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Rabbi Cantor Samuel B. Radwine

Spiritual Leadership


Rabbi Cantor Sam Radwine was born and raised in Taylorville, Illinois and grew up in the Springfield, IL Jewish community, where he was President of his Temple Youth Group. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he majored in Instrumental Music Education, or what we refer to today as a “band geek!” After several years in public school music education, he attended the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, School of Sacred Music, in New York City, where he was ordained as a Cantor in 1981. After a student pulpit in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, he served the United Jewish Center of Danbury, CT, as Cantor and Director of Education. Cantor Radwine came to California in 1986 where he served Congregation Ner Tamid of Rancho Palos Verdes until 2012, and continues as Cantor Emeritus. Additonally, he has served on the faculty of Hebrew Union College/Los Angeles, and continues on the faculty of the Cantorial and Rabbinical Schools of the Academy for Jewish Religion/California. Cantor Radwine continues his teaching at the AJR/CA, in their new hybrid non-residency programs for Rabbinic and Cantorial studies. In 2021, Cantor Radwine was ordained as a Rabbi from The Academy of Jewish Religion|CA.  In 2009, Sam and Wade Sisco were married on the bimah of their Conservative Synagogue. Wade is a native of Rogers and is the Director of Marketing for United Industries-Ultraboard of Bentonville. They are the proud parents of Stewie and Brian, two very active pugs.

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Leadership Team

Jodi Aronson Prohofsky - President

Jodi is a health care professional who moved to Bentonville Arkansas to work with Walmart Stores Inc after after a 25 year career in Health Care.  She is currently in her fourth year as President of Congregation Etz Chaim.  Previously she has served as Vice President, Secretary and  co-president of the CEC Sisterhood for the past few years.  She and her husband Rick have a son, Ian who was a Bar Mitzvah at Congregation Etz Chaim in 2017.  The family enjoys hiking, music, gardening and exploring all the treasures that NWA has to offer.

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Carol Vella - Religious School Director


Helene Carter - Director at Large

Helene Carter, has been a member of CEC for almost twelve years. She is  originally from Sharon, MA but moved to Arkansas (Ft. Smith before NWA) when she married Matthew (an Arkansan). She has been on the board, directed religious school, and has taught during the past 7/8 years. She is the mother of five: Rachel, Emma, Evan, Nathaniel & Luke, ranging from 12-20. She is also a contracting speech pathologist. Fun fact: she played 3 sports in high school, ran in college & loves to workout regularly. 


Jacob Schnur - Director at Large


Tina and Doug Brandt - Director at Large

Tin and Doug share a Directors seat.  They have been members of CEC for the past twelve years.  They have lived in Northwest Arkansas since 1996.  Doug is retired from Walmart and Tina is retired from Veteran Affairs.  They had long and successful careers and now enjoy Tennis, Gardening, Bridge, and giving back to their community through a number of charitable organizations.  They have two children, four Grandchildren and three Fur Grandhchildren.


Dawn Bachman - Past President and Treasurer

Dawn has lived in NWA for almost 20 years and is a wife and mother of two girls. She is a founding member of Congregation Etz Chaim and has been actively engaged with the development and success of the congregation since its inception in August 2004. Dawn has held various leadership roles from Religious School Teacher, Treasurer and President. She is an active member of the community, also serving on the State Board of Junior Achievement of Arkansas. She has over 15 years of experience in finance, accounting, and auditing for retail consumer products companies and is a Certified Public Accountant and a Chartered Global Management Accountant.  

Tue, May 17 2022 16 Iyar 5782