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.

Ed Chudnow

Edward Chudnow is a life long Detroiter. After obtaining a BS from Michigan State University, he went on for post graduate work in Accounting and Management at Wayne State University. For the better part of 4 decades, Edward has managed and subsequently owned a small family business in Metropolitan Detroit supplying office machines, office furniture, design and facility services to all segments of southeastern Michigan business entities. He is a lifetime Jewish studies learner and this year will be his 4th Limmud Michigan. Edward lives in West Bloomfield with Fran his wife of 37 years, where they raised 3 mensches with lots of help from the Detroit Jewish community.

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Allan Gale

Allan Gale is recently retired from a long career with the Jewish Community Relations Council/AJC. He lives with his wife Linda in West Bloomfield, and has two adult children. Allan loves the study of Judaism, Israel and Jewish history.

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.

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.

David Polsky

Rabbi David Polsky lives in Southfield with his wife and two daughters. He has taught at several institutions in the Metro Detroit Jewish community for the past two and a half years. Before moving to Michigan, he served as a congregational rabbi in New Orleans for five years. He received his ordination and his B.A. in Jewish Thought from Yeshiva University.

Fred Shuback

Fred Shuback is excited to volunteer with his lovely wife Mindy for Limmud. This way, Mindy knows that he isn’t out carousing on Woodward Avenue. Fred has three wonderful children. He also has three adorable grandchildren whom he will be visiting on March 31, so when you don’t see him at Limmud, you’ll know why.

Mindy Shuback

Mindy Shuback: I am very excited for Limmud 2019! This is my first year volunteering for Limmud and it’s been fun working with my husband and the rest of the team to make Limmud run smoothly.

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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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, Treasurer

Irv Goldfein, President

Steven Rubenstein, Vice-president

Mira Sussman, Secretary


Jeff Lasday

Judy Loebl