Clergy & Staff
Rabbi Sandford Kopnick
The spiritual leader of the Valley Temple since 2001. He served congregations in Fort Wayne, IN and Chicago, IL prior to becoming Valley’s rabbi. Rabbi Kopnick served at the chair of the CCAR Youth Committee, chair of Goldman Union Camp’s development committee, a faculty member of GUCI, an instructor of homiletics (sermon writing) at Hebrew Union College, and as an instructor in the JCC’s Melton Adult Education Program. Prior to Ordination from HUC-JIR in Cincinnati, Rabbi Kopnick received a B.A. from the University of Michigan.
Rabbi Austin Zoot
Rabbi Austin Zoot is proud to serve the Valley Temple as Rabbi Educator. He brings a passion and commitment to lifelong Jewish learning, using education as a means to bring people of all ages together. Rabbi Zoot was ordained from Hebrew Union College in 2020 and attended Indiana University for his undergraduate studies, where he received degrees in Jewish Studies and Telecommunications. He brings his passion for modern communications tools and Jewish communal spaces together in an attempt to build lasting connections. He also is passionate about summer camp, having spent 10 summers at URJ camps across the country, and is a strong supporter of NFTY, having served on North American Board as a teen.
The administrator of the Valley Temple for over 30 years. Wendy holds a B.B.A. from the University of Cincinnati and is a member of NATA, the National Association of Temple Administrators. Wendy has a unique way of helping our members feel at home in our congregation as she supports the mission of the Temple and keeps track of the many administrative issues connected with running our synagogue.
As our Administrative Assistant, Michelle answers our calls and also provides support for Rabbi Kopnick and Wendy.