Our Rabbi

Rabbi Scott Segal, 2014 -

Rabbi Scott Segal is our new Traverse City Rabbi, effective July 1. He will be officiating at Emma Wachler's bat mitzvah on July 13, and his first services in Traverse City as our Rabbi will be on Friday, July 25. 

And now, a greeting from the Reb himself:

Shalom Traverse City!! I am so excited to be the community’s rabbi for the coming year. I am looking forward to a year full of fun, singing, praying, learning and most of all getting to know the wonderful individuals and families that make the Traverse City Jewish community so special. Over the coming weeks I will be seeking your input on a variety of issues in order to help ensure that my time is dedicated to those aspects of Jewish life that are most meaningful and important to you. If you have ideas you would like to share please send them to me at rabbiscottsegal@gmail.com. It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your rabbi and I know that we will be able to do great things together this year. Ready, set…go!!

Arielle Rosenberg, Interim Rabbi 2013-2014

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Arielle Rosenberg is a third year rabbinical student at Hebrew College in Boston, MA. Originally from Portland, Oregon, Arielle spent the last decade working as an organizer with migrant and indigenous communities in Honduras, Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington. In Seattle, Arielle helped found and organize with the Worker Defense Committee, a committee of migrant workers and community allies that worked to fight wage theft and other workers' rights abuses. In Boston, Arielle facilitated an interfaith group on prison justice, created a curriculum on food justice as an intern with the Jewish Farm School, and served as the cantorial soloist at Temple Israel in Boston. Arielle blogs on the interfaith commentary site www.stateofformation.org on issues of social justice and Jewish traditions. 

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Rabbi Emeritus Seth Castleman

Seth Castleman grew up with theologian and mystic Rabbi Lawrence Kushner and his father swapping stories over the Shabbat and Passover seder table. One of his earliest memories is of his rabbi, bespectacled with a scraggly beard, leaning over to tell a wide-eyed five-year-old a story about mountains and the sweetest strawberry ever tasted – a Zen parable about our life-long search for meaning. So began Seth’s spiritual journey.

Today, Castleman teaches, lectures and writes about Judaism, spirituality and social service in synagogues, meditation centers, universities and non-profit organizations.

In the role of rabbi and spiritual leader, Castleman leads religious services and teaches nationally, in large suburban synagogues and small, rural communities alike. Seth is sought out by individuals, couples and families to perform traditional and alternative weddings, b’nai mitzvah, baby namings and funerals. He co-creates innovative rituals that are renowned for being deeply moving and sincerely reflective of those being honored.

Seth completed seven years in yeshiva and rabbinical school. He was ordained as a rabbi in an inter-denominational smicha in May, 2011.

As a pastoral counselor, Seth works in communities in crisis as well as with individuals, families, couples and children. Castleman has taught meditation for 12 years and has studied with many of the leading meditation masters in the US, Israel and the Far East. He is formally trained and authorized to teach by Dr. Jack Kornfield.

Seth has performed nationally as a critically acclaimed Jewish storyteller and his fiction and non-fiction writing has been published in dozens of newspapers, magazines and anthologies.

Seth served as rabbi of both Congregation Ahavat Shalom and of Temple Beth El in Traverse City until December 2012.