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Clergy & Staff

Robert Gamer, Rabbi


Rabbi Gamer came “home” to join Congregation Beth Shalom as our spiritual leader. He is a native of Oak Park, Michigan and a graduate of Berkley High School and the University of Michigan. He earned a Master’s degree in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary and received his ordination from JTS in 2002. Formerly, he was Associate Rabbi at Congregation Beth Judea in Long Grove, Illinois for eight years. 

Rabbi Gamer is married to Wendy Miller Gamer, who received her Master’s degrees from JTS andColumbia School of Social Work. They have four children: Maya, Oz, Aryeh and Avishai.  
*Contact Rabbi Gamer at 248-547-7970 or

David A. Nelson, Rabbi Emeritus

Rabbi David Nelson served Beth Shalom as its spiritual leader for more than 35 years. Throughout his tenure he has been active in the community at large, taking special interest in chaplaincy programs such as Beaumont HospitalDetroit Police DepartmentMichigan State Police andOakland County’s Sheriff Department.  His warmth and informality are hallmarks of his rabbinate. Rabbi Nelson has served as President of the Conservative Rabbis of Metropolitan Detroit, President of Michigan Branch of Rabbis, a member of the Rabbinical Assembly of America, President of the Michigan Region of the Rabbinical Assembly, and Chairman of the Rabbinical Assembly’s Member Committee.  On the Jewish communal scene, Rabbi Nelson has been the director of the Michigan region’s United Synagogue of America, a board member of Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, Jewish National FundJewish Association for Residential Care, the Fresh Air Society, theHebrew Free Loan Association, the Jewish Community Council, and Jewish Federation Apartments. In the ecumenical sphere, Rabbi Nelson has been active with the Detroit Round Table of the National Conference of Christians, Muslims and Jews. Rabbi Nelson is a native of Bridgeport, Connecticut, a graduate of Brandeis University, and he was ordained by The Jewish Theological Seminary in 1967.

He is married to Alicia. They have three adult children: Harry, Reva, and Deborah.
*Contact Rabbi Nelson at 248-547-7970 or

Samuel L. Greenbaum, Cantor Emeritus

“Cantor Sam” Greenbaum has been with Beth Shalom since 1973 and has served as cantor, teacher, bar/bat mitzvah coach, choir director, and more during his tenure. His warmth, humor and caring nature have endeared him to our synagogue family. A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Cantor Greenbaum is a graduate of the Cantors Institute of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. He is a member of the Cantors Assembly of America and has served as President of the Tri-State Region Cantors Council and the Cantors Council of Detroit. Cantor Greenbaum is a regular speaker and performer for Jewish organizations – and is the mohel of choice for Jewish families in the metro Detroit area.

Cantor Sam Greenbaum remains a vital member of the Beth Shalom clergy team and will continue to fulfill all of his other responsibilities as prescribed by the congregation, participating at life cycle moments, providing pastoral care, preparing students for their bar/bat mitzvah milestones, helping adults learn how to lead various services, chant Torah and Haftarah, and above all else, always being attentive to the spiritual needs of his congregants.

Cantor Greenbaum is married to Mona, a retired teacher, and they have three adult children: Rabbi Alex, Ilana, and Sheri.
*Contact Cantor Greenbaum at 248-547-7970 or

Gail Greenberg, Yachad Religious School Director

Gail Greenberg, RJE, has been working in the field of Jewish Family Education and Religious School Education since 2001. She is skilled in curriculum development, community building, visioning and more.  Gail has a Masters Degree in Religious Education, a certificate in Jewish Leadership from Spertus Institute, and is a Mandel Teacher Educator Institute graduate.  She has been granted the title of Reform Jewish Educator (RJE).

Gail lives in Oak Park with her husband, Howard, and has 2 grown children, one in Michigan and the other in Israel.  She is thrilled to be a part of the Beth Shalom and Yachad communities!
*Contact Gail at


Meet Our Office Staff

Contact our staff with any questions or concerns.

Shira Shapiro - Executive Director

Chris Gross - Accountant

Current office hours are Mon., Wed., Fri. 8:30 am - 1 pm

Office Manager: Position Open Contact - Shira Shapiro
For general information, please email: or


Laynie Langnas - Bookkeeper

Sat, July 20 2024 14 Tammuz 5784