Shir Shalom Staff

  • Michael Joseph, Rabbi

  • Ross Van Boven, Religious School Director

  • Ann Eisenstadt, Office Manager

Officers 2022-2023

  • Marcia Storch, President

  • Jamie Menczer, 1st Vice-President

  • Eric Ascher, 2nd Vice-President

  • Henry Luban, Treasurer

  • Julia Egan, Secretary

​Trustees 2022-2024

  • Nancy Bitton

  • Howard Malatsky

  • Lee Schwartz

  • Sonya Stahl

  • Katherine Paedae

  • Shifra Armon

  • Seth Jacobs

  • Craig Littaurer

  • Lisa Levine

Mission Statement

Temple Shir Shalom is an inclusive Reform Jewish congregation located in Gainesville, Florida, home of the University of Florida. Our members and friends engage meaningfully with one another and the broader community through social events, worship, study and social action.

Rabbi Joseph


Rabbi Michael Lewis Joseph became spiritual leader of Temple Shir Shalom in July 2004 after previous service to congregations in Norfolk, Virginia, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and New Orleans, Louisiana. Rabbi Joseph received his rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1989.


Rabbi Joseph was born and raised in Port Washington, New York, oldest of three brothers. He graduated from Yale University in 1980, and worked for four years as a cook and chef in gourmet restaurants in Boston and San Francisco. He met his wife, Debbie, as a fellow first-year rabbinic student in Jerusalem in 1984, and they married in December 1986.


Michael and Debbie have two children: Edie, born in 1990, and Ben, born in 1992. Rabbi Joseph is an award-winning amateur photographer whose work has been featured in the Gainesville Sun and exhibited at the Alachua County Public Library and several local galleries.