The Faculty of Jewish Spiritual Leaders' Institute

Most of our JSLI Faculty are Rabbis who have gone through our program. We are proud to exhibit the depth of knowledge among our alumni. They share their areas of expertise either through classes they create and lead or by presenting material created by other JSLI Rabbis.

Rabbi Craig Mayers

After 15 years of service as a lay leader, educator, musician and mentor, Rabbi Craig Mayers was chosen by his congregation to take the next step and become their Rabbi.  After his ordination from JSLI in 2018, Rabbi Mayers assumed the pulpit of Conservative Temple Beth Sholom, the largest and oldest congregation on Florida’s Space Coast.  Born and raised in the metro New York area, Craig relocated his business and family to Florida in 2002 and immediately began serving the local Jewish community.  He served as a teacher in the Hebrew School, accompanist for Friday evening services, tutored Bnai Mitzvah students, taught Torah and Haftarah reading to adults, regularly served as chazzan and shaliach tzibbur for services, and served on the regular and executive boards of the synagogue before being called to higher service.
Craig and his wife Terry enjoy spending time with their 3 grown sons and 2 semi-grown cats.  Serious Disney fans, Craig and Terry make the most of living nearby to DisneyWorld and visit often.  They also enjoy watching from their backyard as manned and unmanned rockets lift off from nearby Kennedy Space Center.  As a result of living in such a cool place, Craig is especially interested in technology and how modern Judaism reacts and responds to new inventions and innovations.

Rabbi Richard E Perlman

Guest Teacher Rabbi Richard E Perlman

Rabbi Richard E Perlman began the West Bay Community Jewish Center, “WBCJC” to help fill the needs of the traditional Conservative Jewish population of Rhode Island’s West Bay. Prior to this, Rabbi Perlman was Spiritual Leader, Hazzan, Director of Education and Executive Director at Temple Am David, of  Warwick.

Rabbi Perlman received his rabbinic ordination in January 2012 at JSLI and is also a member in good standing and Vice President of the Vaad HaRabbonim D’America, (the American Board of Rabbis). Rabbi Perlman not only received his Yoreh Yoreh S’micha (Rabbinic Ordination), at JSLI and the Vaad, he also has earned a T’udat Mashgiach (Kashrut Supervisor Certification) from the Vaad as well.

Rabbi Perlman, also a Cantor (Hazzan), has been a soloist and a member of duets, quartets, and quintets including “The Cantors Perlman” in several cantorial concerts and worship services throughout the United States and Israel. He has led services at Congregation Beth Israel in Bath, Maine and at Temple Beth David in Narragansett, Rhode Island. He has taught Jewish studies in the South County Hebrew School and has been a visiting lecturer at many senior social organizations as well as the Leisure Club at Temple Emanu-El in Providence. He has served as a guest Judaism lecturer at URI, RIC, New England Technical Institute, LaSalle Academy as well as various other institutions of learning around the state. Furthermore, Rabbi Perlman has been instrumental in planning and leading several highly respected and well attended interfaith services with neighboring faith communities.

Rabbi Perlman serves on the faculty of the Jewish Spiritual Leaders Institute, sits on the board of directors of the Jewish Seniors Agency of Rhode Island, serves as the secretary of the agency and is a member of the Touro Fraternal Association as well as The Rhode Island Board of Rabbis of Greater RI (RIBR) .

He served for over five years as Chairman of the Bureau of Jewish Education of Rhode Island’s Principals Council. He is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Jewish Federation of RI the Rhode Island Bureau of Jewish Education, the RI Holocaust Memorial Museum and the JCC of RI.

Rabbi Richard Perlman and his wife, Catherine “Kit” Perlman, are the parents of Jessica, Michael, Owen and Kristina, and grandparents of Brady and Bryce.

Rabbi Rosalie Osian

Guest Teacher Rabbi Rosalie Osian

Rabbi Rosalie Osian is a retired Palliative and Spiritual Care Chaplain, as of August, 2023 after serving over 25 years of clinical pastoral services most recently. in Colorado’s Good Samaritan Hospital in Lafayette, and Platte Valley Medical Center, in Brighton.  Prior to her move to the Rocky Mountains she served at Caring Hospice Services, Brooklyn, NY, in multi faith and Jewish communities including skilled nursing facilities.  She continues to serve her Boulder community through her practice, Cycle of Life Pastoral Services.  She is currently completing a memoir about stories that framed her journey from a Chassidic family, a child of two Shoah survivors, to a Rabbi and Chaplain.

Rabbi Osian is a guest teacher at JSLI where she instructs on Jewish Pastoral Care Theory.

Rabbi Sima Oster

Sima grew up on Long Island and attended Jewish Day School from Preschool through High School. After graduating college, she lived on the Upper West Side in NYC. She has a master’s degree in the Art of Teaching (MAT) and a certification in Jewish Leadership through Teaching from Brandeis University. Sima taught preschool and Hebrew School in Tribeca’s Jewish Community Project (JCP) for 6 years. She is now the Education and Community Engagement Director at the Aspen Jewish Congregation, focusing her work on curriculum and program development that instills a sense of connection in families, children, and teens. During and since studying to be a Rabbi at the Jewish Spiritual Leadership Institute, her role has expanded beyond families, and she has been working to engage her entire community with events and programs that inspire and connect them to relevant Jewish content and to each other. Sima lives outside of Aspen, Colorado with her husband Ethan and twin daughters, Navah and Maya. Sima was ordained with JSLI in June 2023.


Rabbi Ellis Griffith

Rabbi Ellis Griffith grew up in a small Jewish community in rural New Hampshire with big dreams of the rabbinate.  After years of teaching religious school and leading youth groups, Ellis found herself working in Management Consulting with her trusty Chumash on the plane for light reading.   Rabbi Griffith continues to work full time in the corporate world and in addition to being ordained with JSLI also holds a PhD in Organizational Leadership focused on Inclusion and Diversity.   Rabbi Griffith lives in Amsterdam and serves as a freelance rabbi as well as working with small Dutch communities on services and lifecycle events.   Ellis and her wife Meredith have four children with them in the Netherlands where they enjoy exploring Jewish history across Europe, travel and sampling global cuisine together

Rabbi Mike Moshe Mymon

Rabbi Mike Moshe Mymon received his rabbinic ordination from JSLI in 2021 and presently is the rabbi of Congregation Sholom, a Conservative congregation in Seal Beach, California.  In addition to the rabbinic duties of the congregation, Rabbi Mymon helps officiate life cycle events for the Jewish Community in Orange County, California.

Born in Israel, Rabbi Mymon came to the U.S. to study aerospace engineering following his military service with the Israel Defense Forces’ paratroopers.   Upon completing his education and becoming a U.S. citizen, Rabbi Mymon began his involvement with the aerospace industry, including the science, design, and manufacturing of aerospace products for the U.S. armed forces, intelligence agencies, NATO, and other U.S. allies.

After a life-long involvement in the different facets of synagogue life, including, but not limited to, teaching, various board positions, and covering for the rabbis when they went on vacations, Rabbi Mymon decided to rekindle an old passion of becoming a rabbi.

Rabbi Mymon and his wife Shelly reside in Orange County, California.  They are the parents of Morgan, Austin, Natalie, and Brian.

Rabbi Ye'ela Rosenfeld

Rabbi Ye’ela Rosenfeld is a native Israeli who has lived in Los Angeles since 2006. She currently serves as rabbi and cultural director at Der Nister - Downtown Los Angeles Jewish Center. In addition Rabbi Rosenfeld is a freelance Rabbi who officiates services for unaffiliated Jewish families all across Greater Los Angeles. Rabbi Rosenfeld is also a film and theater writer and director who is a Graduate of the MFA film directing program of the American Film Institute conservatory in Hollywood. She has directed films and theater in Israel, the Czech Republic and the U.S. Her films screened in festivals worldwide and won numerous awards. For the theater, she has directed the works of Vaclav Havel, Friedrich Durenmatt, Jean Paul Sartre and Howard Zinn. Her shows played in theaters from Santa Monica to East Hollywood and earned favorable reviews. Rabbi Rosenfeld is a passionate teacher and writer, she is a mother of two, and an unapologetic bookworm.

Rabbi Shereen Sarick

Guest Teacher Rabbi Shereen Sarick

Rabbi Shereen Sarick played hooky more than any other student in the religious school she attended as a girl. She has since designed, opened, and run Judaic Studies programs in the US and Canada. After twenty years as principal, educator, and consultant in Jewish Education, she is proud to say no one has wanted to skip her classes. Rabbi Shereen also leads tours in Israel, serves on an Interfaith Alliance, all while making time to be a wife, mother, daughter, volunteer, Jewish summer camp “Mom”, substitute high school teacher, dog rescuer, foster parent, triathlete, president of a non-profit rebuilding a school in Nepal, hiker, and skier. She is passionate about eating Jewishly (vegan, bioregional, and eco-friendly), and lives in Aspen, Colorado.

Rabbi Judy Caplan Ginsburgh

Rabbi Judy Caplan Ginsburgh received her Rabbinic ordination from JSLI in 2014. She specializes in creating and conducting life cycle events that are personal, meaningful and spiritual. She was recently certified as a Prepare-Enrich Facilitator helping couples make the most of their dating, engagements and marriages. Thirteen years ago, she founded Central Louisiana Arts & Healthcare, Inc., a non-profit whose mission is to bring innovative arts experiences into hospitals and hospice facilities. www.artsandhealthcare.org Rabbi Judy spends a good deal of her time visiting the sick and singing at the bedside of dying patients.

Rabbi Judy is perhaps best known for her music and work as a cantorial soloist for over 30 years. She has produced a number of award-winning recordings of Jewish music for families and was commissioned by the URJ (Union for Reform Judaism) to write a preschool music curriculum titled My Jewish World. She has sung and conducted Jewish worship services all over the world. For more about Judy’s music, please visit www.judymusic.com

Although Rabbi Judy lives in Louisiana, she travels wherever she is needed conducting services and life cycle events. She is currently employed as the part-time Rabbi at Temple B’nai Israel in Monroe, Louisiana and recently conducted Shacharit services in Kolkata (Calcutta) while on a Jewish heritage tour through India.  Find more about Rabbi Judy at her website www.rabbijudymusic.com

Rabbi Walter Isaac

Walter R. Isaac, Ph.D., is a Lecturer of Africana Studies at the University of Tennessee. He is a scholar, public intellectual and African American rabbi of Palestinian descent. He has for many years worked as a mentor and direct advocate for LGBTQ teens, school-age boys of color, Jewish youth and victims of urban violence. He is a specialist in Africana philosophy, Jewish philosophy, intercultural student affairs and university campus dialogue, particularly on issues of systemic racism, sex/gender discrimination, and the politics of Israel/Palestine.

Rabbi Isaac was formerly a Research Fellow in Africana Studies at Brown University, as well as the Program Director for Temple University’s Institute for the Study of Race and Social Thought. His writings all stem from womanist philosophical approaches to the intersection of Africana studies and global Jewish studies. His research has recently focused on the theoretical and historical development of modern democracy from among American Hebrew communities of color.  Before joining the University of Tennessee, Rabbi Isaac co-directed a $250k NEH grant-funded project on Gullah/Geechee contributions to American democracy. He is a member of many professional organizations and the current President of both the Afro-Jewish Studies Association and the Olaudah Equiano Institute.

Currently Rabbi Isaac is completing a two-part monograph on the intersection of German-Jewish phenomenologist Max Scheler’s objective realism with Martin L. King Jr.’s philosophy of humanistic science.  Some of Rabbi Isaac’s many articles and monographs can be found in publications such as Contending ModernitiesViolence in American Society, the Journal of the Middle East and AfricaBlack Existentialism, and a seminal article on Afro-Jewish Studies in the Blackwell Companion to African-American Studies.

Rabbi Monte Sugarman

Pastoral Care presented by Rabbi Monte Sugarman. This class explores and defines Jewish Pastoral or Spiritual Care. Bereavement and the stages of loss & grief will be discussed. The value of being a healing presence for the sick and dying is addressed. Other topics include: Jewish healing prayers, Vidui/confession for dying and self-care. We talk about the importance of Jewish spiritual direction and counseling for individuals, couples and families. Some Jewish life cycle issues are discussed

Recommended reading: Jewish Pastoral Care: A Practical Handbook, Edited by Rabbi Dayle A. Friedman, 2nd Edition-Published Jewish Lights 2010

Rabbi Monte Sugarman is co-spiritual leader of “Synagogue Without Walls-Or Chadash” in Saratoga Springs, NY, along with his wife Rabbi Anna Sugarman.  He serves all branches of Jewish orientation and all people officiating Jewish religious services, life cycle events, kabbalah workshops and music programs.  In addition to being a rabbi, Rabbi Sugarman is a chaplain for St. Peters Health Partners in Albany, NY.  Rabbi Monte is a NYS Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and professional musician and songwriter.