Rabbi Michael Weinberg
In July of 1987, Rabbi Michael and Jody Weinberg arrived with their three children and became part of the Temple Beth Israel family. Building on the foundation laid by his gifted predecessors, Rabbi S. Felix Mendelsohn and Rabbi Ernst M. Lorge, Rabbi Weinberg works closely with lay leadership to create a congregation committed to observance, social action and study within the philosophy of the Reform Movement.
Rabbi Weinberg has distinguished himself as the principle teacher and spiritual leader of our congregation and uses these skills to foster an abiding sense of community within the congregation. He expresses his passion for the Jewish people in the classroom, from the pulpit, in meetings, in informal settings, on retreats and on Israel trips.
Born and raised in Chicago, Rabbi Weinberg is a graduate of the University of Chicago and was ordained by the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion in 1980. Before coming to Temple Beth Israel, Rabbi Weinberg served for five years as Assistant Rabbi and Director of Education at Emanuel Congregation in Chicago and for two years as Rabbi of Sinai Temple in Michigan City, Indiana.
Rabbi Weinberg's talents have been tapped by numerous organizations outside the synagogue. He served for four years as National Chair of The Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education (CAJE) and has long been active on the faculty of the Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute Camp. He is Vice-Chair of the Reform Movement's national Commission on Lifelong Jewish Learning and serves on various other national and local committees.
Lori B. Sagarin, Director of Congregational Learning
Lori B. Sagarin brought her experience and creativity to Temple Beth Israel in 1993 where she continues to serve as our Director of Congregational Learning. Lori's skill and knowledge has enlivened and enriched every aspect of our congregational life including our schools, adult education, holiday programs and events for our affiliate organizations. In addition, Lori engages many members with her own book review sessions.
Lori Sagarin was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Wisconsin in 1981. She received a Master's degree in Jewish Education with the designation of Reform Jewish Educator (RJE) from Hebrew Union College. Upon graduation, Lori moved to St. Louis where she became the Director of the Commission on Reform Jewish Education.
Lori has served as a Vice President of the National Association of Temple Educators (NATE) and represents NATE on the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) Commission on Life Long Jewish Learning. She is also a past president of the Chicago Association of Temple Educators. Lori and her husband, Rabbi James Sagarin, are co-authors of Oseh Shalom, published by the URJ press.
Marla Aviva Bentley, Music Director
Marla Aviva Bentley was born and raised in Metropolitan Detroit. She studied Choral Music Education at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and graduated with honors in 2003. In 2010, Marla completed her Master of Music degree in Vocal Pedagogy at Oakland University in Rochester. Her Master's project, a lecture-recital entitled, Shirat Kodesh: Sacred Cantorial Repertoire, has earned her significant academic acclaim. In addition to her musical studies, Marla is passionate about her continuing cantorial education. Though not formally ordained, Marla is a member of the Guild of Temple Musicians and studies each summer at Mifgash Musicale at the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. Marla also attends Hava Nashira, a summer music and songleading workshop at the Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute.
Marla is deeply committed to fostering a sense of Jewish identity through music. Marla has served as Music Educator and Cantorial Soloist for Congregation Shir Tikvah in Troy, Temple Beth El in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, as well as High Holy Day Soloist for Congregation Havurim in Temecula, California. Marla made her conducting debut at the Michigan Opera Theatre, directing the Summer Operetta Workshop in 2006. As a performer, Marla has recorded over 24 operettas with the Comic Opera Guild for the National Library of Congress Archives Collection.
Marla is married to Newell F. Bentley III and together they have two beautiful children, Hannah Jane and Jaret Evan.
Temple Beth Israel is located at 3601 Dempster, which is west of McCormick and east of Crawford in Skokie. Dempster is 8800 North. There is an exit on the Edens Expressway for Dempster East.