Temple Emanuel
Denver, Colorado
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Rabbi Joseph R. Black, Senior Rabbi

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Rabbi Black has been the Senior Rabbi of Temple Emanuel since 2010, previously serving as rabbi of Congregation Albert in Albuquerque, New Mexico from 1996-2010. He served as Assistant and then Associate Rabbi at Temple Israel in Minneapolis, Minnesota from 1987-1996. He received his Bachelor's degree in Education from Northwestern University in 1982 and his Master's degree and rabbinic ordination from the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1987. In 2012 he received an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from HUC-JIR.

Rabbi Black serves as a Chaplain in the Colorado House of Representatives and is past President of the Rocky Mountain Rabbinical Council. In Albuquerque, he was involved in many community organizations including the Albuquerque Academy Board of Trustees, New Mexico Symphony Orchestra Board of Trustees, Roadrunner Food Bank, Presbyterian Hospital Ethics Committee, The Martin Luther King Multi-Cultural Council, New Mexico Organ Donor Service, and the New Mexico Religious Coalition for Inclusion and Non-discrimination (R.A.I.N.). He has served as a member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) Committee on Rabbinic Wellness and both the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ)/CCAR Commissions on Religious Living and Youth. A Nationally recognized musician, he has presented and performed at many regional and national biennial conventions and has served as faculty on regional and National Spirituality Conferences. He also has served on the Rabbinic Faculty of many Reform Jewish Summer Camps. Rabbi Black was an active member of CAJE – the Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education -- and was a regular contributor and performer at CAJE conferences.

Rabbi Black has had several poems and articles published in leading national literary and academic journals. He is a frequent contributor to anthologies and collections of Jewish writing. He has recorded five critically-acclaimed albums of Jewish music, two children's books, a songbook and two videos. He has performed his original music in many communities in the United States and Canada. He has received numerous honors for his performance and composition. His books and music have been featured by the PJ library and he was honored by Moment magazine as one of the top ten male performers in American Jewish music as well as one of the top ten children's performers in American Jewish music.

Rabbi Black and his wife Sue have two children: Elana, a graduate of the University of Texas in Austin, and Ethan, a student at the University of Texas, Plan II Honors College.

Cantor Elizabeth Sacks, Senior Cantor

Raised in New York, Cantor Sacks was ordained as a cantor in 2007 by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR). She was a recipient of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship in Jewish communal leadership and earned several awards as a cantorial student for Traditional Hazzanut, Talmud, and Midrash. Cantor Sacks holds a B.A. in Jewish Studies and Music from Harvard University where she was active in Harvard Hillel and music community service programs.

From 2007-2012, Cantor Sacks served as the Associate Cantor at Central Synagogue in New York, where she focused on worship, education and young professional engagement. Cantor Sacks was also a faculty member at Mechon Hadar, an educational institute that empowers Jews to create and sustain vibrant, practicing, egalitarian communities of Torah learning, prayer, and service. Cantor Sacks is currently the chair of the HUC-JIR Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music Alumni Association and the vice-chair of the HUC-JIR Council of Alumni. Cantor Sacks is married to Elias Sacks, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Associate Director of the Program in Jewish Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. Cantor Sacks, Eli, and their son Charlie live in Denver.

Cantor Elizabeth Sacks

More From Cantor Sacks

Cantor Sacks explores how we can continue to create meaningful and transformative worship experiences through music and song on the Bully Pulpit Podcast.

Rabbi Brian P. Immerman, Associate Rabbi

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Rabbi Immerman joined Temple Emanuel in 2012, first as the Assistant Rabbi and now as Associate Rabbi. After receiving his bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the University of Rochester in 2004, Rabbi Immerman attended Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) from 2007 - 2012 and received his masters in Hebrew literature and rabbinical ordination at HUC-JIR's New York City campus.

Rabbi Immerman has served on the board of the Denver Jewish Community Center since 2014 and is active in Together Colorado’s Interfaith Clergy Network. He also served on Hazon’s Denver Advisory board from 2013-2015. Rabbi Immerman completed the Rabbi Balfour Brickner Rabbinic Fellowship program in 2014 through the Religious Action Center to further his social justice advocacy work. While at HUC-JIR, Rabbi Immerman was a Shusterman Rabbinic Fellow, a joint collaboration between HUC-JIR and the Jewish Theological Seminary intended to foster innovation and vision in congregational rabbis.

Rabbi Immerman is from Shaker Heights, OH and grew up at Temple Tifereth Israel. He spent many summers at Goldman Union Camp Institute and worked as the program associate in the Youth Division of the Union for Reform Judaism. While at the University of Rochester he was captain of the swim team and president of the Varsity Student Athlete Association. You can often find him biking to Temple or enjoying a bike ride on one of Denver's many trails. Rabbi Immerman brings a passion for the outdoors and social justice and strives to help people create more meaning in their lives through Jewish tradition. He resides in Denver's Baker neighborhood with his wife Jenny.

Steve Brodsky, Cantorial Soloist/Music Director

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Steve Brodsky is the Temple's Cantorial Soloist/Music Director.

Dr. Steven E. Foster, Rabbi Emeritus

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Rabbi Foster has been involved in Jewish life since his childhood. He saw the stand Jews were taking during the Civil Rights movement in the 1960's and decided he needed to be there as a religious leader. After receiving a B.S. in Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin he went on to get a Bachelor of Hebrew Letters, Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters and was ordained from the Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion in 1970.

Rabbi Foster took his first position as an ordained rabbi at Temple Emanuel in 1970 and became the Senior Rabbi in 1981. He retired in May, 2010. He brings to his rabbinate a deep commitment to social justice, Jewish education and Jewish continuity. His work in founding the Temple Emanuel Preschool and Kindergarten, Herzl Day School, Stepping Stones to a Jewish Me (an outreach program for interfaith families) in addition to his far reaching community work such as serving on the boards of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, National Council of Justice and Peace, United Way, and Allied Jewish Federation to name a few, demonstrate his commitment to the Jewish and secular community alike.

Cantor Regina Heit, Cantor Emerita

Cantor Regina Y. Heit received her Cantorial Investiture and Certification from Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion's School of Sacred Music in 1981. She was a vocal-performance major at the University of Hawaii. She served for six years as Cantor/Educator of Temple Adath B'nai Israel in Evansville, Indiana, and for eight years as Cantor/Music Director of Temple Beth Sholom of New City, New York. She was the first Cantor/Music Director in the 130 year history of Congregation Emanuel.

Cantor Heit has concertized extensively throughout the United States and has received numerous awards for proficiency in her field. She is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, the Music Honor Society, the Rocky Mountain Cantor's Association, Hadassah and has served for 6 terms as the secretary of the Cantorial Alumni Association of Hebrew Union College. She has studied voice with Lorraine Nubar and Doris Jung Popper. She currently studies with Susan Dora-Owens. Cantor Heit, her husband Matthew, and son David live in Englewood.