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 joining the wonderful and 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 built the first synagogue in New Delhi, which still stands to this day. She enjoys teaching about her heritage and was honored to have been featured in the Smithsonian’s 2014 touring exhibit Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shaping the Nation.
A renowned singer with impressive vocal ability, Cantor Aviva Marer has performed twelve shows to date at Carnegie Hall with the prestigious choral group Essential Voices USA. This group was also featured in the 2017 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which Cantor Marer was thrilled to be a part of. Her 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 and Orchestral 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 are excited newcomers to the Midwest and are thoroughly enjoying the fresh air and change of pace. Together with their young son Benjamin, and daughter, Sofia, Cantor Marer and Jim enjoy traveling, cooking, and spending time as a family.
Rabbi Jordana Chernow-Reader is so excited to be joining the clergy team at Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation as Associate Rabbi in July of 2020.
Rabbi Chernow-Reader has been a rabbi for the past ten years. Her first position was as the Director of Lifelong Learning at Temple Beth Torah in Ventura, CA. She left there in 2015 to begin working as Rabbi Educator at Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple in Beachwood, OH.
Her focus as a rabbi is on four main areas. Rabbi Chernow-Reader aims to create inclusive worship services that are welcoming, embracing the joy and peace of Shabbat, and reflecting on the prayers. She uses Jewish texts and traditions as a guide to living in the modern world. Like many rabbis, she has a deep commitment to social justice, particularly around women’s issues, criminal justice reform, and mental health access. Building meaningful relationships with congregants is central to my rabbinate. Rabbi Chernow-Reader is eager to get to know you and begin developing our connection. She look forward to continuing to build upon all of these areas and more at Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation.
Rabbi Chernow-Reader is a Southern California native – born and raised in Los Angeles – but very much enjoys living in the Midwest. She and her family have lived for the past five years in Shaker Heights, OH. They visited the Indianapolis area last summer, when she spent a week as a member of faculty at Camp GUCI.
Rabbi Chernow-Reader’s husband, Luke, is a Teaching Fellow in the department of History at Case Western Reserve University, and their two children Julian (10), and Eleanor (7), are excited about their move to the Indianapolis area and to get to know everyone in this fabulous community.
Director of Lifelong Learning
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 now only minutes away from their actual home.
Janice L. Roger
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 – Dan Silien
Director of Lifelong Learning – Rabbi Roxanne Shapiro
ECC Director –
ECC Assistant Director – Angela Eubanks
Accounting Manager – Kathy Madvig
Librarian – Evelyn Pockrass
Youth Coordinator – Matthew Hastings
Administrative Assistant to Clergy – Amber Harter
Administrative Assistant to the Director of Lifelong Learning – Barbara Chapman
Administrative Assistant – Kendra Steele
Board of Directors
President – Eloise Paul
Vice President – Mitch Katz
Vice President – Amy Isaacs
Treasurer – David Wiener
Secretary – Betsy Backe
Immediate Past President – Marc Katz
Sisterhood President – Karen Rossen
Brotherhood President – Neal Ginsberg
Jeffrey A. Abrams
Cara Berg Raunick