Beth Am Clergy and Staff

Rabbi Lisa Sari Bellows

Senior Rabbi

Rabbi Bellows

Rabbi Lisa Sari Bellows, A CLAL Rabbis Without Borders Fellow, was ordained from Hebrew Union College-JIR in 1998 and has been at Congregation Beth Am since 2001, becoming the Senior Rabbi in 2009. Rabbi Bellows received her B.A. from the University of Illinois and earned a Master’s degree in Political Science. She received her Masters of Arts in Divinity from The University of Chicago Divinity School. In addition to serving Beth Am, Rabbi Bellows is an adjunct professor at the University of Chicago Divinity School, where she co-teaches on Leadership, Community, and Change. Rabbi Bellows was on the Institute for Jewish Spirituality (IJS) faculty as a yoga teacher and is a graduate of the IJS Rabbinic Leadership Program. She is an RYT 200 certified yoga teacher, a Relax and Renew® Trainer in restorative yoga, and a IJS Jewish Meditation Teacher Training graduate. She has served on the Executive Committee of the Chicago Board of Rabbis and the Lakeview Shelter and is a core-team member of RAC-IL. She is proud to be a Northwest Suburban Interfaith Clergy Council member. She speaks on Interfaith relations and bringing compassionate action and social justice to our lives and the world. Rabbi Bellows loves to travel, listen to The Moth and other podcasts, practice yoga, and spend time with her husband Kyle and three young adult children.  

Rabbi Bellows can be reached at  

Rabbi Richard M Prass

Rabbi Educator

Rabbi Richard Prass, before joining Beth Am in the summer of 2007, Rabbi Prass served as both Associate Rabbi and Director of Education at Temple Israel in New Rochelle, New York, and has experience in administration, teacher recruitment, teacher development, curriculum development and instruction. A native Midwesterner, Rabbi Prass heralds from Minneapolis, received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was ordained by Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in May 2000.

In addition to his experience in leading Temple Israel’s education program, Rabbi Prass was instrumental in energizing and enlarging the Temple’s youth groups. As an Associate Rabbi at Temple Israel, prior to his acceptance as the Temple’s education lead, he maintained a full pulpit, with preaching and lifecycle responsibilities. Rabbi Prass also spent several summers working at Olin Sang Ruby Union Institute in Wisconsin.  He is a member of the Chicago Association of Reform Jewish Educators (CHARJE), serving as the treasurer (2010-2015) and president (2015-present).  He serves as the Rabbinic Advisor to NFTY-CAR (2009-present), being granted the honor of lifetime membership in December of 2015.  He volunteers at OSRUI, serving on the Rabbinic, Educator, Cantorial Advisory Committee (RECC).

Rabbi Prass currently lives in Deerfield with his wife, Cantor Jennifer Frost, and their children, Lyla Ann, Ruth Adina and David Lev.  To reach Rabbi Prass by email –

Cantor Heather Aranyi


Cantor Heather Aranyi, M.M., M.Ed. was named by the Chicago Tribune as “one of the most sought after singers and conductors in Chicago,” Cantor Aranyi is both a master educator and musician.

In addition to serving Congregation Beth Am, she is on faculty at both The Lyric Opera and Northwestern University. At Northwestern, Cantor Aranyi is a thought leader who is  frequently featured on panels and podcasts. She teaches entrepreneurism and innovation. Her transformative work in music and education at Lyric has been the subject of six documentaries.

Heather holds graduate degrees in Voice and Opera from Northwestern University and Early Childhood Development from The Erikson Institute at Loyola University. She was awarded a prestigious McCormick fellowship, was a featured presenter at the 31st Annual Women Cantors Network Conference, and has performed throughout Chicago, Europe, and most recently, successfully debuted in New York City at the renowned Carnegie Hall.

Her upcoming work at Lyric includes writing, producing, singing and starring in an early childhood video with Chuck Bontrager, concertmaster of Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen. She has been a soloist at both Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.

Sam Siner

Cantorial Soloist

Sam is a Cantorial Soloist with decades of experience leading Jewish music and prayer for adults and families, including services, bar/bat mitzvahs, concerts, weddings, and High Holidays. Sam first trained as a songleader in the Reform movement, at OSRUI and Camp Kutz. He was the inaugural head songleader of NFTY-CAR. He lives in Chicago with his lovely wife, Zoe, and dog, George Bailey.

Mickey Capsuto

Yahrzeit and Donation Coordinator

Mickey processes donations, oversees Friday night Oneg and coordinates Yahrzeits. She also serves as the “go-to” maven! Mickey has been a member of Beth Am for 36 years and has been a member of a most stimulating staff for 18 years. She is a member of the Beth Am Adult Choir and is looking forward to participating in High Holiday Services once again.

Mickey has lived in Arlington Heights for 48 years. When not in the office, Mickey enjoys spending time with her family, reading and the great outdoors, weather permitting.

To reach Mickey by email:

Marcy Chez

B’nai Mitzvah, High Holidays & Special Events Coordinator

Marcy provides administrative support for the Beth Am office and coordinates congregant lifecycle events, such as B’nai Mitzvah and oversees High Holidays.  Marcy brings over 30 years of project management experience in the Jewish Non-for-profit world to her role at Congregation Beth Am.

Marcy lives in the Buffalo Grove/Kildeer area and is thrilled to be working in such a kind, welcoming and supportive environment.  When not in the office, Marcy enjoys spending time with her three adult children and six grandchildren.

To reach Marcy by email:

Bill Yassinger

Financial & Membership Administrator

To reach Bill by email:

Cantor Arnold Schultz

Of Blessed Memory

Cantor Emeritus

Cantor Arnie Schultz, our founding Cantor served Beth Am from 1981 and become our Cantor Emeritus in 2004.

Cantor Schultz was a founding member of Beth Am, brought our congregation muchruach–spirit and soul. His beautiful voice, matched with his love for Torah, humor, folk music and chazzanut, teaching, and the cantorate itself, provided a foundation upon which our congregation still stands today. He worked indefatigably to bring our two holocaust scrolls to the congregation from London and until five or so years ago, annually taught our 7th graders and all of us, the story and history of the scrolls we continue to honor each week at our Shabbat evening worship. Cantor Schultz was committed to sharing the memory and stories of Kojitin, Czechoslovakia.

Cantor Schultz’s amazing soulful voice still reverberates and remains a part of the very fabric of our sacred community.