Rabbi Isaac Serotta
Since coming to Lakeside Congregation in 1998, Rabbi Isaac Serotta has become the longest serving rabbi in the congregation’s history. During his tenure Lakeside has grown from a small congregation to a thriving community that still prides itself on being intimate and welcoming. After growing up in Miami, Rabbi Serotta attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He studied for the rabbinate at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem, Los Angeles and New York. While in Los Angeles, Rabbi Serotta received a Master’s Degree in Jewish Education, taking courses at the Rhea Hirsch School of Education and the University of Southern California. He was ordained as a rabbi in New York in 1988, and has served as a rabbi for congregations in Washington, D.C. and Milwaukee, Wisconsin before coming to Highland Park. Rabbi Serotta is active in interfaith dialogue, having served as President of the Southeast Lake County Clergy Association and served in similar roles over the years with the Greater Milwaukee Interfaith Council, and the National Conference of Christians and Jews.
He teaches regularly in interfaith study groups. Rabbi Serotta has served as Rabbinic Vice-President of the American Reform Zionist Association, on the board of the Interfaith Housing Center of the Northern Suburbs, the North Shore Chavurah of Rabbis, and is the new president of the Chicago Conference of Reform Rabbis. He is also the educational coordinator for the “Introduction to Judaism” program of the Union for Reform Judaism in Chicago. Each summer he is on the faculty of Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute, the Reform Movement’s summer camp in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.
Rabbi Serotta is married to Ceilanne Libber, and their three children have been growing up at Lakeside congregation: a 2010 confirmand, one a member of the 2012 confirmation class, and the youngest became a Bat Mitzvah in 2011.
Click here to E-mail Rabbi Serotta.
Cantor Michael Davis
Cantor Michael Davis joined Lakeside Congregation as our first Cantor in 2003. Cantor Davis received a traditional yeshiva education and is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in musicology. He trained in Israel where he served as a military chaplain. Cantor Davis received his investiture (cantorial ordination) in the United States, from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion's School of Sacred Music.
Cantor Davis is the president of Reform Cantors of Chicago which he founded in 2009. He is a member of the American Conference of Cantors (ACC) where he has served on the Certification Committee for ordaining cantors at the School of Sacred Music - Hebrew Union College. He serves on the faculty of the Bene Shalom Rabbinical Seminary in Skokie.
Cantor Davis is active on behalf of peace and justice in Israel/Palestine. He enjoys cycling and conversations about the Hebrew language. He is married to Gilit Abraham. They are the proud parents of Ariella Rebecca.
Click here to e-mail Cantor Davis.
Vanessa M. Ehrlich, our Director of Education, has been a Religious School principal for almost 26 years, the last 22 at Lakeside Congregation. Vanessa Ehrlich has overseen 3 accreditations of our school by the National Association Of Temple Educators over the past 22 years.
She received her BA from the University of Michigan, and a Masters of Jewish Education from Spertus College. Vanessa supervises our Religious and Hebrew school programs as well as overseeing our Adult Education. She believes that Jewish education starts at birth and does not end until death. Vanessa continues to attend and plan professional growth courses for teachers and principals in the Chicago area and is on the Leadership Operations Team of the National Association of Temple Educators. Vanessa and her husband Arthur live in Deerfield with their three children. When not at work, she is a dedicated mother and loves to read, swim, needlepoint, and enjoys going to Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute as faculty during the summer. Please stop by her office to talk and learn more about what is going on at Lakeside Congregation.
Click here to e-mail Vanessa Ehrlich.
Paula Davis, our Early Childhood Director at the The Children's Center of Lakeside Congregation, has been with the program since its inception in 1994. She has been a pre-school teacher for the past 15 years. She received her BS in Elementary Education from Drake University and continues to take professional courses to keep abreast of the ever-changing look of Early Childhood. Paula is DCFS approved and licensed, as is the Children's Center. She and her husband Alan enjoy spending time with their two daughters. Paula is an avid cook and baker and is always willing to share her treats and recipes. She encourages our members to drop by and ask any early childhood questions they may have (grandparents too!).
Click here to e-mail Paula Davis.