Clergy, Leadership and Staff
Rabbi Sam Rotenberg
A proficient musician, passionate teacher, certified shochet, father, and lover of Jewish tradition, Rabbi Sam Rotenberg is the senior Rabbi at B’nai Zion Congregation. Rabbi Rotenberg grew up in South Florida, and spent his summers as a camper and on staff at Camp Ramah Darom in Clayton, Georgia. Rabbi Rotenberg received his B.A. in Philosophy and Jazz piano from the University of Miami, completed a year of yeshiva learning at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, and was ordained by the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in 2018. Rabbi Rotenberg served as assistant Rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, and began serving B’nai Zion in July of 2021. He has three children – Meir (7), Della (5), and Orly (1). His wife, Rabbi Keilah Lebell, most recently served as assistant Rabbi at Ikar in Los Angeles. Rabbi Rotenberg loves meeting people for coffee. Please reach out to find a time to get together!
Fun fact about Rabbi Rotenberg: As an avid audiobook listener, he had a spot in an audible commercial in 2019! The commercial still runs on certain networks.
Amy Sandy, Office Manager
Amy joined B’nai Zion in December of 2018. She brings extensive experience managing offices of religious organizations, including St. Paul’s and St. Timothy’s Episcopal Churches and St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. Amy’s favorite pastime is ballroom dancing, which she enjoys with her husband Jeff. She also loves learning and competing in Freestyle (doggie dancing) with her miniature schnauzer Xena. Amy’s work goal is to run an efficient office where everyone – both congregants and staff alike – feel welcome and cared for. You can reach Amy at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lauren Matts, Office Assistant
My name is Lauren Matts and I have joined the BZ Team as the new Office Assistant! I am so grateful to be apart of this wonderful organization. I am in the office Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm and Friday 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Feel free to stop by anytime! You can also reach me by phone at 894-8900, press 1 to reach me.
A couple fun facts about me:
– I’ve lived in Chattanooga for 9 years.
– My favorite season is Spring.
– I have two adorable cats, Leo and Lyla.
Scott Israel, Board President
Scott has been an invaluable member of the BZ board for fifteen years and Treasurer since 2011. He will now lead our congregation into the future as we find a new home and carve out a new path for B’nai Zion as a whole.
Board Members 5781-5782
Scott Israel, President
Tal Cohen, Vice-President
Jackie Rosenfeld, Secretary
Alan Lebovitz, Treasurer
Term Ends 2022
Imm. Past President, Bill Hillner
Dr. Matt Kodsi
Term Ends 2023
Dr. Reuben Dubrow
Dr. Bill Hillner
Click here for a full list by year of past presidents.
Lester Votava, of blessed memory
Lester was our valued Office and Operations Volunteer since 2003! He could always be found hard at work in the office every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, usually arriving even before the paid staff. Lester coordinated much of the routine building needs, prepared Shabbat service sheets, organized yahrzeit plaque lightings, organized and led the yellow candle shipping, and anything else that he could do to help. We will greatly miss our friend and helper.
Would you like to make a contribution to B’nai Zion? Donate Now!