Speaker Bios

Rabbi Oren Hayon

Rabbi Oren J. Hayon grew up in Columbus, Ohio and received his B.A. in English from Rice University (1994). Rabbi Hayon received his M.A.H.L. from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (Cincinnati, 2003) where he was awarded the Cora Kahn Prize for best sermon delivery and oratory. He was ordained in 2004.

Upon ordination, Rabbi Hayon served Temple Emanu-El in Dallas as an Associate Rabbi (2004-2011). Before arriving at Emanu El he worked as the Greenstein Family Executive Director and rabbi at the Hillel at the University of Washington. Additionally, Rabbi Hayon serves on the Board of Trustees of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and will be installed as the CCAR's Vice President for Member Services this spring. He is an editor, translator and contributor of Hebrew texts and poetry for CCAR Press. He is a contributor to the Mishkan HaNefesh, the upcoming High Holy Day machzor, and LaKol Eit, a new Rabbi's Manual.

Rabbi Hayon is excited to make his home in Houston with his wife Julie and their two daughters. 

Ali Al Sudani

Ali Al Sudani was born and raised in Missan, Iraq and was resettled in Houston, TX as a refugee by Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston in April 2009. He holds a Bachelor Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Basrah University, Iraq. In 2003 he started working with the American and coalition forces as a Chief Translator in his home city. During this time, the Iraqi militia and nationalist groups began persecuting middle-class individuals who were helping coalition forces and Ali had to leave Iraq to Jordan.

Ali joined IM as a Reception and Placement Case Worker in June 2009. Mr. Al Sudani has more than nine years of experience in Nonprofit Management and providing training for Iraqi NGOS, Civic Leaders and elected officials.

Ali Al Sudani is the Director of Refugee Services at Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston (IM) since May 2010.

Rabbi Ranon Teller

Rabbi Ranon Teller was born and raised in a traditional Jewish home in Southfield, Michigan. He attended Akiva Hebrew Day School through middle school and then moved to Chicago to attend Skokie Yeshiva High School. After high school, Rabbi Teller spent two years of intense yeshiva study in Israel. He has always been a creative soul, passionate about Judaism and the field of education.

Although both his parents are Jewish educators, Rabbi Teller initially pursued scriptwriting as a career. He graduated from Columbia College with a B.A. in television writing. His writing career began in Chicago, led him to Los Angeles, and then continued in Jerusalem. As he continued to write, Rabbi Teller enrolled part-time at Machon Shechter, the Conservative rabbinical school in Israel. Finally, he embraced his calling and enrolled in a joint rabbinic and education program at the University of Judaism.

Rabbi Ranon Teller began his career in the pulpit as an Assistant Rabbi at Congregation B’nai Amoona in St. Louis, Missouri. In 2004, he was recognized and honored with a promotion to Associate Rabbi. He joined the Brith Shalom family in 2005. Rabbi Teller's wife, Vicki, is actively involved with our synagogue. Rabbi Teller and Vicki have four beautiful children, Ariella Pearl, Maya Naima, Jake Aaron, and Nava Liba, and one very happy dog, Jessie Afikomen Teller.

Constable Alan Rosen

First elected in 2012, the Constable has spent more than 25 years in local law enforcement, chiefly at the Constable’s Office and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. He has worked in street patrol, fugitive warrants, marine patrol, criminal warrants, narcotics and mental health warrants. He also served as a member of the Sheriff’s executive command staff.

Constable Rosen served or is serving on local civic boards and committees, including the MD Anderson Cancer Center Advance Team Board of Directors, the Greater Houston Visitors and Convention Bureau Board of Directors, the Houston Police Department – Citizen Review Committee, the Beth Yeshurun Day School Board of Directors (development chair), Beth Yeshurun Synagogue (security committee) and the Greater Heights Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, also serves on the Seven Acres Jewish Geriatric Home Board of Directors and currently Co-Chairs the Harris County Law Enforcement Technology Committee.

Constable Rosen earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Houston, graduating with honors. He is deeply committed to keeping families safe, aggressively addressing crime issues and improving the quality of life for all residents of Precinct One. He and his wife and children are proud residents of the precinct.

Dr. Russell Radoff

Dr. Radoff is a proud Houston native. He graduated from Bellaire High School, received his B.A. from University of Texas, and his M.D. from University of Texas Medical Branch. He is a doctor of Internal Medicine at the Medical Clinic of Houston, where he has worked since his residency.

His family has a country home where he has a shooting range and lots of guns that he stores in a big safe. He works with a lot of self-proclaimed “gun nuts”, enjoys target shooting, and occasionally goes duck hunting. Dr. Radoff is married to fellow Houstonian and psychotherapist, Jody Radoff, and they have two boys Jack and Ben.

Rabbi Barry Gelman

Rabbi Barry Gelman is Rabbi of United Orthodox Synagogues of Houston. With about 350 families, United Orthodox is the largest Orthodox Synagogue in the Southwest.

Rabbi Gelman received his bachelors and masters from Yeshiva University and Rabbinic Ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchonon Theological Seminary, an affiliate of Yeshiva University. His passions include Modern Orthodox thought, reading, Zionism and the New York Yankees.

Rabbi Gelman teaches numerous classes and chavurot on a wide variety of topics including: Jewish law, Jewish history and Jewish philosophy and thought. He has also been on faculty for the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning for the past 10 years. He is also heavily involved with the youth of the congregation providing educational as well as social programs for children of all ages.

Rabbi Gelman is past president of the Houston Rabbinical Association and a member of the VAAD of the Houston Kashruth Association. He is also involved with a number of interfaith efforts in the city.

Rabbi Gelman is married to Gabrielle and they have five children.


Anne Chandler

Anne Chandler is the Executive Director of Tahirih Justice Center’s Houston office. Tahirih Justice Center is a national, nonprofit organization that protects courageous immigrant women and children who refuse to be victims of violence.

Since Tahirih opened its doors in Houston in 2009 Anne has provided the Houston office with strategic direction. With the goal of providing life-saving services to survivors of human trafficking, she serves as a member of the Houston Area Council on Human Trafficking and the Mayor’s anti-trafficking task force.

Anne also serves on the Board of the Harris County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council and the Board of Houston’s Immigration Legal Services Collaborative. Her lifetime work of marshaling pro-bono attorneys to represent human trafficking survivors and others fleeing horrific violence has been recognized by the State Bar of Texas and the Christian Science Monitor, “Help for Female Immigrants Fleeing Violence Is this Lawyer’s Calling.”

Judge Pam Derbyshire 

Judge Pam Derbyshire was elected as presiding judge of Harris County Criminal Court No. 7 in November, 1998, and took the bench on January 1, 1999. She presides over one of fifteen county criminal courts at law with jurisdiction over serious misdemeanor cases.

Judge Derbyshire's court hosts the SAFE Court program (Survivors Acquiring Freedom and Empowerment), which aims to help young people arrested for prostitution acquire life skills needed to transition out of that lifestyle and to become contributing members of society.

Derbyshire earned her Juris Doctor degree from the South Texas College of Law in 1982. Prior to her judicial election in 1998, she was a lawyer in private practice. She previously worked as a federal prosecutor for the Southern District of Texas and a chief prosecutor for the Harris County District Attorney's Office.