Meet Our Clergy
Temple Emanu-El’s Clergy is Unlike All Others.
Rabbi Douglas Sagal
Rabbi Douglas Sagal is a graduate of Wesleyan University, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and the Yale Divinity School, where he won the annual award for outstanding preaching, the only rabbi to ever do so.
He is the author of several articles on preaching and biblical interpretation, as well as other subjects. He is a faculty member of the Academy for Jewish Religion in New York City, and has been a guest lecturer at the Hebrew Union College in New York City. He is profiled extensively in the best-selling book Today I am a Boy by David Hays.
Rabbi Sagal is married to Dr. Lauren Kaplan-Sagal, a psychiatrist in private practice, and has three children, Michal, Kyra, and Coby. He enjoys studying Talmud, boxing training, and doing the occasional magic trick.
Rabbi Sagal writes, “The future of the synagogue is creating a congregation with many open doors to Jewish life. One size no longer fits all. We have an obligation to provide as many paths to Jewish life, learning, and spirit as we can.”
Rabbi Charles A. Kroloff, Rabbi Emeritus
Rabbi Kroloff served as Senior Rabbi of Temple Emanu-El for 36 years, from 1966 until his retirement in 2002. He and his wife, Dr. Terry Kroloff, still reside in Westfield. On his retirement, the new educational wing of the Temple was named The Rabbi Charles A. Kroloff Center for Jewish Learning. He is the past president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the largest rabbinic organization in the world.
Rabbi Kroloff currently is Vice President for Special Projects of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City. He remains active in the Westfield area, through leadership in Temple Emanu-El’s I Have A Dream program in Plainfield and the Westfield Foundation as past president, speaking at area synagogues, and providing rabbinic life cycle services.
Rabbi Kroloff earned his B.A. magna cum laude at Yale University and rabbinic ordination at Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati. Before coming to Westfield, he was Assistant Rabbi at Temple Israel, Boston, and Rabbi of Community Reform Temple, Westbury, NY. A past president of ARZA, the Association of Reform Zionists of America, he was a member of the governing boards of the Jewish Agency, Hebrew Union College, and the Union for Reform Judaism. He was a founder of the Interfaith Council for the Homeless of Union County and, following retirement, Interim Rabbi at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, New York City.
Cantor Martha Novick
Cantor Novick received a Bachelor of Science in Music Performance and a Master of Arts in Music Education from New York University. She also received a Bachelor of Sacred Music from Hebrew Union College, School of Sacred Music, where she was invested as Cantor in May of l983.
Cantor Novick has performed leading roles in opera for the Metropolitan Opera Association, the National Shakespeare Theatre, CBS and PBS Television, NYC Radio, The Center for New Music in New York, and the Liederkranz Opera Workshop. She has been soloist with the Jerusalem Symphony, The Brooklyn Philharmonia, Musica Hebraica, Sela and the Hebrew Arts Chorale. Cantor Novick has served on the Board of the American Conference of Cantors, the Commission on Synagogue Music, the Advisory Board and Review Board of Transcontinental Music Publishing, and currently serves as Vice President of the American Society for Jewish Music.
Cantor Novick had the distinction of being the first female Cantor to perform in a traditional Cantorial Concert in a major concert hall in New York. She made a CD of Yiddish Art Songs Music for the Miliken Foundation Archives of Twentieth Century American Jewish Composers, and a CD of High Holiday Music for Transcontinental Music Publishing.
Cantor Novick is a member of the faculty at The Hebrew Union College, School of Sacred Music and The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, Miller Cantorial School.
Rabbi Ethan Prosnit, Associate Rabbi
Rabbi Ethan Prosnit is a graduate of Clark University with a BA in African History and a Masters in Teaching. He received his Rabbinic Ordination and his Masters in Hebrew Letters from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR). Rabbi Prosnit is passionate about pursuing social justice and making connections with global Jewry. He currently is the co-chair of Reform Jewish Voice of New Jersey, an arm of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC), working with Reform Jews across New Jersey to join together with a strong and effective voice. He is a Rabbi Balfour Brickner Fellow through the Religious Action Center and served on the Joint Distribution Committee-Entwine board. Prior to becoming a rabbi, Ethan taught eleventh grade United States history and coached boys tennis in the Worcester public schools, worked at Tufts University Hillel, and partnered with American Jewish World Service (AJWS) and the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC). Rabbi Prosnit is an avid sports fan, rooting hard for the Jets, Mets and Toronto Blue Jays (usually to no avail) and is a tennis player, skier, and loves the outdoors. Rabbi Prosnit joined the Temple Emanu-El community in the summer of 2014. He lives in Westfield with his wife Arielle and son Caleb.
Cantor Michelle Rubel, Associate Cantor
Cantor Rubel graduated cum laude from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance and a minor in Judaic Studies. While at Syracuse, she served on the Hillel board as Religious Vice President and was a founding member and music director of the university’s first Jewish a capella group. She also spent five years on staff at URJ Crane Lake Camp in West Stockbridge, Massachusetts, including serving as the co-director of the Limud (Jewish education) program.
In her five years studying at HUC-JIR in Israel and later in New York, Cantor Rubel served congregations in Washington Heights, New York, North Adams, Massachusetts, and Miami, Florida. She also prepared students for B’nai Mitzvah at Congregation Rodeph Sholom in Manhattan. While at HUC-JIR, she received awards for excellence in liturgy and reform worship. She earned her Masters of Sacred Music in 2011 and was ordained in 2012. She is proud to be a member of the first class of Cantors ordained by HUC-JIR.
Cantor Rubel is delighted to be a part of the Temple Emanu-El community.