Clergy & Staff
In 2014 Rabbi Fine was promoted to Associate Rabbi at Temple of Aaron. Throughout 2014 Rabbi Fine garnered national attention being named one of the Forward Magazine’s Most Inspiring Rabbis in America. Later he was selected to deliver an ELI Talk entitled “Realigning the Synagogue Playbook.” He also has spoken at various conferences throughout the country on young professional engagement including the 2013 USCJ Centennial. More recently he was accepted into Hazon’s Clergy Leadership Incubator Fellowship.
Rabbi Jeremy and his wife Jessica are parents to Annie and Trudy and are happy to be a part of the Temple of Aaron family. If you have any questions about synagogue life or would like to chat with Rabbi Fine you can email Rabbi Jeremy Fine or call 651-698-8874 ext 112.
Rabbi Strausberg joined the Temple of Aaron team in 2015 as the Director of Congregational Learning. She received her rabbinic ordination from Hebrew College in Boston and is a Wexner Graduate Fellow. She also holds a Masters in Jewish Education. Originally from New Jersey, Rabbi Strausberg studied Theatre at Northwestern University and pursued it professionally in Chicago for several years upon completing her studies. After spending a year working on organic farms and running a small organic grocery store in New Zealand, Rabbi Strausberg dove into Jewish community as a fellow at ADAMAH, where she learned about the intersection of sustainability and Jewish values. She then studied at Yeshivat Hadar in New York and Pardes in Jerusalem before beginning her rabbinical studies at Hebrew College.
While pursuing her studies, Rabbi Strausberg was honored to serve as a rabbinic intern at Kehillath Israel and Temple Sinai. She has had the honor of teaching students of different ages and backgrounds at Kehillath Israel, Temple Sinai, Makor, and Yeshivat Hadar. Additionally, Rabbi Strausberg worked as a chaplain intern at Hebrew Senior Life and organizing an anti-trafficking campaign as a rabbinic fellow at T’ruah. Energized by engaging creatively with Jewish text, she has written several theatre pieces inspired by the Torah and maintains a Daf Yomi haiku blog in which she writes daily Talmudic haikus. Rabbi Strausberg is inspired by the multi-vocal, dialectic nature of rabbinic tradition and seeks to draw others into the conversation, helping them to find their own voice in text.
Rabbi Strausberg, her wife Chana, and son Ori are excited to be a part of the Temple of Aaron community.
Email Rabbi Strausberg or call 651-698-8874 ext. 111 with any questions.
Joshua Fineblum, CJE
Joshua joined Temple of Aaron in July 2010 as our Director of Education and has since expanded his role in many ways including his new one as our Cantor and Education Director. Josh has been active in synagogue life since growing up in the house of a Rabbi. After going to Ramah Poconos in 1990 he helped form his USY chapter and became very active in the greater Jewish community. While attending the University of Maryland he worked at a synagogue that later hired him as their Youth Director. After 6 years as a Youth Director in Rockville, MD and Baltimore he returned to school back home in Philadelphia at Gratz College. While there, he received a master’s degree in Jewish Communal Service and a certificate in Non-Profit Management while acting as the Youth Director, B’nai Mitzvah tutor, Junior Congregation leader, and wearing many other hats at Beth El in Cherry Hill/Voorhees in New Jersey.Upon finishing studies at Gratz he went to work at Kellman Brown Academy, a Solomon Shechter Jewish Day School, in Voorhees, New Jersey as their Director of Programming and Development.
As a Hebrew school teacher, Junior Congregation coordinator and leader, B’nai Mitzvah tutor, USY advisor, Youth Director, Assistant Hebrew High School Director, Confirmation Coordinator, and Director of Programming and Development, he has watched and helped many children grow and connect to Judaism. He, his wife Andrea, who hails from the Twin Cites, and their sons Jonah and Gordon live with their dog Rocky in Golden Valley. They are happy to be a part of the Temple of Aaron family and Joshua is proud to have taken on the title of Cantor/Educator in the summer of 2015 in hopes of inspiring people spiritually and educationally in the years to come. Feel free to email Joshua Fineblum or call 651-698-8874 ext. 103 with any questions about our schools and beyond.
Originally from Bismarck, ND Danaé, left after high school to pursue a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Graphic Design from Minnesota State University of Moorhead. After college she moved to the Twin Cities in 2015 and did some freelance design work on the side until she became a part of the team at Temple of Aaron. Danae’s primary job at Temple of Aaron is helping the clergy on day to day tasks, life cycle events, behind the scene jobs at events and during holidays, and marketing/advertising for events.
Email Danae Thorpe or 651-698-8874 ext. 107
Ken Agranoff has served as our Executive Director on two separate occasions. He began in 1984 and left in the summer of 1990. His priorities were formalizing office procedures, installing a formal performance review system, addition of office computers, regular sharing of financial operating results, and helping ease the transition from the retirement of Rabbi Raskas to new clergy. Ken returned to the synagogue in 1993 and has continually served the membership since that Spring. The synagogue has enlarged its endowments, completed a major remodeling, selected professional money managers for its special funds, purchased the Talmud Torah building, expanded the Roseville cemetery, intensified its energy efficiency strategies, and helped with a variety of searches for key personnel.
A life-long resident of St Paul, he married Tracey Cass at Temple of Aaron in 1993 and they have two children who have completed nearly all of our educational programs, Samantha and Jessica. Ken celebrated his Bar Mitzvah and confirmation at the synagogue. He earned degrees in business and law at the University of Minnesota. Tracey ran our school art program for 18 years and is currently a valued full-time employee at the St Paul JCC guiding family educational programs.
The future holds new challenges as our membership evolves and asks the synagogue to do some new things while relying on us to retain some of the old traditions that have made Temple of Aaron distinctive for over 100 years of operation. Ken was pleased with the hard work completed by the Strategic Planning Committee and the current challenge is to convert the discussed concepts into practical action plans to improve the synagogue experience for a larger percentage of our members. Email Ken Agranoff or call 651-698-8874 ext. 106 with any questions.
Director of Youth and Family Programming
Originally from the Chicagoland area, Jorie moved to Saint Paul in the summer of 2017. She graduated Illinois State University and then completed a Masters’ program at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Following graduate school, Jorie began working in the Education Department at the Chicago Botanic Garden. In Chicago, she became involved with the Young Adult Division (YAD) at Anshe Emet Synagogue, serving as a board member for two years and where she met her husband, Aaron. In 2015, Aaron and Jorie moved to Ann Arbor, where she worked as an Educator at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum and as the Education Department Assistant at Beth Israel Congregation. Jorie and Aaron are excited to now call Saint Paul home and be a part of Temple of Aaron. She is looking forward to getting to know everyone in the Temple of Aaron community! Email Jorie Bernhardt or 651-698-8874 ext. 115
Currently, Larry serves as the Ritual Coordinator at Temple of Aaron. Among many things, Larry has taught many of our beginner classes including Bible, Talmud, and Hebrew. His undergraduate degree is from CUNY Brooklyn. Larry has a MA in Jewish Studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary and a MA in Public Affairs and MSW from the University of Minnesota. Larry also works for the Department of Employment and Economic Development.
Manager of Financial Operations
Kim Thomey has worked as the Office Administrator for Temple of Aaron since January 1999 and is now taken on her new role. Kim grew up in Omaha, Nebraska. She is a graduate of Creighton University located in Omaha where she earned a BA degree. She started her professional career at the Omaha Jewish Community Center as Youth Director for K-8. She moved to Minnesota and completed 10 years as administrative assistant for the regional office of United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. She has worked her entire adult life in the Jewish community and at the same time is very active in her Catholic parish, Nativity. Kim and her husband, Chris, live in Highland Park and have two children, Charlie who is a Junior at UND and Maddie who is a Freshman at Visitation High School. Email Kim Thomey or call 651-698-8874 ext. 110 with any questions.
Susie Haim works as the Administrative Assistant for the Education and Youth. Susie is an active Temple of Aaron member, parent, past teacher in our school, and education department support staff. Susie brings familiarity, strong organizational and communication skills, and a solid understanding of our education department, youth programming, and community. She continues to be a great piece of the puzzle in ensuring that programming on every level of the synagogue is taken care of down to each detail. Susie works in three primary areas: Yahrzeit system, Bookkeeping support, and Executive Director support. She is also the main voice that greets you when you call the Temple. Susie resides in Minneapolis with her husband and two children who are also active here at Temple of Aaron in the Education and Youth Departments. Email Susie Haim or call 651-698-8874 ext. 100 with any questions.
Bill joined Temple of Aaron as our Building Supervisor in March of 1996. Bill has worked in the building maintenance field since he was 9 years old starting with his father, they repaired the family home, and his grandparents four-plex on Portland Avenue in St Paul. Bill was employed for 10 years in the nursing home maintenance field. Bill Jorke was born and raised in St. Paul and graduated from Highland Park Senior High School. As his family grew, Bill, his wife Tricia, and their 6 sons, moved to Prescott, WI. found an affordable, large house. They liked the fact that the school classroom sizes were about 15 children per class, and the small town feel. He enjoys the range of duties that this building supervisor position holds: planning, meeting with families for special events, cleaning, maintenance, and the many event set ups that happen inside and outside the synagogue walls, working with the rabbis, cantor, and all the support staff, that “make it happen.” Bill enjoys the gratification that comes from a job well done. He appreciates the years he has spent with us, and looks forward to helping people and keeping our building beautiful and your celebrations flawless in the future. Email Bill Jorke or call 651-698-8874 with any questions.