie is thrilled to be putting her passion and experience to work for TKA!