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 Our Rabbi: Rabbi Alicia Harris

Rabbi Alicia Harris joined Congregation Shir Tikvah as our Rabbi on July 1, 2020.  She grew up in Toledo, OH, where she attended Temple Congregation Shomer Emunim and graduated from Ottawa Hills High School. Currently, Alicia’s family resides in Pittsburgh.

She received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pittsburgh, where she graduated cum laude in Political Science and Religious Studies. She served as a student leader at the Pittsburgh Hillel, was a member of Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed service fraternity, and was very politically active on campus. After graduation and before beginning her studies at Hebrew Union College, Rabbi Alicia worked for two years at Temple Sinai of Pittsburgh as the executive assistant to the Senior Rabbi.

During her time at HUC in Cincinnati, Rabbi Alicia was the rabbinic fellow at the Valley Temple for three years; teaching religious school, leading and organizing the Friday Night Live band, expanding the family education curriculum, and developing a social justice program. She was also the rabbinic fellow at Cedar Village, a long-term care facility for aging adults. There she primarily focused on developing the Music and Memory program, which brought a higher quality of life to many residents.

She previously served as the Rabbinic Intern at the Jewish Community Relations Council in Cincinnati, where she focused on community engagement and outreach in order to help Jews reach across lines of difference to build relationships.

Beyond her work within the Cincinnati Jewish community throughout rabbinical school, Rabbi Alicia was the student rabbi in Columbus and Muncie, Indiana, as well as in Portsmouth and Toledo, Ohio.

Rabbi Alicia is a member of the Commission on Social Action, the governing body of the Religious Action Center (RAC).

Rabbi Alicia is an avid Latin dancer and a singer. She loves live music, practicing yoga, reading, swimming, petting every single dog, and spending quality time with her family and friends.

Rabbi Alicia Harris
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Photo Credit: Analicia Honkanen Photography

Rabbi Emeritus: Rabbi Arnie Sleutelberg

Rabbi Arnie, as he is known to all, retired as spiritual leader of Congregation Shir Tikvah in June 2016 after 28 years with the congregation.  His depth of compassion has earned him devotion from members of Congregation Shir Tikvah and those in the greater Detroit area. 

After earning his Bachelor's degree from Albion College, Rabbi Arnie received his Master's degree and rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College in New York.  He sought a profession that combined a love for Judaism with teaching, counseling and community development. 

As a part of his community involvement, Rabbi Arnie supports many causes and has served on the boards of JARC, AIDS Interfaith Network, Triangle Foundation, Jewish Community Relations Council, Michigan Jewish AIDS Coalition, Jewish Gay Network, and has served as Rabbinic Dean of the National Federation of Temple Youth - Michigan Region, and been on the staff of Albion College.  He is dedicated to making a difference in the Jewish community and beyond. 

Bridge-building between the Jewish community and other religions, ethnicities and races has also been among his passions. Helping foster understanding with Muslims, African Americans, and Christians is a focus of his rabbinate. 

In his sabbatical travels, Rabbi Arnie studied Hinduism and Budhism with special emphasis on meditation techniques and chant.  These, too, have been part of Jewish practice for thousands of years.  Rabbi Arnie has deepened his own Jewish spirituality by witnessing other traditional faith practices.  He often connects with indigenous tribes and their spiritual elders in various countries in addition to bringing support for “lost” Jewish tribes in Africa and India. 

Rabbi Arnie lives in Lake Orion with his husband, Robert, and their Italian Waterdog, Kobi.

Rabbi Arnie Sleutelberg
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Fri, June 14 2024 8 Sivan 5784