Alexander Grass Rabbinic Chair
Daniel Cotzin Burg has been rabbi of Beth Am Synagogue since July of 2010. Prior to his position at Beth Am, he served at Anshe Emet Synagogue in Chicago. Ordained by the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles (now American Jewish University), he holds an M.A. in Rabbinic Studies and another in Jewish Education from there and a B.A. in Hebrew Studies and Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin.
Rav Daniel is a senior fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem and served on the Maryland Task Force on Reconciliation and Equity. His writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, The Chicago Sun-Times, eJewish Philanthropy, the Jewish Review of Books, The Forward, The Times of Israel, Jmore and the Baltimore Jewish Times. He was featured in the Cover Story for Conservative/Masorti Judaism’s international publication and in Baltimore Magazine and has appeared in The Atlantic, on MSNBC and other local and national media outlets. He is a contributing author to Keeping Faith in Rabbis: A Community Conversation about Rabbinical Education (Ed. Herring and Roscher) and Celebrating the Jewish Year: The Spring and Summer Holidays (Ed. Steinberg). He blogs at www.theUrbanRabbi.org.
Rabbi Burg has helped to articulate a congregational mission and vision for Beth Am’s community engagement initiative (See New Jewish Neighborhood Project) and “In, For Of, Inc.” a 501(c)3 organization affiliated with Beth Am. He serves on the boards of the Elijah Cummings Youth Program, the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, the Institute for Islamic, Christian and Jewish Studies (ICJS) and IFO, and, from 2014-2018, on the Board of Jews United for Justice. He has been a vocal supporter in Annapolis and Baltimore of marriage equality, police reform, environmental justice, legislation to curtail gun violence and other important social and societal issues affecting Beth Am’s city and state.
Rav Daniel lives near Beth Am in the historic Reservoir Hill neighborhood with his wife Rabbi Miriam Cotzin Burg and their two children, Eliyah and Shamir.
Rabbi for Tefillah Leadership and Director of Youth & Family Education
Rabbi Tyler Dratch is a teacher, spiritual leader, and convener of sacred spaces who came to Beth Am in July 2021. He leads prayers at Shabbat and holiday worship services. As a Shaliach Tzibur, he mixes a traditional nusach with contemporary Jewish music. In diverse prayer-leading experiences, he uses music to elevate Jewish rituals. He also directs Beth Am’s education programs, which include the Discovery Lab for children and teens and regular programs of study for adults.
Rabbi Dratch previously served as Student Rabbi at Temple Beth Zion in Brookline, Massachusetts, and Shaare Torah in Gaithersburg, Maryland. He is a graduate of Hebrew College, receiving a master’s in Jewish Education and a certificate in Spirituality and Social Justice. Rabbi Dratch spent the last decade working in many Jewish communities, helping connect Jews to rituals, tradition, and each other. He has taught in Hebrew College’s Open Circle Community Learning Program, has served as an educator for Moishe House and Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston and was awarded the Wexner Graduate Fellowship.
Prior to Hebrew College, Rabbi Dratch studied Political Science and Hebrew Bible at Columbia University and The Jewish Theological Seminary. He worked at the New York City Council before jumping into the world of Jewish education. He is passionate about the intersection between social justice and Jewish tradition, helping organize the Newton Sanctuary Collaborative and participating in the work of a number of Jewish Social Justice organizations, including serving as a legislative assistant at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.
Rabbi Dratch believes that Judaism holds deep wisdom for all people throughout their lives and loves the ability of Judaism to help us connect deeper to the world around us. With his wife, Emily, he enjoys biking, hiking, reading, and cooking new recipes and is a long-suffering Philadelphia sports fan.
Ba’alat Tefilah (prayer leader)
Ms. Woloff has 25 years of prayer leading experience, including with the notable Jewish musicians and prayer leaders Joey Weisenberg and Josh Warschawski. She has mastery of numerous nuschaot and trope, as well as experience as a Bar and Bat Mitzvah preparation tutor. For six years, she was the director of the Rosenbloom Religious School at Chizuk Amuno before she opted to pursue an advanced degree in social work and a career as a therapist.
Beth Am has arranged for Ms. Woloff to lead Shabbat services once per month, where she will blend our customary melodies (traditional conservative and Weisgal tunes) with other musical traditions. We think you will agree that she has a beautiful voice and engaging presence and that this will be an exciting year of music and learning for Beth Am. We look forward to this upcoming year of further exploration and expect that davening with Ms. Woloff will be very rewarding.
Cantor Ira Greenstein served as hazzan, choir leader, and teacher at Beth Am from 2000 to 2020. He received his commission through the Conservative movement of Judaism. Cantor Greenstein possesses a rich bass-baritone voice, a deep love of Jewish music, and an engaging personality that invites and encourages congregants to participate in the worship service.
Cantor Greenstein previously served congregations in Bethesda and Columbia, Maryland; Augusta, Georgia; and New York City. A native of Long Island, he graduated from the Jewish Theological Seminary’s Prozdor program. In his youth he was a teacher’s aide, choir member, junior congregation leader, and a member of the Camp Ramah staff. He received much of his post-secondary musical training at the University of Maryland, from which Cantor Greenstein earned three secular degrees, including an M.A. in educational administration. He has been a soloist and member of several Maryland choral groups, and he has composed and arranged vocal music for the synagogue and for concert performance.
Cantor Greenstein and his wife Roberta have two adult children: Rabbi Hannah Greenstein Wallick, living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Ben Greenstein, a Baltimore-area business professional.
Cantor Greenstein inherited Beth Am’s musical tradition of Cantor Abba Yosef Weisgal. Weisgal served as hazzan in Beth Am’s building for over 50 years, at the time when it was home to Chizuk Amuno. Weisgal’s melodies, blended with compositions from Sulzer, Lewandowski and other great hazzanim, fill Beth Am’s worship service with a unique spirit.