Meet the Clergy

Read, watch, or listen to past High Holy Day sermons, weekly sermons, and weekly messages from our Clergy at Temple Sinai on our Rabbis’ Page.

Clergy

Rabbi Richard Rheins | Senior Rabbi

Born in Cincinnati, OH, Rabbi Rick Rheins spent most of his youth in Indianapolis, IN. He earned a BA from Indiana University in 1980, a Masters degree from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1988, and was ordained a Rabbi from HUC-JIR in 1989.  From 1989 to 1995, Rabbi Rheins served as Associate Rabbi at Temple Beth El in Chappaqua, NY, with Rabbi Chaim Stern z”l, the acclaimed liturgist.  In 1992, Rick was selected by the Central Conference of American Rabbis to serve on the Responsa Committee (at the time, the youngest ever to be so selected). He has authored a number of halakhic responsa as well as other scholarly articles.

In 1995, Rabbi Rheins was named by Temple David of Monroeville, PA, a suburb of Pittsburgh, to succeed its founding Rabbi of 35 years. In the ten years that Rick led Temple David, it grew substantially both in its membership and in the number of programs and services. During his tenure, he received many community honors, served on the boards of several organizations, and was especially active in communal interfaith efforts.

In July 2005, Temple Sinai selected Rabbi Rheins to succeed its founder, Rabbi Raymond Zwerin.   Rick’s scholarship, passion, commitment, and devotion to God and the Jewish people are evident in the number and diversity of new services, classes, and programs at Temple Sinai. Rick is an enthusiastic and acclaimed teacher and he strives to create opportunities of engagement for every member.  In addition to serving Temple Sinai as its Senior Rabbi, Rick is a Past-President of the Rocky Mountain Rabbinical Council and is the Vice-President of the Solomon Freehof Institute of Progressive Halakhah.  He also serves on the National Council of AIPAC as well as other local boards, including the ADL.

Rabbi Rheins is married to Rabbi Susan Miller Rheins.  They are blessed with three children, Joshua, Samuel and Jakob.

To contact Rabbi Rick Rheins, please call (303) 759-1827 or email at rabrheins@sinaidenver.org

Rabbi Michael Shields | Associate Rabbi

As a driven community builder and teacher, Rabbi Shields leads with a pastoral heart. Rabbi Shields has a keen interest in people and welcomes diverse perspectives. He belives values of Reform Judaism light our way works diligently to make sure that the communities he serves are actively engaged in the ongoing conversations in the Reform Movement and the Jewish world. This provides opportunities to introduce fresh perspectives, deepen love for Judaism, the Jewish People and Israel and build a truly relational community.

Rabbi Shields has two beautiful children with his b’shert, his wife, Jacquie.

To contact Rabbi Michael Shields, please call (303) 759-1827 or email rabbishields@sinaidenver.org.

Ruthie Lipshulch | Cantorial Soloist

Ruthie Lipshulch graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance. As a young girl, Ruthie entertained her parents relatives and friends with her musical renditions. One of her favorite songs was “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” one of Andrew attending a concert with her parents at 3 years old.

Her diverse musical experience includes singing as a mainstage performer onboard Disney Cruise Lines. Aboard the Disney Dream, she sang the roles of Pocahontas, Nala from the Lion King, and Jasmine from Aladdin. Ruthie has also lent her voice as a member of Seattle’s Opera on Tap Company, performed the National Anthem for the Seattle Sounders, and sang at various assisted living homes and restaurants. 

Growing up at her home synagogue of Temple De Hirsch Sinai in Seattle Washington, she developed a deep musical connection to the Hebrew prayers. She felt most at home vocally with this music as it allowed her voice to express the emotions from her heart. Ruthie served as the Cantorial Soloist for several years at Temple De Hirsch Sinai in Seattle, and sang during the high holiday services at Congregation Bet Chaverim in Des Moines, Washington. 

Ruthie is excited to join Temple Sinai and is grateful that she can combine her love of music and spirituality to serve as the new Cantorial Soloist.  

To contact Ruthie, please call (303) 759-1827 or email ruthie@sinaidenver.org.

Rabbi Raymond Zwerin | Rabbi Emeritus

Rabbi Raymond Zwerin was ordained as a Rabbi from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, OH in 1964. In 1989 he received a Doctor of Divinity degree from HUC-JIR. He is the founding Rabbi of Temple Sinai, and has been serving in the Denver community since 1964.

Rabbi Zwerin was co-founder and president of A.R.E. Publishing, Inc., a major producer of creative Jewish educational materials for children and adults. He is a past Executive Board member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and past president of the Midwest Association of Reform Rabbis, and the Rocky Mountain Rabbinic Council.  Rabbi Zwerin is a founder of Theodor Herzl Jewish Day School of Denver and a founder of Babi Yar Park Memorial to the Holocaust and was active in the cause of Soviet Jewry.

He is the author of over a dozen books for children and teachers and the editor of some 700 titles. One of his latest books contains 98 of his High Holy Day sermons and is entitled, “Forty Years of Wondering”. His most recent publication is also his first novel, “Holy Fire”, a biblical mystery intertwined with a Holocaust story of redemption.

Together with his wife Rikki, Rabbi Zwerin has two married children, Ron (Julie) and Dina (Darren) and four grandchildren, Noah Asher Boivin, Elizabeth Rose Zwerin, Ethan Reuben Boivin and Bradley Ryan Zwerin. He is an avid Colorado Rockies fan and can be seen at the ball games with several people surrounding him listening to his commentary on the game.

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