Meet Our Team
Rabbi Mike Friedman
Rabbi Michael Friedman, or "Rabbi Mike," is a seventh generation rabbi. He lived and studied in Israel for five years, where he received Rabbinical Ordination. Originally from Washington, D.C., he came to Texas in 2010 to help lead and strengthen the Jewish community. While serving a congregation as Assistant Rabbi, he promoted inclusion for all Jewish teens, with and without special needs, as the Chapter Coordinator of Yachad. He has taught Judaic Studies at religious schools, day schools, and Adult Education programs. His credentials include two Bachelors degrees (Arts and Talmudic Law), a Masters of Education, and he is a Licensed Professional Counselor trained in individual and couples therapy. While at the University of Maryland he co-founded a human rights organization that successfully lobbied legislators on Capitol Hill to pass a House resolution opposing the exploitation of child soldiers internationally. He also participated in the Nyumburu Student Intercultural Center's interfaith, interracial, and intergroup student dialogues.
Rabbi Mike enjoys musical meditation, playing guitar, and can be found weekly either in the paint or behind the three point line on the basketball court. He is married to teacher and artist Nicole Friedman.
Nikki infuses her creativity in everything she touches. Born in Chicago, she graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a B.S in Mathematics. Nikki then continued on to Johns Hopkins University where she received her M.A.T in Secondary Education. She has been teaching high school mathematics since 2007 and currently teaches at Yavneh Academy of Dallas. She also founded her own business, Niknaks, where she crafts beautiful, wire-wrapped, beaded serving utensils.
Nikki is passionate about personal growth and Jewish thought, loves oil painting, yoga, meditation, reading tons of blogs on nutrition and healthy eating, and tries to learn something new from everyone she meets. Nikki is married to Rabbi Mike Friedman and lives in Far North Dallas with their children.
Brooks Alkek grew up in Dallas attending Greenhill and Richardson High School and is a graduate of The University of Texas. A Bar-Mitzvah and Confirmand at Temple Emanu-El, Brooks has always had a keen interest in spirituality. After traveling to Israel on the Dallas Teen Tour in 1984, he decided to continue studying in Congregation Shearith Israel's Post-Confirmation Program and made Jewish education a lifetime avocation.
Returning to Dallas after working in political consulting in Washington D.C., Brooks continued his career, all the time pursuing his desire to learn and share various spiritual traditions. While teaching in the religious schools and adult Hebrew programs at Temple and Shearith and doing work for The Jewish Federation's Education Department, Brooks continued his own religious education, completing The Florence E. Melton Program, attending educator conferences around the country and in Israel, auditing Cleveland College masters courses, and learning at the feet of many rabbis. At the same time Brooks read and investigated other spiritual paths, taking part in The Thanksgiving Square's multicultural program and working with Ranjana Pallana, the pioneer of yoga in Dallas. Brooks has travelled and studied in India, Nepal, and throughout Asia, spending extensive time in Thailand learning meditation and yoga and has attended long silent meditation retreats here and abroad. Traveling the southwest, he immersed himself in a Native American spiritual tradition, and here at home he earned his yoga teaching certification from the Dallas Yoga Center.
Brooks has always been most interested in the commonality of all cultures, especially where there is crossover with Judaism. He continues to enjoy sharing his experience with others.
Certified Yoga and Meditation
Beth is the Program Director and Clinician of Breast Cancer Support at Jewish Family Service (JFS) since 2007. She is a breast cancer survivor herself. At JFS, she facilitates support groups for women survivors of cancer and provides individual counseling for women and couples.
A few years ago, Beth became a registered yoga instructor. Through JFS, she now facilitates a meditative yoga therapy for women at the JCC, as well as chair yoga with a laugh therapy component.
Beth obtained her BA at Texas A & M University in College Station with her junior year abroad in Israel. She obtained her MS at University of North Texas in Denton.
Beth, together with her husband, began her journey to return to her Jewish roots after they became married. They were married ten years before having children. She and her husband consider parenthood a personal miracle in their lives. They are blessed to have twin daughters and a son.
In her spare time, Beth likes to cook and entertain guests on Friday nights, shop with her girls, and hang out at home just being a mom.
MS, LPC, RYT
Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, one of the foremost leaders in Jewish life in North America and worldwide, is Executive Vice President, Emeritus of the Orthodox Union, following more than seven years as Executive Vice President. In that role, he combined the skills of pulpit rabbi, scholar, and clinical psychologist to provide extraordinary leadership to the organization and to Orthodox Judaism worldwide.
Rabbi Weinreb received his rabbinic ordination in 1962 from the Rabbi Jacob Joseph Yeshiva in New York and served as spiritual leader of Congregation Shomrei Emunah in Baltimore for 13 years, building the congregation from 160 to more than 400 families before coming to the OU. In addition, he has a PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Maryland and served as a psychotherapist for mental health organizations for many years while also maintaining a private practice. His positions included roles as school psychologist for Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland and as Chief Psychologist of the Potomac Foundation for Mental Health.
Rabbi Weinreb continues to travel extensively, and to write essays and commentaries for a wide variety of resources.