Meet Our Clergy
Senior Rabbi Scott Rosenberg
Rabbi Rosenberg brings with him twenty-nine years of rabbinic leadership in three congregations, most recently, as Rabbi of Congregation Beth Shalom, in Ottawa, Canada. Prior to that, he was Rabbi at Temple Reyim in Newton, Massachusetts for 22 years. Rabbi Rosenberg received his B.A. from Columbia University and a B.A., M.A., Rabbinic Ordination and Doctor of Divinity from the Jewish Theological Seminary.
Rabbi Rosenberg and his wife, Amy Goldman, are blessed with three children; two sons and a daughter. Their sons live in the Washington, DC area and their daughter attends a university in Canada.
The Rosenberg/Goldman family is eager to meet all of our congregants, staff, students and children. If you would like to contact Rabbi Rosenberg for individual learning opportunities or to discuss personal needs, please contact him via the synagogue office at 610-667-5000 or at email@example.com.
Assistant Rabbi Michael Knopf
Rabbi Michael Knopf comes to Har Zion Temple all the way from Los Angeles, California, where he was ordained in May 2011 by the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the American Jewish University (AJU). During the course of his studies, Rabbi Knopf cultivated a reputation for scholarship, receiving awards for excellence in Hebrew Literature and in Talmudic Studies.
While in Los Angeles, Rabbi Knopf coordinated, taught courses in, and counseled students of the Louis and Judith Miller Introduction to Judaism Program at the AJU, the nation’s largest preparatory program for conversion to Judaism. During his time with the Miller Program, Rabbi Knopf was privileged to bring many wonderful souls into the Jewish people, and remains dedicated to helping anyone who seeks a place in the Jewish community to find it. Rabbi Knopf has had the blessing of serving several congregations: Congregation B’nai Torah in Sandy Springs, Georgia; Ahavath Achim Synagogue in Atlanta, Georgia; Congregation Etz Chayim in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; and, most recently, Beit T’Shuvah in Los Angeles, where he also functioned as a spiritual counselor, using the wisdom of the Jewish tradition to help addicts overcome their struggles. Rabbi Knopf looks forward to bringing his enthusiasm for communicating the transformative power of Torah and for building welcoming, supportive, and inspiring community to Har Zion. Additionally, Rabbi Knopf’s passion for Jewish education has led him to teach for the Conservative Kollel, Los Angeles Hebrew High School, and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. He is eager to contribute to Har Zion’s already vibrant culture of learning and to help Har Zionites of all ages deepen their relationships with Torah.
A native of Atlanta, Rabbi Knopf has always considered himself a true southern gentleman, despite having moved north to attend the Joint Program between Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City. There, Rabbi Knopf earned B.A.'s with honors in American History and Talmud and Rabbinics. He has also been privileged to study at the Conservative Yeshiva and at Yeshivat Simchat Shlomo, both in Jerusalem.
Rabbi Knopf is happily married to his best friend, Adira, and enjoys movies, traveling, and pizza.
Cantor Eliot Vogel
Hazzan Eliot Vogel, grew up in a small Conservative congregation in a suburb of Hartford, Connecticut. He holds a B.A. in music from Boston University (CLA '76) and also attended the Hartt College of Music. Soon after that, was his realization that the Cantorate fulfilled all of the most important criteria that he had set for a meaningful career. A 1981 graduate of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, Cantors Institute, he has served on the faculties of both the H.L. Miller Cantorial School and Gratz College in Philadelphia. He has held pulpits in Montclair, New Jersey; Greenwich, Connecticut; and South Orange, New Jersey before coming to Har Zion Temple in 1991. A lyric baritone with a wide range of performing experience, Hazzan Vogel has also maintained an intense interest in Jewish choral music. He has presented world premieres of works by Charles Davidson and Samuel Adler, and performed as a soloist in symphonic works with the Zamir Chorale and the National Jewish Chorale. In 1999 Cantor Vogel performed Hugo Weisgall's Evening Liturgies in NYC with the Florilegium Chamber Choir in a memorial tribute to the composer. In addition to concert and oratorio work, he has frequently been heard as a soloist at the conventions of the Cantors Assembly, an international organization of cantors. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Philadelphia Region of the Cantors Assembly. Hazzan Vogel and his wife, Karen, have three daughters and reside in Penn Valley, Pennsylvania.
Ritual Director, Rabbi Robert Alpert
Ritual Director, Rabbi Robert Alpert comes to Har Zion with over 24 years of experience. He graduated from Columbia University, with a B.A. in History and a Bachelor of Hebrew Literature in Talmud from The Jewish Theological Seminary. He then pursued his rabbinic studies at JTS with a Master of Arts in Rabbinics, receiving his Rabbinic Ordination in 1983. Rabbi Alpert has held various rabbinic positions at a number of congregations, including Associate Rabbi at Beth Shalom Congregation in Elkins Park, PA, and most recently, Second Rabbi and Interim Senior Rabbi at East Brunswick Jewish Center in East Brunswick, NJ. He also has over six years of experience as Educator and Coordinator of Religious Services at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, MD. Rabbi Alpert will carry on the strong legacy of our passionate and dedicated Shamus/Ritual Directors, from Benjamin Rabinowitz (z"l), Saul Schachter (z"l), Moshe Benzipor (z"l), and Adolph Schwartz (z"l) to our beloved Joshua Perlmuter. Rabbi Alpert is eager to share with us his personal passion for Judaism and Israel, and his love of Torah by teaching, studying, and davening daily with us.
Rabbi Emeritus, Gerald I. Wolpe (z"l)
Reprinted from a resolution authored by Ralph S. Snyder, Past President, Har Zion Temple
The Board of Directors and Trustees of Har Zion Temple are devastated by the death of one of its revered rabbis, Rabbi Emeritus Gerald I. Wolpe, who passed away on May 18, 2009.
- WHEREAS Gerald I. Wolpe was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1927; and
- WHEREAS he was educated at Boston Latin in Boston, Massachusetts; and
- WHEREAS he matriculated at The Jewish Theological Seminary in 1953; and
- WHEREAS he entered military service of the United States of America in 1953 as a Chaplain in the United States Marine Corps; and
- WHEREAS he completed his military service in 1955; and
- WHEREAS he began his rabbinate in Charleston, South Carolina; and
- WHEREAS he became the Rabbi of Temple Beth El in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 1955; and
- WHEREAS he began his service to Har Zion Temple as Senior Rabbi in 1969; and
- WHEREAS in the 30 years of his magnificent service to Har Zion Temple, he led the incredibly successful movement relocating its facility from 54th Street and Wynnefield Avenue in the City of Philadelphia, to Penn Valley, Pennsylvania; and
- WHEREAS he effected a most dramatic change in the history of Har Zion Temple by converting it to a completely egalitarian synagogue; and
- WHEREAS he became a most effective leader in the Greater Philadelphia Jewish community where he was accorded the respect to which he was so richly entitled; and
- WHEREAS he was held in unbounded esteem by his colleagues of the Board of Rabbis of Greater Philadelphia; and
- WHEREAS upon his retirement as Senior Rabbi of Har Zion Temple, he became Chairman of the Advisory Committee of the Bioethics Center at the University of Pennsylvania; and
- WHEREAS he was named and thereafter acted as Director of the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religion and Social Studies of The Jewish Theological Seminary, once again to demonstrate his outstanding leadership; and
- WHEREAS the loss of this unbelievable man will be nearly impossible to replace; and
- WHEREAS he repeated to his wife and to many of us, the wonderful words of the poet Robert Browning, "Grow old with me, the best is yet to be;" and it was;
- WHEREAS the Board of Directors and Trustees mourn the loss of a devoted, cherished and irreplaceable religious leader and wish to acknowledge permanently and publicly his contribution to this Congregation and to the entire community of Greater Philadelphia; and
- NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that this Congregation memorialize Rabbi Gerald I. Wolpe by dedicating itself to those standards which were the hallmark of his life; and
- That this Resolution be adopted by the Board of Directors and Trustees of Har Zion Temple; and that this congregation express its heartfelt sympathy to his beloved wife, Elaine, and to his children and grandchildren to whom a copy of this resolution be transmitted.
Cantor Emeritus, Isaac I. Wall
Immigrating from Russia to Denver, Colorado at the age of 3, Cantor Isaac I. Wall began his Jewish religious training under the guidance and inspiration of his father, a very scholarly and pious man. Cantor Wall had already shown a talent for Hazzanut by the age of 9, when he moved with his family to New York. There, he studied the Talmud and liturgy, as well as voice with some of the great cantors of the day. By the age of 13 Cantor Wall was leading services, davening as Hazzan for the High Holidays in Hartford, Connecticut where the Governor of the state, as well as other dignitaries, came to hear "the wonderchild with the beautiful voice". After serving for several years as Cantor in a number of New York synagogues, he took a position in Houston, Texas, where he traveled the state conducting services for the armed forces during World War II. In 1944 he became Cantor of Har Zion Temple and served for 47 years until his retirement in 1991. He now serves as Cantor Emeritus. Cantor Wall is a founder and past President of the Cantors' Assembly. He is a fellow of the Cantors' Institute, honored for his many years of service to the Conservative Movement. He taught for 20 years at the Solomon Schechter Day School (now the Perelman Jewish Day School), which he helped to found, and continues to serve on the organization's board. Cantor Wall and his late wife, Sheva, were blessed with three children and 13 grandchildren. Cantor Wall currently lives in Ventnor City, New Jersey.