Our Clergy

photo_-_rabbi_rossoff.pngRabbi Don Rossoff |

Rabbi Don Rossoff comes to Barnert Temple after having served as Interim Rabbi for Temple Beth Am in Framingham, MA, and the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation in Evanston, Illinois. Prior to that, he was spiritual leader of Temple B’nai Or in Morristown, NJ, from 1990 – 2015, and was an Associate Rabbi at Temple Sholom, Chicago, from 1981-1990. Rabbi Rossoff served two non-consecutive terms as President of the Morris Area Interfaith Council, was Chair of the MetroWest Rabbinic Cabinet, was on the Board of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and chaired its Israel Committee, Resolutions Committee, and 2009 Israel Convention. He received the “Ohev Yisrael Award – Lover of Israel” by the national Association of Reform Zionists of America Rabbinic Counsel. He also served on the Jersey Battered Women’s Shelter Clergy Partnership Advisory Board and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Committee which awarded him for his dedication to the community.

Rabbi Rossoff was ordained from the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in 1981. He holds Masters Degrees in Hebrew Letters and Hebrew Education from HUC-JIR, a Bachelor of Arts from Northwestern University, and a Bachelor of Jewish Studies from Spertus College of Judaica. He received his certification as an Interim Rabbi from the national Interim Ministry Network and the CCAR and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from Capella University.

Rabbi Rossoff published a children’s book on spirituality, The Perfect Prayer, and contributed chapters to The Jew in the Modern World: A Documentary History edited by Paul Mendes-Flohr and Jehuda Reinharz, and Chosen Tales: Stories Told by Jewish Storytellers, edited by Peninnah Schram. His latest publications, an article entitled “Visions for a New/Old Reform Yizkor Service” and a poem, “What If…” appeared in the Journal of Reform Judaism and was adapted for use in Mishkan Hanefesh (CCAR). As a musician, he published Adonai Li, a musical setting of Psalm 118:6 (with Cantor Bruce Benson), and the lyrics for “You Can Change the World” (with Cantor Jeff Klepper). He has performed on flute with Debbie Friedman, Craig Taubman, and Mattan Klein, and performed and recorded with “Kol Sasson” and “Kol B’Seder.”

His wife, Francine Rossoff, RN, served on the Morris School District Board of Education and received a number of honors for her service to the community. They have four grown children, Marc, Jenna, Ilana and Nathaniel.

Says Rabbi Don, “I am so very honored to be serving as Interim Rabbi at Barnert for this coming year!  I have come to know Barnert to be a warm, welcoming, innovative and engaged community with a great heritage of outstanding clergy and lay leadership.   I look forward to working with the Temple’s members and its dedicated staff as  together we build for the exciting and inspiring future which surly lies ahead for this sacred community!”


Rabbi Rachel Steiner Profile PicRabbi Rachel Steiner | [email protected]

Rabbi Steiner grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and has always loved the New York City area. Growing up, she spent much of her time outside of school at Congregation Rodeph Sholom, her home synagogue. It was her love of music that opened the door into that community, and it was there that she discovered her passion for Jewish life, learning and community. 

She received her B.A. in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2002. Before beginning her rabbinical studies at HUC-JIR in 2005, she spent a year in San Francisco working in Jewish education and a year and a half back in New York City, where she worked at the Covenant Foundation and at Rodeph Sholom. She spent six months on Kibbutz Ma'agan Michael in Israel before her first year of rabbinical school in Jerusalem. 

Rabbi Steiner and Dan are the proud parents of Ezra and Asher. 

Read Rabbi Steiner's Rosh Hashanah 5777 Sermon.


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Rabbi Elyse Frishman, Rabbi Emerita | [email protected]

Our spiritual leader, Rabbi Elyse Frishman, envisions a congregation filled with mutual respect and appreciation for one another's gifts, a community that values ethical behavior and social justice and educational and worship experiences that inspire us to live on a higher plane. 

She teaches adult classes, as well as tenth, eleventh and twelfth graders, and works closely with our Bar/Bat Mitzvah students and families. All life-cycle events are personal and meaningful. She and Rabbi Rachel Steiner collaborate to offer transformative Shabbat and holiday opportunities. She leads the congregation on issues of social justice. She and our lay leadership share a sacred partnership in the work of the congregation. 

Rabbi Frishman is the editor of the Reform movement's new prayerbook, Mishkan T'filah, serving Reform congregations nationally. 

She was ordained in 1981, and has been with us since 1995. She is married to Rabbi Daniel Freelander, President of the World Union for Progressive Judaism, and they have two sons and a daughter.

Read Rabbi Frishman's Erev Rosh Hashanah 5777 Sermon.

Read Rabbi Frishman's Kol Nidre 5777 Sermon.

Read Rabbi Frishman's Yom Kippur Morning 5777 Sermon.