Robert B. Barr, Founding Rabbi

Robert B. Barr is the Founding Rabbi of Congregation Beth Adam and OurJewishCommunity (our online initiative). Known for his irreverent and often witty presentation style, Barr is a popular speaker on a wide range of topics including contemporary Jewish thought, religious fundamentalism, and ethics. Recognized by his peers as a leader in the evolution of modern, liberal Judaism, his writings have been published in journals, books, and websites around the world.

Barr currently serves on the Faith Advisory Council for Americans United for Separation of Church and State.   As well as on the Policy Advisory Committee for Jewish Council for Public Affairs.

Barr is active in the leadership of many Jewish organizations and has twice served as president of the Greater Cincinnati Board of Rabbis. He was ordained and awarded a Doctor of Divinity from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.  Barr is the longest tenured pulpit rabbi in Greater Cincinnati.

Rabbi Barr's midrashim (Jewish Legends) can be purchased at the Apple iTunes Bookstore.  Five of his most popular legends can be found there - The Stuff of Legends; Adam, Lilith and Eve - Their Stories; The Pudgy Moses; Lot's Daughters Betrayed; and The Bush Had Not Been Consumed.

In 2017, Rabbi Barr made history as only the third rabbi in our nation to ever run for the United States Congress.  Because of this, his campaign received national and international attention.

David Burstein, Rabbi/Educator

Rabbi David Burstein has worked for the past 25 years as an experiential educator and was ordained as a rabbi from HUC-JIR Cincinnati in 2001. He has served congregations in Richmond, Indiana and Dayton, Ohio and served on the staff of Earlham College. He was the director of Kulanu -The Cincinnati Reform Jewish High School from 2003-2018 and is a national expert in teen education. He is known for his work in the field of spirituality and meditation and is an educational consultant for innovative and creative programs.

He has taught mindfulness meditation for over 20 years and led over 50 retreats for all ages.  Rabbi David is a recent graduate of the M2 Experiential Educator Cohort and was a co-creator of the Cincinnati Teen Collective Grant. He has been trained at Harvard College in their program on mediation and negotiation. He has also traveled with peace negotiation missions to Israel, Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Northern Ireland.

Rabbi David has played the hand-drum and studied meditation for more than 25 years, holds two black belts in martial arts and is working on his third in Krav Maga serving as an instructor. He has also coached youth, high school, prep school, and college club lacrosse.

His greatest joy comes from being a dad to Emma, Coby and Nadia, and husband to Elizabeth.

Melissa Weiss, Executive Director

Melissa Weiss spent the majority of her career in health care as a management consultant. The focus of her work centered around strategic planning for health plans and providers, operational redesign for hospitals and working with a wide variety of health care professionals to create efficient and cost effective models of care delivery. She was recently elected to her second term on the Sycamore Community Schools Board of Education where she served as President for two years. She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of California at Berkeley. Having lived in Cincinnati for the past 20 years, Melissa appreciates the supportive and innovative Jewish community here.

Jodi Rosen, Administrative Assistant

 

Jodi has been with Congregation Beth Adam since July 2021. She works part time as the Administrative Assistant for the congregation.

In 2008 she moved to Cincinnati from Dallas, TX to be closer to family.  She’s originally from Miami, FL and graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Psychology.  She worked in the doctor recruiting department at Luxottica before retiring early in 2019. Prior to that, Jodi has worked for several large corporations such as Apple Computer, Burger King, Pizza Hut, & Gold’s Gym in administrative roles.

She volunteers as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) with ProKids as an advocate for the best interest of abused and neglected children in the court system. She also volunteers with at risk girls at Lighthouse Youth Services.

She lives in Loveland and keeps busy with her new Havanese puppy named Willow.