Congregation Rodeph Sholom is a community of diverse Jews who adhere to the principles of the Conservative Movement. Our community draws members from many towns throughout Fairfield County, including Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Trumbull, Stratford, Westport. We have a vibrant membership and a sincere and approachable clergy and staff who create a warm atmosphere for spiritual nurturing and connection.
At Congregation Rodeph Sholom we work hard to balance tradition and practice in the context of our modern world. Our members are at the core of our synagogue. Some have had an affiliation for several generations. Others are first generation. Rodeph Sholom is a community of people with the desire to enhance Jewish knowledge, spirit and culture for ourselves and for the generations to come. We look forward to welcoming you to our community.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-334-0159.
Meet the Rodeph Sholom Clergy
Rabbi Richard L. Eisenberg
Rabbi Richard L. Eisenberg was born in Bridgeport, CT in 1952 and attended Talmud Torah and became a Bar Mitzvah at Rodeph Sholom. He feels immense gratification serving as rabbi for the congregation of his youth. He received a BA from Duke University and an MA from Smith College and the Jewish Theological Seminary.
In 1982 Rabbi Eisenberg received ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary and went on to serve as a congregational rabbi spanning thirty-five years at synagogues in Columbus GA, Wayne NJ, Woodbridge CT and Torrington CT. He also worked for ten years until 2017 as a rehabilitation counselor at The APT Foundation in New Haven CT where he provided group and individual therapy for people diagnosed with substance use disorders. He received his Certificate in Drug and Alcohol Counseling from Gateway Community College in 2007 and is a certified addictions counselor.
Rabbi Eisenberg has been active in the Rabbinical Assembly, having served on the Executive Council as well as chairing the Resolutions, Social Action and Ethics Committee. He also served on the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards and wrote the version of the Triennial Cycle for Torah reading that has become the accepted model in Conservative congregations. Rabbi Eisenberg was involved in ecumenical clergy associations in each of his communities and has devoted himself to interfaith work.
His current focus is applying Jewish principles and values of spirituality to addictions treatment as well as conveying the message and power of recovery to Jewish communal life. Rabbi Eisenberg has written for the Forward and Tablet on the topics of intermarriage, Judaism and addiction and the opioid crisis. He is the author of Judaism, Addiction and Recovery: A Spiritual and Faith-Based Approach (Mazo Publishers, 2019).
Rabbi Eisenberg currently resides in Hamden, CT with his wife Judy. They have two children and two grandchildren.
Cantor Niema Hirsch
Niema Hirsch is a cantor at Rodeph Sholom. A former corporate IT manager, she is also an educator of adults, teens, and young children; and a Yoga instructor. Cantor Hirsch is a rabbinic student at the Academy for Jewish Religion deepening her knowledge and understanding of Jewish Bible, philosophy, history, holidays, and rituals.
Cantor Hirsch earned her BA degree at The George Washington University and her MBA at Sacred Heart University. She received cantorial training from Cantor Deborah Katchko-Gray and voice lessons from Martha King.
On and off the Bimah, Cantor Hirsch is skilled with Hebrew, music, spirituality, educational technology, and teaching. She is an energetic woman with many interests, including leading tours to Israel, teaching Hebrew, translating legal documents, developing office systems, gardening, and leading Kripalu Yoga and meditation sessions.
Cantor Hirsch resides in Fairfield with her husband, Joram; they have two married sons and a grandson, Jonah.
Rabbi Shaul Marshall Praver
Shaul Marshall Praver, a resident of Fairfield since 1999, has five children and lives with his wife Beth and twin son and daughter Shane and Charlotte, who are sophomores at Fairfield Ludlowe High School. Noah is a Junior at UCONN, Moshe is a medical Doctor, and Sarah is a primary school teacher.
Shaul earned his Rabbincal ordination from the Jerusalem Rabbinate in 1989, Master of Divinity with Ohr-Lagolah at Tenenbaum College in 1990, trained to be a traditional Hazzan at the Israeli Academy of Cantorial Art in Tel Aviv, and was a private student of Hazzan Naftali Herstik. Shaul is a member of the Rabbinical and Cantors Assemblies in New York City.
Shaul works during the week for the Connecticut Department of Correction as a Chaplain. He became a Board Certified Chaplain from the Association of Professional Chaplains in October and earned his Doctorate in Ministry at Hartford Seminary in 2019.
Shaul worked at Beth El in 1999 as Cantor and School Principal, and worked for Adath Israel of Newtown from 2002-2013 as a Rabbi Kol Bo.
Last year Shaul was invited to serve as a Senior Fellow at the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute in Washington, D.C; and has been serving on the Samaritan Peace Medal Foundation in Washington since 2018. Newsweek recognized Shaul as one of the 50 most influential rabbis in 2013 in connection with his work as a first responder in Newtown. In 2013, Shaul was awarded the prestigious Samaritan Medal for Peace and Humanitarian Achievement and the Yuval Award from the Cantors Assembly. Shaul ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Congress in Connecticut’s 5th district in 2016.
Shaul is honored to serve as an Associate Rabbi at Rodeph Sholom and will utilize his skills and talents to help Rodeph Sholom thrive.