Rabbi Tracee Rosen
Rabbi Tracee Rosen joined Temple Gan Elohim in September 2010. Before coming to Phoenix, she was the senior rabbi of Congregation Kol Ami, a Reform and Conservative congregation in Utah, from 2003-2010. Prior to that, she served as one of the rabbis at Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, California with Rabbis Harold Schulweis and Ed Feinstein.
She was ordained in the second graduating class of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles, CA, where she received numerous awards for academic excellence. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Jewish Studies and an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Prior to rabbinical school, she was a banker, working for one of the top banking corporations in the country.
Rabbi Tracee and her life partner, Keren Goldberg and their daughter, Meital (Tali) recently relocated from Salt Lake City to be closer to family.
We are delighted to have had her join Gan Elohim as our spiritual leader.
Music Director Scott Leader
Scott Leader is becoming one of the most sought after performers of original Jewish rock and folk music. He and his band, Sababa have been featured at many synagogues across the United States. Scott began playing Jewish music in high school as a song leader for the North American Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY) while growing up in New Jersey.
In college at the University of Arizona, he continued by teaching music at Temple Emanu-El in Tucson with friend and music partner Billy Tiep. Scott and Billy wrote secular and Jewish songs together and played concerts across the United States by themselves and with Robbi Sherwin.
After graduating in 1998, Scott was a science teacher at the Austin Jewish Community Day School in Austin, TX. He then went on to be the Director of Camp Isaiah in Los Angeles, a cantorial soloist at Temple Sinai in Denver. Scott continues to travel across the country performing concerts and leading services.
Scott has appeared in concerts with Sam Glaser, Yom Hadash, Robbi Sherwin, Mah Tovu, Noah Budin, and others. He has produced albums for many other Jewish artists including Rabbi Larry Karol.
Scott is now living in Phoenix and working as a producer from his home studio, Leader Music Lab. He has Bachelors’ degrees in Geoscience and Judaic Studies and a Masters’ degree in Education.
Religious School Committee
Caryn Grad, Co-chairperson
Jody Cohen Gordon, Grades K-3
Jody Cohen Gordon was born in Youngstown, Ohio, and graduated from Youngstown State University (Y.S.U.) with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She successfully pursued a career in radio as New and Public Service Director, reporter, and disc jockey. Jody lived in Israel for two years, where she graduated from W.U.J.S. (World Union on Jewish Students), and then did voice work for Israeli computer and production companies. In 2003, Jody found her “Jewish nitch”: teaching Hebrew and Judaic studies. Jody has been at Beth El Congregation since 2004. She lives with her son, Garric, and husband, Marc.
Allison Gusdorff, Grades 4-5
Allison Gusdorff has taught at Temple Gan Elohim for five years. She is a native of Elkins Park, PA, and is a graduate of Arizona State University, and has studied in Israel. Allison does a great job sharing her love of Judaism, Hebrew, and Israel with her students.
Keren Goldberg, Grade 6-7
Keren Goldberg, a returning native to Phoenix has come with her life-partner, Rabbi Tracee Rosen, and their two-year old daughter, Meital. Keren has taught and tutored Hebrew/Judaica in Phoenix, Southern and Northern CA, and in Salt Lake City over the past 29 years. Keren has a degree as a registered-occupational therapist from San Jose State University.
Shlomet Alexander, Grades 4-7 (Hebrew)
Shlomet was born and raised in Israel and came to Arizona in 1990. She has been teaching Hebrew and Jewish history for 20 years. As an Israeli, her goals for the year are to bring to class her life experiences and help her students to establish a lifetime connection to our Jewish heritage.