School Board

Allyson Cole-Strauss - Ahavas Israel  2014/2016 recently moved to Grand Rapids with her husband Ken, and two children Benjamin and Rachel. Allyson is a scientist at the Van Andel Institute in the department of Translational Science at Michigan State. Prior to their move to Michigan, she and her family were active members of Adath Israel Congregation in Cincinnati. Allyson enjoys cooking, reading, traveling and gardening.


Co-Chair Rhonda Pappas - Temple Emanuel  2014/2016 moved to Grand Rapids in 1996, immediately got involved with Temple Emanuel and began teaching religious school.  Rhonda works at One Stop as an Inside Sales Representative and does taxes at H & R Block during tax season.  In her spare time she enjoys the company of her dog Yoshi and cats, Jake, Simon, Raphael, and Stella.

Rick Rinzler - Temple Emanuel  2014/2016 

As a member of Temple Emanuel since 1984, I'm deeply concerned about retaining the traditions of Judaism in our youth and families.  At the present time, I currently reside on the Operations Board as one of three Vice-Presidents, serve on the Board of Trustees, serve on the Board of Education, and as the head of the Temple Security Committee.  In fact, security within our facility is of paramount importance to me, especially since I still have one child (of four) attending Sunday School.  Professionally, I wear several hats:  orthopedic surgeon for animals (MSU 1972-1983 and 1993-94....GO GREEN!!!), sworn-in reserve deputy for Lake Co., Class III firearms dealer.  In the past, I've taught eight grade for seven years, and assisted with Hebrew classes for the last two years, here at the Temple.   Hobbies include everything to do with winter sports, personal fitness, shooting, and of course (for those who know me) piano.  But above all, I LIVE for my four kids.  Still have questions?  Don't be shy....I'm always open for conversation.


Elisabeth Rosewall - Ahavas Israel  2014/2016

Elisabeth is a native Californian with a BS in Design from the University of California at Davis, and has lived in Grand Rapids since 1985. She has taught both 4-7th grades and Hebrew since 1990 both at Temple and Ahavas as well as in South Haven. She currently focuses on Hebrew and tutors b'nei mitzvah students at Temple Emanuel. Elisabeth has a passion for learning and Jewish education, and loves teaching Hebrew classes for adults. She especially enjoys those who learn differently and tries to find the spark in each. She feels blessed by her two children, Emily and Eric, (and the presence of cats in their lives).

Amy SInger - Temple Emanuel  2015/2017   grew up in Milton, Wisconsin. She received her bachelor’s degree in education from UW-Whitewater. While in school she met her husband-to-be, Eric, and they were married in 1996. Eric’s job soon brought them to Grand Rapids. In 2000, Amy was hired by Godwin Heights Public Schools and has taught enrichment and high school completion classes at the GM Metal Fabricating plant, and high school completion at the Learning Center. She is currently teaching 2nd grade. Amy has her master’s degree in Educational Technology from Western Michigan. Amy and Eric have 3 boys, Brandon, Nicholas and Cameron. 

Erica Wikander - Temple Emanuel  2015/2017 grew up in Farmington Hills and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in 2000. She attended Wayne State Law School, where she met her husband, Matt; the two received their degrees in 2004 and moved to Grand Rapids shortly thereafter. Erica is a partner with Velzen, Johnsen & Wikander, P.C.; the firm specializes in divorce and family law. Erica lives in East Grand Rapids with Matt and their two children, Ellie and Leo. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her children, traveling and attending any and all U of M sporting events.

Co-Chair Amy Winkelman - Ahavas Israel  2015/2017

Amy Winkelman grew up in Marcellus, Michigan.  She graduated from Michigan State University with a B.A. in Advertising.  While at MSU, Amy met her husband Grant.  Grand Rapids became her home after college.  She worked for 10 years in the advertising industry.  Ready for a new challenge, Amy earned her law degree at Thomas M. Cooley law school.  She now works as a compliance officer/staff attorney at Gain Capital.  Amy and her husband have two extraordinary daughters, Taylor and Isadora.  Amy enjoys running, reading and watching college football and basketball. 




School Board continued