Meet the Faculty
Rabbi Uri Topolosky of Congregation Beth Israel
Rabbi Uri Topolosky joined Congregation Beth Israel in July of 2007. He and his wife Dahlia - a child psychologist, have three children, Elyon, Itai, and Adi. Uri served previously in New York as the Associate Rabbi of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale. Uri received his rabbinic ordination from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School, a Manhattan based program, founded by Rabbi Avi Weiss, that is committed to training and placing modern orthodox pulpit Rabbis. Uri was a member of the second graduating class in 2005. Prior to his rabbinic studies, Uri spent two years studying in Israel at Yeshivat Sha'alvim before attending the University of Maryland at College Park. While completing a BA in Communication, Uri played an integral role in the development of an inclusive, Jewish community on campus. He spent the following year living in Jerusalem, learning and working for the Isralight Institute, further cultivating his passion for music and spirituality as a community leader. Rabbi Uri is a “seasoned” Melton professional having taught Melton in Scarsdale, NY.
Rabbi Uri is a warm and approachable person, whose goal is to create an "accessible" synagogue - a place where all people, regardless of background or affiliation, feel welcome and embraced.
Rabbi Ethan Linden and Liba Kornfeld of Shir Chadash Conservative Congregation
Rabbi Ethan Linden was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and carries with him to this day a burning love for the Pirates, Steelers, and, to a lesser extent, the Penguins. After graduating from Cornell University with a degree in International Relations and Ethics, Ethan spent a year back in Pittsburgh as a youth director and a day school teacher. Ethan started at the Jewish Theological Seminary in the fall of 2000. During his years in rabbinical school, Ethan spent two years in Israel (one as a Melton Senior Educator at the Hebrew University), worked a rabbinic intern in Scranton and Manhattan, and taught a conversion class for a synagogue in Riverdale, New York. After ordination in May of 2007, Ethan became the Assistant Director of Camp Ramah in New England and the Rabbinic Adivisor for the Student Conservative Minyan at Harvard University.
Liba Kornfeld grew up in Rochester, New York and Haifa, Israel. After graduating from high school in the states, Liba returned to Israel to complete her national service, working at a boarding school and in a pediatric cancer ward. Upon her return to the U.S., Liba entered the Albert A. List College of the Jewish Theological Seminary. Liba taught Hebrew School and helped write curriculum during her time at List, and upon graduation she began studying for a Masters in Education at Bank Street College of Education. At the same time, Liba began teaching first grade the Abraham Joshua Heschel school in Manhattan. Over her time in New York, Liba also taught several years at Solomon Schechter. She spent two years in Jerusalem, including one as a Melton Senior Educator at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and one studying as a fellow at the Pardeis Institute. Since leaving New York in May of 2007, Liba has spent a year teaching at the Jewish Community Day School in Boston, as well as a year teaching a seventh grade Hebrew school class at Or Atid Congregation.
Ethan and Liba have two boys, Adin, 3 and Yona, who is nine months old.
Phillip Gaethe of Congregation Gates of Prayer
Phil Gaethe was born and raised in the Greater New Orleans area and received a Bachelors Degree in Secondary Education from the University of New Orleans in 1993. He went on to receive a Master of Science Degree in Judaic Education from Spertus College in 2003. Phil has been the Temple Educator at Congregation Gates of Prayer for the past 13 years where he received the title of RJE, Reform Jewish Educator, from the Reform Jewish Educator Title Granting Commission of the Union of Reform Judaism. Phillip has a 15 year old daughter and a 12 year old son.
Rabbi Robert Loewy of Congregation Gates of Prayer
Rabbi Robert H. Loewy is the Rabbi of Congregation Gates of Prayer in Metairie, LA. He assumed that position in August of 1984. Prior to that, he was the Assistant and then Associate Rabbi of Congregation Emanu El in Houston, Texas for seven years.
Rabbi Loewy is a native of Hempstead, N.Y. He received his B.A. degree from Cornell University in 1972, M.H.L. degree from the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion in 1975, and was ordained as a Rabbi from that institution in 1977.
In addition he has been President of the Southwest Association of Reform Rabbis, President of the New Orleans Jewish Day School, Chairman of the Community Relations Committee of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans, Executive Board Member of the CCAR, ARZA and Dillard University Center for Black/Jewish Relations, and Jewish Chautauqua Society Lecturer at University of New Orleans and Loyola University.
Rabbi Loewy is married to the former Lynn Rosenfeld and has five children, Karen, and her husband David Widzer, David, Sara and Mica and one magnificent grandson- Judah Benjamin Loewy Widzer.
The Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning is sponsored by New Orleans Jewish Community Center
Co-Sponsored by Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans
In Cooperation with Anshe Sfard Congregation, Congregation Beth Israel, Congregation Gates of Prayer, Northshore Jewish Congregation, Chir Chadash Conservative Congregation, Temple Sinai, Touro Synagogue, New Orleans Jewish Day School.