|Rabbi Dr. Alvin Kass|
Rabbi Kass has been the spiritual leader of EMJC for over 25 years. He earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in History from Columbia University, and a B.H.L. and M.H.L. from the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he also received rabbinical training. He earned a Ph.D in History and Philosophical Foundations of Education from New York University. Besides graduating Summa Cum Laude and being the Class Salutorian of his undergraduate class at Columbia, he was also a Quackenbush Foundation Scholar and a Harry J. Carman and National Woodrow Wilson Fellow.
Rabbi Kass was appointed to the New York City Police Department in 1966, making him the most tenured chaplain in the NYPD - in 2002 he was promoted to Chief Chaplain. Besides counseling and offering spiritual guidance to officers of all ranks for 36 years, he talked a suicidal man off of a ledge at the World Trade Center in 1977 and in 1981 convinced an armed gunman to release several female hostages from a midtown office building.
Rabbi Kass, who is listed in the publication Who's Who in America: Who's Who in American Religion, is a renowned lecturer as well as a published author whose work has appeared in a diverse array of public and private publications. He has hosted numerous radio programs and appeared on many television news programs. In addition, he is affiliated with many professional organizations and participates in an abundance of community activities.
In the news:
Alvin Kass '57 Tends to Spiritual Needs of NYC's Finest, Columbia College Today, May/June 2006
Blessing the Fallen, and Propping Up Those Left Behind, The New York Times, February 10, 2006
Alvin Kass, NYC Police Chaplain, Faces Terrorism, NYU Alumni Profile, Volume 6, Number 2 (Spring 2002)
Conservative Spiritual Leaders Cope with Life after 9/11, JTS Magazine, Volume 11, Number 2 (Fall 2001)
|Cantor Sam Levine|
Sam Levine has been serving as cantor at the East Midwood Jewish Center in Brooklyn since 2004.
He was born in Jerusalem and raised in Toronto, Canada, spending a decade in the Monterey Bay area of California before moving to New York. He is a graduate of the H.L. Miller Cantorial School and the Seminary College of Jewish Music at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.
His musical interests are diverse: he is an aficionado of traditional Jewish liturgical music, plays in a Ladino ensemble, and has played in various folk-rock-country groups. He directs the EMJC Chorus and composes and arranges music for the synagogue as well as writing and recording original songs.
Cantor Levine lives in Brooklyn with his wife Courtney and his sons Micah and Matan.