Meet our team
Our clergy, non-clergy staff and board of trustees together are instrumental in the life and growth of the Temple. They set the warm and inclusive tone that defines TKA. They are also the leaders of our innovative programming, contemporary worship and trail blazing congregational membership model.
The TKA Clergy, staff, board and other members are leaders at TKA and in the Greater Detroit community, as well as the national and international Jewish communities.
We are all here to help you have the best TKA experience.
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, and his rabbinical ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Rabbi Gutmann’s’ first rabbinic experience was serving as Student Rabbi of Temple B’nai Israel in 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. Still today, Rabbi and his wife 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 initiated numerous programs and cultivated friendships with every age demographic of the congregation. There he 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. 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.
Above all his professional accomplishments, Rabbi Gutmann is proudest of his family. The Rebbitzen, Jill, is a bio-ethicist and health policy analyst by profession, but also holds a Master’s degree from Hebrew Union College. Among numerous other accomplishments, she has served on the faculty of the Melton School of Adult Jewish Education. Jill and Rabbi Gutmann are the proud parents of three daughters, Daria and Tzipora and Laila.
Rabbi Gutmann and his family are excited to be part of the Temple Kol Ami congregational family! Jill and he frequently open their family home to their congregants for meals and socializing. They welcome everyone to be a part of their own and the TKA family!
After meeting Rabbi Gutmann, everyone is inspired by his intelligence, charm and wit. In particular, his love for and dedication to Judaism is overflowing. Meet him once and you will agree!
Contact Rabbi Gutmann 248-661-0040 x222 | Email
Rabbi Emeritus Norman T. Roman
Rabbi Norman Roman served as the senior Rabbi at Temple Kol Ami for 30 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 and raised in the Cleveland, Ohio area, was educated at John Carroll University (1971) and 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 Bloomfield Township, 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 and his wife Lynne live in West Bloomfield.
Contact Rabbi Roman 248-661-0040 x226 | Email
Hilary Joy Duberstein – Cantorial Soloist
TKA’s wonderful Cantorial Soloist is Hilary Joy Duberstein. Hilary 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.
Since coming to Michigan, she has worked as a Jewish Educator at Congregation Shaarey Zedek, Congregation Shir Tikvah, Temple Shir Shalom and the JCC. She is also a private voice instructor.
Hilary, her husband, Adam, and their dog Malka make their home in Waterford, where she enjoys her hobbies of gardening, reading and crafting.
Contact Hilary Duberstein 248-661-0040 x223 | Email
Faith Brasch – Religious School Education Director
We are fortunate to have Faith Brasch as the TKA Religious School Education Director.
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 has been a teacher and also their Jewish Family Educator. Faith’s credentials and vision for an inclusive and innovative religious school experience made her the right fit for TKA.
Faith and her husband Jeff are active members of TKA and frequently attend Torah study on Saturday mornings. They currently have an 8th grader in the religious school, as well as a child in college who served on the BBYO regional board in 2016-17.
Contact Faith Brasch 248-661-0040 x223 | Email
Cheryl Chaben-Friedman – Executive Director
Contact Cheryl Chaben-Friedman 248-661-0040 x229 | Email
Julie Phillips – Bookkeeper
Contact Julie Phillips 248-661-0040 x228 | Email
Cheryl Spektor – Temple Assistant
Contact Cheryl Spektor 248-661-0040 x225 | Email
Steve Gershman — Administrative Assistant to the Rabbi
Contact Steve Gershman 248-661-0040 xt. 227 | Email
The Kol Ami Board leadership is all volunteer, rotating, and represents members from various parts of the Temple family. Board members include business people, teachers, attorneys, physicians, as well as retirees, parents, grandparents, and young adults. Sisterhood, Brotherhood, the Religious School, and Social Action committees are represented. Board members approach their Judaism in divergent ways, but all have a commitment to the Reform movement and to Temple Kol Ami.
The 2017-2018 Board of Trustees is listed below:
|Vice President||Alan Wormser|
|Vice President||Jason Gold|
|Past President||Paul Gross|