Rabbi Michael Sommer
Rabbi Michael Sommer is currently focusing on his family and creating vibrant and engaging Jewish educational materials digitally and in print for his company www.DigitalJudaism.com.
He served two years as a full-time rabbi at Congregation B'nai Torah in Highland Park, Illinois. He simultaneously served two years as the Jewish Lens instructor at North Shore Congregation Israel using digital photography to teach students how to read images and represent Jewish values photographically. Prior to the that he spent six years as the Director of Youth Programming at Am Shalom in Glencoe, Illinois, leading children's High Holy Day services, planning and leading high school mitzvah trips, leading the annual confirmation retreat, teaching religious and Hebrew school, and planning and coordinating all youth programming. As a student rabbi he served congregations in Texarkana, Texas and Fayetteville, Georgia. In 2001 he served as the NFTY-Ohio Valley Regional Advisor.
He was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio in 2005.
Rabbi Sommer has a wide range of training, including certification as a Divorce Mediator from the Northwestern University School of Continuing Studies, and Clinical Pastoral training at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. Rabbi Sommer trained to be a military chaplain in the United States Army and was honorably discharged in the summer of 2003 at the rank of Lieutenant.
During the summers, Rabbi Sommer thoroughly enjoys working as faculty at Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute in Oconomowoc, WI.
Prior to rabbinical school, Rabbi Sommer earned a BA in English Literature from the University of Florida followed by a Masters Degree in Theatre from the University of Kentucky.
He is married to Rabbi Phyllis Sommer, associate rabbi at Am Shalom in Glencoe, Illinios and they have four amazing children, David (age 11), Sam (age 7), Yael (age 6), and Solomon (2). In his spare time Rabbi Sommer loves spending time playing with his kids, dining with family and friends, teaching, reading, listening to music, playing video games and watching movies.
You can follow both Rabbi Phyllis & Rabbi Michael on their blogs.