Our Staff at Adat Shalom Synagogue

Photo of Alan Yost
Alan Yost
Executive Director

ALAN YOST has headed the Synagogue’s Administrative Department since 1981. As Executive Director, he brings both sensitivity and firm direction to his role. With a Master’s Degree in Social Work, Alan’s door is always open to answer questions and lend support and guidance to prospective families, to lay leaders, and to congregants of all ages. In addition, he has assumed many leadership positions within the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, the Jewish Community Center, and other local Jewish and community agencies and boards.

Email: ayost@adatshalom.org

Photo of Dr. Melissa Ser
Dr. Melissa Ser
Director of Education

MELISSA SER joined Adat Shalom’s professional staff in July 2012. She earned a BA from Florida State University and an MA and PhD from the University of Rochester, and she studied Rabbinics at Hebrew Union College. She holds an MA in Jewish Educational Leadership from the Jewish Theological Seminary, and is a participant in the 8th cohort of the Mandel Teacher Educator Institute. She was recognized in 2018 as a Conservative Jewish Educator (CJE) by the Jewish Educators Assembly. An educator for over 20 years, Melissa spent almost a decade in Jerusalem, as the Academic Coordinator for the Ramah Jerusalem High School and the Director of the Ramah Jerusalem Day Camp. She also served as the Youth Director and Interim Education Director at Temple B’rith Kodesh in Rochester, New York. Melissa and her husband, Sam, live in West Bloomfield and have two sons, Ariel and Yonatan, a daughter Maya, and a calico cat, Sweetie. Melissa prides herself on keeping an open line of communication and fostering a sense of warmth and growth in all formal educational programming for our synagogue’s youth.

Email: mser@adatshalom.org

Photo of Susan Steinberg
Susan Steinberg
Communications Director

SUSAN STEINBERG enthusiastically joined the Adat Shalom “family” in November of 2016. In conjunction with the clergy, professional staff, lay leaders and many volunteers, her intention as Communications Director is to actively inform and engage the membership and the surrounding community in the many extraordinary synagogue programs. Susie has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Michigan, and extensive experience in public relations, communications and project management. Susie works closely with Lisa Betman, our Associate Director of Communications.

Email: ssteinberg@adatshalom.org

Photo of Michael Wolf
Michael Wolf
Director of Spirituality and Outreach

Having experience in both informal and formal Jewish education, Michael is excited to come back full time to “Synagogue life,” recognizing that “Adat Shalom is truly a special place that is committed to our traditions while remaining open to creative possibilities…” Academically and professionally, Michael brings experience and expertise. He has a Masters in Jewish Communal Service with a concentration in Jewish Education from Brandeis University, and a B.A. in Religious Studies with a certificate in Jewish Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. He has held the positions of Director of Education and Youth at Congregation Shaarey Zedek, Director of Camp Ramah in Canada and, most recently, Director of Programming at Hillel Day School. Michael and his wife Betsy, a teacher at Hillel Day School, are the proud parents of four wonderful children: Shira, Ilana, Jonah and Adena.

Email: mwolf@adatshalom.org

Photo of Jodi Gross
Jodi Gross
Director of Adult Learning & Youth Engagement

JODI GROSS joined our staff in August, 2006, as Associate Director of Education & Youth. Jodi came to us from Abington, Pennsylvania, where she was the Youth & Temple Programming Director at Old York Road Temple – Beth Am. A graduate of the James Madison Program at Michigan State University, Jodi went on to earn a double masters degree in Jewish Education and in Jewish Communal Service from Graetz College. Jodi is a dynamic professional, who has had experience creating and implementing educational programs and has worked very successfully with youth, professionals, and lay leaders. From 1997 to 1999, she worked as a Staff Associate at the Jewish Federation of Metro Detroit before moving to Pennsylvania.

Email: jgross@adatshalom.org

Photo of Debi Banooni
Debi Banooni
Jewish Family Educator

DEBI BANOONI brings a highly professional background, a wealth of talent, experience, ideas and enthusiasm to her position. A graduate of MSU, Debi has a degree in Family Community Service with a thematic in Jewish Studies. Before coming to Adat Shalom, she was the Jewish Family Educator at Temple Shir Shalom and did family education programming for Congregation Beth Shalom and at Adat Shalom. Previously she worked with children in foster care at the Judson Center, served as the Regional Director for Young Judea, and worked with college students and recent graduates at JVS. She has three children, Jolie, Jacob and Natalie.

Email: dbanooni@adatshalom.org