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 Rabbi Howard Tilman

Rabbi Howard Tilman joined Congregation Beth Israel in July 2017 and has enthusiastically embraced this growing community. Through partnerships with professional staff and lay leadership, he has worked to enliven the synagogue’s religious services, educational opportunities, and family programming. Rabbi Tilman loves spending time with the congregation’s many learners of all ages and enjoys bringing modern and classical perspectives, as well as humor, to all of his teachings. Elsewhere in the community, Rabbi Tilman serves as President of the Scotch Plains – Fanwood Ministerium and is an active member of the Union County Board of Rabbis. He is an alum of the Rabbis Without Borders Fellowship and was in the initial class of AIPAC’s Leffel Israel Fellowship.

Rabbi Tilman was ordained by the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in May 2014, where he received the Eliezer Slomovic Award in Talmud. For his Capstone Project in rabbinical school, he analyzed the similarities between the Talmud and modern social media as well as their educational potentials. He previously served as a member of the clergy team of the Jacksonville Jewish Center, where he worked in a variety of roles, including supervising Shabbat and Holiday programming, teen educational programming, and Israel advocacy. While in Jacksonville, Rabbi Tilman became a leader among the clergy of the Jacksonville Coalition for Equality and its push for an expanded Human Rights Ordinance in the city.

Prior to the rabbinate, Rabbi Tilman graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and spent three years working as a producer for Sporting News Radio alongside the likes of Troy Aikman, Tony Bruno and Tim Brando. A passionate sports fan his whole life, he appeared on and won an episode of Sports Jeopardy! in August 2016. Rabbi Tilman has extensive experience working with youth of all ages in multiple synagogues and schools and at Camp Ramah in the Poconos. He has also worked with college students and serves as a member of Alpha Epsilon Pi‘s Council of Rabbis.

He is married to Naomi, who serves as an Area Director for BBYO. Together, they are proud parents of Micah and Sophie, who keep everyone busy with their youthful energy.

Contact Rabbi Tilman at

Cantor Jacob Greenberg

Cantor Jacob Greenberg began serving Congregation Beth Israel in July 2023. Before arriving in Scotch Plains, Cantor Greenberg was the Cantor-Youth Director at Congregation B’nai Israel in Toms River, NJ for three years, and he spent the prior year as its cantorial intern. He also sat on the Board of Directors for the Jewish Federation of Ocean County. He became known for his major concerts and performances throughout the community; his diversified work with youth of all ages; and engaging congregants through a wide variety of educational, ritual, and social programming. He has also composed many original liturgical melodies that quickly became a part of his previous congregation’s repertoire.

Cantor Greenberg currently serves on the Executive Council of the Cantors Assembly and as Education Chair of its New Jersey region. He received his Cantorial Ordination and Master of Sacred Music at the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2020, where he also had the opportunity to work as the Cantorial School admissions intern, a Nishma summer yeshiva fellow, and president of the Cantorial Student Association.

Concurrent with his studies at JTS, he worked with Congregation B’nai Tikvah in North Brunswick (summer student rabbi), Rutgers Hillel (clergy intern – the first cantorial student to do so), Congregation Etz Hayim in Arlington, VA (hazzan-in-residence), as the cantorial intern for Congregation Beth El in Bethesda, MD, and as a chaplaincy intern with Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Prior to attending JTS, Cantor Greenberg completed his undergraduate studies at the Hartt School of Music where he earned a Bachelor of Music in classical voice, studied Hazzanut (cantorial music) with Hazzan Sanford Cohn (z”l), and completed extensive course work through the Judaic Studies Department. He was a Hillel board member, a resident assistant, and was involved in several other organizations on campus.

Cantor Greenberg is a faithful Baltimore sports fan and a die-hard Duke basketball supporter. He loves to swim, cycle, and hike, and he’s always ready for a game of hoops. He is also an avid reader and his favorite TV show is The Office.

Contact Cantor Greenberg at

Aviva Tilles, Executive Director

Aviva Tilles was raised in the greater Washington DC area. After graduating high school from the Charles E Smith Jewish Day School during which time she was an active USYer including being a chapter president, Encampment co-chair & going on USY on Wheels and USY Israel Pilgrimage, she spent a gap year in Israel on NATIV - USCJ's college leadership program before heading to Worcester, MA to attend school at Clark University where she earned her Bachelors in Sociology and her Masters in Public Administration.

Following school she began working full time for USY for the next 13 years in NYC as the Director of USY Summer Programs, in Seattle as the Regional Youth Director for the Pinwheel Region and in Chicago as the USY Systems Manager/USY International Convention Director before taking a year off to work in the experiential hospitality world during which time she realized she missed the Jewish youth world and the east coast so she was thrilled to return back to both to become CBI's Director of Congregational Learning.

During her 4 years as the Director of Congregational Learning at CBI she oversaw the growth, both in numbers and experiences, of the CBI Religious School, ran all youth/family programming and gave overall support to day to day aspects at CBI and will continue to give that support and oversight as the Executive Director.

Aviva is a proud aunt to 3 amazing nephews and likes to spend her time rooting on the NY Yankees, attending Broadway shows (and listening to the music in her office), cooking and watching Friends and The West Wing.

Contact Aviva at

Melissa Liebermann, President

Melissa and her husband, Erez, have lived in Westfield since 2004, where they have raised their two sons, Michael and Sammy.  Melissa is an attorney by profession, having spent most of her 25-year legal career as a government lawyer. 

Prior to becoming CBI President, Melissa served for four years as a Vice President on the Executive Board, where she served as liaison to the Religious School and Education Committee.  Prior to her service on the Executive Board, Melissa served as co-chair of CBI's Membership Committee. 

When not working or volunteering, Melissa enjoys reading, cooking, walking her rescue pup, Bennett, and spending time with her family.   

Contact Melissa at​​​​​​​

Wed, July 17 2024 11 Tammuz 5784