Rabbi Brett Krichiver came to Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation for one reason: to share his passion for Torah and the way it transforms lives and relationships. He strives always to teach our ancient text in accessible ways, and to reconnect members of our community with their heritage in the classroom and from the pulpit. He hopes to bring Torah into life’s most intimate moments: to inspire a new parent, or console a grieving spouse, to find words for the joy and love we feel when we are most connected with one another.
Rabbi Brett created transformational change in Los Angeles at Stephen S. Wise Temple, and then at UCLA piloting a new national program in Jewish outreach and engagement. He brought to Indianapolis his desire to bring Judaism to disaffected and unaffiliated Jews through real tikkun – social change, tefillah – new and engaging forms of worship, and to create a real sense of relationship and shared community.
Another great passion in our senior rabbi’s professional life is the cultural arts. He has produced multiple theatrical performances, and brings his own dramatic writings and Iyyunim (liturgical poems) into our community each Shabbat. Rabbi Krichiver seeks to engage and inspire through creative expressions of Judaism – music, visual art, and especially theater. He is a Wexner Fellow and a Bronfman Alum. He is a founding clergy member of IndyCAN, a community organizing group partnering with religious institutions city-wide. He also serves as a Board Member at Second Helpings and Planned Parenthood. He participates in the Northside Clergy Group, creating interfaith programming throughout Indianapolis, and serves on the Advisory Committee for Goldman Union Camp Institute, his childhood camp. He is past chair of the Indiana Board of Rabbis.
Rabbi Krichiver is married to Tami Krichiver, a licensed clinical psychologist who shares her beautiful voice with us as cantorial soloist. The love of their lives is their daughter, Sierra.
Cantor Aviva Marer is thrilled to be a part of the dynamic clergy team at Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation. Born into a family of Bene Israel Jews from India, Cantor Marer grew up in Canada with a strong sense of cultural Indian Judaism. Bene Israel Jews can be traced back to the early 15th century, and Cantor Marer’s grandfather helped build the first synagogue in New Delhi, which still stands to this day. She enjoys teaching about her heritage and has been featured in the Smithsonian’s touring exhibit Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shaping the Nation.
A renowned singer with impressive vocal ability, Cantor Aviva Marer came to Indianapolis in 2018 from New York, where she performed for twelve seasons with the prestigious choral group Essential Voices USA, culminating in multiple performances annually at Carnegie Hall. Cantor Marer’s dedication to musical excellence is evident in everything she does, both on and off the bima. Cantor Marer takes great pride in seamlessly weaving together musical styles to create a meaningful worship experience. She loves a wide array of musical genres and believes that the universal language of music has the ability to lift our souls and create community.
Cantor Marer holds a Bachelor’s degree in Classical Vocal Performance and a Master’s degree in Choral Conducting. She has had the distinct honor of conducting internationally acclaimed ensembles all over the world.
In May of 2013, Cantor Marer was ordained from the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. During her time at HUC-JIR, she was awarded the Women of Reform Judaism Prize twice. She was also selected to conduct multiple choral ensembles, and most notably, debuted a world premiere of Heinrich Shalit’s unpublished choral work, Song of the Sun. Before arriving at IHC, Cantor Marer had the pleasure of serving Temple Emanu-El of Edison, NJ for five years. Her time as a student also offered her the opportunity to work with Congregation Rodeph Sholom of Manhattan, Temple Israel of Staten Island, Riverdale Temple of the Bronx and Temple Emanuel of Roanoke, Virginia.
Cantor Marer and her husband Jim love the Midwest and are embracing the fresh air and change of pace. Together with their son Benjamin and daughter Sofia, Cantor Marer and Jim enjoy traveling, cooking, and spending time as a family
Rabbi Jordana Chernow-Reader received her rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles in 2010. In 2011, she also received a Master of Arts in Jewish Education from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, Los Angeles.
Rabbi Chernow-Reader received a Bachelor of Arts with honors in Political Science and Environmental Studies from Pitzer College in Claremont, CA. She also received a Master of Science in Political Science from the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom. This degree was supported by a Rotary Foundation Fellowship.
Rabbi Chernow-Reader worked as Rabbi Educator at Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple in Beachwood, OH (2015-2020) and Temple Beth Torah in Ventura, CA (2011-2015). As a rabbinic student, she served as an intern at a number of different institutions in Southern California and Arizona, worked as a community organizer in El Paso, Texas, spent a time as a hospital chaplain at UCLA, and was Director of Education at URJ Camp Newman in Santa Rosa, CA.
At Fairmount Temple, Rabbi Chernow-Reader led a strategic planning process that aimed to reform and revise all aspects of K-12 and adult educational programming. She introduced new styles of project-based leaning, developed teen curricula that focused on teen mental health, and brought technology into temple classrooms. In addition, Rabbi Chernow-Reader created new adult education programs in partnership with local Jewish and non-Jewish organizations. For this work, she received the prestigious Association of Reform Jewish Educators accreditation for her Religious School leadership
As a rabbi, Rabbi Chernow-Reader led services regularly and conducted various pastoral and lifecycle responsibilities such as bar/bat mitzvahs, funerals, weddings, hospital visits and so on. She is an active member of numerous Jewish and community groups focusing on subjects such as social justice and immigration, and has represented Fairmount Temple on numerous panels discussing subjects such as bio-ethics, spirituality, criminal justice reform, and the role of women in religion.
Rabbi Chernow-Reader has continued learning through professional development opportunities since her ordination. She was a fellow in the Mandel Teacher Educator Institute Leadership program cohort 8 and was a Rabbi Balfour Brickner Clergy Fellowship in social justice leadership. Rabbi Chernow-Reader participated in the safe space training through the LBGT Center of Cleveland and Ambassador Training for the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center.
Rabbi Jordana Chernow-Reader maintains a public profile as a rabbi. Her writings on women’s issues have been featured in RJ.org and she wrote a series of weekly columns discussing Torah portions for the Cleveland Jewish News. In addition to this, she has been featured in the Cleveland Plain Dealer and local television news for her work on immigrant rights and criminal justice reform.
Rabbi Jordana Chernow-Reader is married. Her husband, Dr. Luke Reader is a Teaching Fellow in the History department at Case Western Reserve University. They have two children: Julian and Eleanor.
Rabbi Roxanne Shapiro, R.J.E. has a great passion for teaching and learning. This interest led her to focus her rabbinate, within the congregational world, on lifelong Jewish learning. Rabbi Roxanne serves as Director of Lifelong Learning and, in that role, oversees Jewish education for all stages at IHC. While working with a primary focus on our formal religious education programs – Jewish Learning Program, Derech Torah, and Adult Education, you will also find her assisting, pastorally, throughout the many facets of our congregation.
Rabbi Roxanne Shapiro was ordained from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in 1999. She received a B.A. from Union College in Schenectady, NY, a M.A. in Teaching from Union College, and a M.A. in Hebrew Letters from HUC-JIR. Following ordination, she served as National Director of Admissions and Recruitment for HUC-JIR. After meeting her future husband, a chaperone on a Confirmation retreat to HUC-JIR, she joined him in Milwaukee, WI and began focusing her rabbinate on lifelong learning. She received her designation as a Reform Jewish Educator (R.J.E.) in 2003. She served as Rabbi and Director of Lifelong Learning at large congregations in Milwaukee, WI and St. Louis, MO.
During her time in St. Louis, Rabbi Roxanne was privileged to be one of the founders of a program designed to bring together youth from her congregation, the Islamic Foundation, and Peace United Church of Christ. “Sprouts of Peace” became an incredible force helping to teach peace and understanding to children and their parents. In 2018, Rabbi Roxanne joined the staff of Interfaith Partnership of Greater St. Louis in order to expand and grow this program and other opportunities bringing together people of different faith and non-faith traditions.
Yet, the call to return to congregational life was strong and Rabbi Roxanne found her way to Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation. Of course, the drive was well known, as Rabbi Roxanne has spent the past eight summers at GUCI serving as part of the Faculty, summers and weekends in the late 90s/early 2000s as an advisor for a youth group in NFTY-OV, and even in the late 80s/early 90s when she was MoVFTY (Missouri Valley) President and NFTY North American President (1989-90).
Rabbi Roxanne and her husband Ben are the proud parents of two daughters – Sienna and Maliya – who are thrilled that their favorite home (GUCI) is only minutes away from their actual home.
Cantor Janice L. Roger came to IHC in 1979, after completing her cantorial studies at the School of Sacred Music of Hebrew Union College.
A native of Chicago, Cantor Roger grew up at Temple Beth Israel where she began singing in the choir at age 8. Janice studied at Chicago Musical College, where she received a Bachelor of Music degree in Music History. She also did course work in Hebrew and Jewish Studies at the Spertus College of Judaica prior to attending HUC.
Working with IHC’s Congregational Choir, 65th Street Klezmorim, Chai Notes Family Choir, and other musical groups keep Cantor Roger busy. She also teaches bar/bat mitzvah students, and is the music teacher for the Early Childhood Center. Also, she teaches in the Religious School and the Adult Jewish Academy. Non-musical items in Cantor Roger’s portfolio include the Chevrat Chesed (Caring Community), Heritage Committee, and Cultural Arts Committee, with its biennial Festival of Jewish Cultural Arts.
Locally, Cantor Roger has sung with the Indianapolis Arts Chorale, Ronen Chamber Ensemble, Indianapolis Children’s Choir, and Indianapolis Symphonic Choir. She has coordinated interfaith choral programs, the Jewish Choral Festival, and the Young People’s Jewish Music Competition. Cantor Roger has also performed with the Raanan Orchestra in Israel and, most recently, at the D-Day Museum in New Orleans. Her vocal music interests range from liturgical music, to opera, to Yiddish, to musical theater. In 1999, Cantor Roger received a Creative Renewal Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis.
Cantor Roger is married to Indianapolis native Brandon Roger. They have two sons, Eddie and Miles.
Executive Director – Peter Smithhisler
Accounting Manager – Adrienne Aronson-White
Receptionist/Administrative Assistant- Kendra Steele
Communications Specialist- Emily Kaufmann
Clergy Assistant- Brigid Maguire
Maintenance – Gary Davis, Joyce Patterson
Security – Willard Mosley
Director of Lifelong Learning – Rabbi Roxanne Shapiro
Early Childhood Center Director – Jodi Kaseff
Learning Experience Coordinator – Stefanie Shapiro
Administrative Assistant to the Office of Lifelong Learning – Beth Meade-Hession
Librarian – Evelyn Pockrass
Board of Directors
President – Mitch Katz
Vice President – Sarah Freeman
Vice President – Jon Barefoot
Treasurer – Ben Abraham
Secretary – Lorraine Ball
Immediate Past President – Eloise Paul
Sisterhood President – Ruth Anderson
Jeffrey A. Abrams
Cara Berg Raunick
Pauline “Polly” Spiegel