Steering Team and Board

Steering Team

Joelle Abramowitz

Joelle Abramowitz is a New Jersey native who made her way to Ann Arbor in 2016 via Washington DC, Brussels, Hong Kong, Chicago, and Seattle. She is a PhD economist and works at the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research. In her spare time, she is an avid cyclist and bike commuter and also enjoys cooking, baking, hiking, and tangoing. Joelle has held a number of roles in the Jewish communities where she has lived, from teaching Hebrew school to leading services and leyning Torah as well as coordinating services and Jewish learning. In addition, she has written for several Jewish online outlets, including, The Jew and The Carrot, and Gather DC. She is also currently a board member of the Jewish Young Professionals of Ann Arbor and on the leadership team of jUnion: The Michigan Graduate Student Union as well as an active Moishe House Without Walls host.

Sue Birnholtz

Sue Birnholtz, Limmud Michigan co-chair, is involved in the Jewish adult learning community in Detroit taking classes offered by Melton and Federation's FedEd. She has also been a member of the SAJE committee at the JCC which sponsors speakers on all subjects "Jewish" throughout the year. She attended Limmud New York for many years and is proud that Limmud has finally come to Michigan.

Leslie Black

Leslie Black has been a Limmudnik ever since she attended her first Limmud in upstate New York, in 2008. She has been dreaming of a Limmud Michigan for many years and is so excited to be a part of the team to bring this wonderful learningfest to Michigan. Leslie is co-chair of SAJE (Seminars for Adult Jewish Enrichment) and a member of the JCC of Metropolitan Detroit's book fair steering committee. She has been involved with adult Jewish education for many years.

Roger Black

Roger Black's love for Jewish learning blossomed about five years ago and he has been attending a variety of Jewish themed lectures since. He started attending Limmud conferences three years ago in New York and was overwhelmed with the variety and number of topics and speakers in one location. Limmud's philosophy of learning, diversity, and community inspired Roger to help bring Limmud to Michigan.

Irv Goldfein

Irv Goldfein is a consultant and producer of Judaic reference and academic software and media, and an editor and literary agent for books in Judaica. He is the founder of The Jewish Forum, and was one of the partners who created the Encyclopaedia Judaica CD-ROM Edition. He holds a nearly-useless Ph.D. in education. Too many years ago he was a principal and headmaster of Jewish schools and taught at the University of Rochester. A native Torontonian, he has temporarily lived in Michigan for 36 years, with his much-needed psychotherapist wife Janice. All his children and grandchildren live in New York.

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Micki Grossman

Micki Grossman, Detroit-born and educated, graduated from Wayne State University with a Bachelor of Science in education. She also attended United Hebrew School but had to wait until adulthood to have a Bat Mizvah. As a graduate of the Florence Melton School of Jewish Learning I continue taking Fed Ed classes several times a week. Limmud is a welcome addition to Jewish learning.

My family includes three adult children, the girls graduated from United Hebrew High school and my son earned the Boy Scout Ner Tamed award. I have two wonderful grandsons attending universities in Michigan. Both grandsons graduated from Temple Israel High school.

I am a member of Adat Shalom Synagogue where I was Bat Mitzvahed over twenty years ago. I am a board member of JFS and JCRC/AJC.

Leah Josephson

Leah Josephson is currently pursuing her MSW through the Jewish Communal Leadership Program at the University of Michigan School of Social Work. She works as a program evaluator and previously served in fundraising and communications roles at nonprofit and political organizations. Leah was inspired to attend her first Limmud event after studying at the Pardes Institute in summer 2015. A Tar Heel at heart, she was also a founding resident of the Moishe House in Durham, NC.

Sandy Lada

Sandy Lada Since moving here with my family 20 years ago, I witnessed my children become adults and became a proud Nana. I’ve taken Melton and a variety of Fed Ed classes, had an adult Bat Mitzvah and been active on the Boards of NCJW, Metro Detroit Book and Author Society, B’nai Israel and the Steering Committee of Bookstock. I first attended Limmud last year here in Michigan and am honored to be involved in bringing this fantastic event to our community.

Davey Rosen

Davey Rosen is the Associate Director of the University of Michigan Hillel. He is originally from Detroit, MI, and joined the U-M Hillel team in 2011. Davey and Jillian, his wife, the program officer at a community foundation, live just a frisbee throw away from the Big House, with their baby Elah. He is passionate about living an exciting and dynamic Jewish life and believes that requires exciting and dynamic Jewish communities.

Steven Rubenstein

Steven Rubenstein is the rabbi of Congregation Beth Ahm in West Bloomfield, MI. He used to be a New Yorker, but with a wife from Chicago, 5 years in Kansas City, MO, and 12 years in Metro-Detroit, he is almost a Midwesterner.

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Haley Schreier

Haley Schreier is an Ann Arbor native and attended U-M for both her undergraduate and graduate studies, most recently graduating from the U of M School of Social Work's Jewish Communal Leadership Program. She previously worked at the Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington Hills, and is currently the Manager of Engagement and Outreach at the University of Michigan Hillel. Haley loves sharing her excitement about Jewish life and can't wait to see how Limmud can help members of the community see how Judaism intersects with a multitude of other identities and passions.

Clara Silver

Clara Silver has served the Jewish community in both lay and professional roles for over 30 years intersecting with a wide variety of organizations including synagogues, day schools, Jewish Family Services, Jewish Community Centers, Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, Jewish Federations, and beyond. She has continued learning as an adult including studies in Israel at Neve Yerushalayim, the Conservative Yeshiva (CY), and the Shalom Hartman Institute. Her current professional roles include Director of Operations at the Ann Arbor JCC and Cantorial Soloist at Temple Beth Israel in Jackson, Michigan. She is excited to be part of Limmud Michigan, having first heard about Limmud while at the CY from her British flatmate, who is a long time presenter and participant at Limmud in the UK.

Mira Sussman

Mira Sussman, Limmud Michigan co-chair, was born and raised in Ann Arbor. She has worked in various capacities within the Jewish community in Ann Arbor and in Los Angeles. She currently conducts trainings related to immigration and cultural sensitivity. She lives in Ann Arbor with her husband and three sons.

Board of Directors (corporate)

Sue Birnholtz, Secretary

Irv Goldfein, President

Davey Rosen, Treasurer

Steven Rubenstein, Vice-president


Howard Lupovitch

Andrea Ritter

Miriam Starkman