OUR RABBI: Charles S.
For more than twenty-eight years, Rabbi Charles S. Sherman has served as the
spiritual leader of the largest Conservative synagogue in central New York,
Temple Adath Yeshurun.
A graduate of Yeshiva College and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America,
Rabbi Sherman served congregations in Baltimore, Maryland and Charleston, South
Carolina before coming to Syracuse in 1976. In November 1998, he was presented
with an Honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree from the Jewish Theological Seminary
of America in New York City.
An author, scholar and innovator, Rabbi Sherman’s articles have appeared
in the New Yorker magazine; Best Jewish Sermons by Sol Teplitz; The New York
Times; The American Rabbi; Conservative Judaism; and the Baltimore Jewish Times.
He is presently working on a book based on his own family experiences titled
The Best is Yet to Be...A Celebration of the Human Spirit.
Rabbi Sherman was the first chairperson of the Rabbinic Cabinet of the Children’s
Medical Center of Israel in Petah Tikva, Israel, the only facility in the Middle
East, Asia and Africa dedicated solely to pediatric diagnosis and care. Just
recently, he was appointed to the Accessibility Committee of The United Synagogue
of Conservative Judaism. Rabbi Sherman is cited in Danny Siegel’s book,
Good People: How to Solve All the World’s Problems by Making Just One
Phone Call, for his vision and accomplishments at making the synagogue’s
building, sanctuary and chapel fully accessible. The design and implementation
of Temple Adath’s ramped bimah has served as a model for other synagogues
across the country.
Rabbi Sherman is also a member of a number of national Jewish organizations,
including the National Rabbinic Cabinet of Israel Bonds, the U.J.A. National
Rabbinic Cabinet and the National Rabbinic Advisory Council of the Jewish National
Fund. He is actively involved in the central New York community, having served
on the Boards of Directors of every Jewish organization in the area. He is
a member of the Board of the Samaritan Center, an interfaith program to feed
and assist the hungry. Rabbi Sherman is a past President of the Syracuse Rabbinical
Council, and for many years served as the Jewish Chaplain at Crouse Hospital,
the area’s largest healthcare facility.
Rabbi Sherman’s leadership vision at Temple Adath has led the synagogue
to receive many prestigious Solomon Schechter Awards from the United Synagogue
for Conservative Judaism, among them, Bulletins and Publications, Singles Programming,
Holocaust Programming Development/Fundraising for the concept and communications
work on the annual “Citizen of the Year Dinner.” While at Temple
Adath, Rabbi Sherman established the Temple Singles group and created Temple
Seniors, one of the largest seniors groups in Syracuse. He founded the Temple
Adath Rothschild Early Childhood Center (now the largest child care facility
in central New York) and its summer Camp Program.
A native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Rabbi Sherman is married to the former
Leah Hurowitz and is the father of five children: Nogah, Orah, Eyal, Erez and
Nitza. Nogah Sherman is a graduate of Brandeis University, the Graduate School
of Education at Harvard University, and a graduate of the Jewish Theological
Seminary of America, and was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary of
America as a Rabbi in May 2002. Rabbi Nogah Sherman is the Assistant Rabbi
at Temple Emanu-El, Palm Beach, Florida. Orah is a graduate of Brandeis University
and the Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania, the Davidson
School of Education, Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and is currently
the Director of Student Life, Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Eyal
is a junior at Syracuse University, a physically fragile youngster and vent
dependent, he has been featured both locally and nationally as a strong advocate
for those with disabilities. Erez is a graduate of Columbia University and
a student at the rabbinical school of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.
Nitza is a freshman at Rutgers College of Rutgers University.
philosophy of Synagogue life is one of inclusiveness,
tradition and creativity. “Traditionally, a
Synagogue is a Beit Knesset, a house of gathering;
a Beit Midrash, a house of study; and a Beit T’filah,
a house of prayer. I see the contemporary synagogue
as a synergism of all three: in order to play a meaningful
role in the lives of its members, regardless of age,
resources or abilities, the synagogue community must
welcome, embrace and affirm each and every congregant.
Realizing that the synagogue membership is comprised
of diverse people with differing needs and expectations,
my roles as Rabbi is to inspire my congregants to
aspire—that is, to motivate each person--through
prayer, ritual, and social, cultural and educational
endeavors—to strive to lead their lives as
Jewishly as possible. Through conscientious pastoral
care during life transitions of joy and sorrow; I
try to help each congregant to affirm his or her
own life within our tradition.”
OUR BAALAT TEFILAH: Esa Jaffe
Esa has been an important and innovative leader at Temple Adath for eight years, serving as Director of Education at the Religious School. Esa, the daughter of Dr. Allan and Rita Kanter, grew up at Temple Adath and had her Bat Mitzvah and wedding here. She received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Brandeis University, a Master’s Degree in Voice Performance from Syracuse University, and an additional Master’s Degree in Jewish Communal Service from Brandeis.
Along with Rabbi Charles Sherman and Rabbi Meyer Grover, Assistant to the Rabbi, Esa will help lead services, as well as direct music throughout the services. “Music is what makes the services more accessible to people, especially people who don’t read Hebrew.” She also sees music as a way to reach out to those who may be disconnected from Jewish life, and at the same time draw in young people. “Giving the young people a sense of the history and tradition of the music of the synagogue and prayers is also part of the sacred mission,” she says. She plans to begin a youth choir and an adult choir.
Growing up, Esa was active in USY and traveled to Israel as a teenager. She returned there for a summer while enrolled in the prominent Hornstein Program at Brandeis. She studied in depth about Israel and Israel’s history with the goal of bringing that knowledge back to other young people as an educator.
Esa is married to TAY President Chaim Jaffe and the couple have four children, Ari, Shai, Ilana and Jonah. Esa sings occasionally with Syracuse Opera and will continue to teach music at the TAY Religious School.