Rabbi Mari Chernow

A graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Rabbi Koppell holds a master's degree in religion from Temple University. In 2013 she received a master's in strategic studies from the u.s. army war college. Her B.A. is from Brandeis University, magna cum laude with high honors in philosophy. She received a doctor of divinity degree in 2005. Rabbi Koppell was one of the first women to be ordained as a rabbi in the United States.

Rabbi Koppell also served as a military chaplain in the United States army reserve and retired with the rank of colonel. The first female Jewish chaplain in the U.S. military, Rabbi Koppell served as command chaplain of the 807th Medical Command (Deployment Support) She has received many military awards, including a legion of merit, three meritorious service medals, two army achievement medals, an army commendation medal, and four army physical fitness excellence awards. She served a year of active duty in support of Operation Noble Eagle, and was awarded the Global War on Terrorism Medal for her service in Iraq in the spring of 2005. She returned in January of 2006 from a visit with Jewish service-members in Kuwait and Afghanistan, and spent Passover 2006 in Iraq and in Kuwait in 2011. In 2013 she was invited to Kuwait as the keynote speaker at a series of prayer luncheons. She was inducted into the Army Women’s Foundation Hall of Fame in March 2019.

Rabbi Koppell is very active in the community. She has served as president of the East Valley Child Crisis Center board of directors and is past president of the Board of Rabbis of Greater Phoenix, as well as the Mesa Ecumenical Clergy Association. She was a member of the City of Mesa's ad hoc committee on ethics which drafted an ethics code for members of the city council and advisory boards, and served as a member of the boards of directors of the Jewish Family and Children's Service and the Jewish Community Relations Council. Rabbi Koppell is a member of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association's ethics committee. In 2010 she was named as one of the Forward's "Sisterhood 50- America's Influential Women Rabbis."

Rabbi Koppell has been recognized as "Outstanding Young Leader of the Year" for the city of Mesa, and is a recipient of the Mesa Martin Luther King celebration's "Spirit of Unity" award. She is listed in "Who's Who in Religion" and received the "Celebration of Success" award from impact for enterprising women. Arizona Cactus Pine Girl Scout Council recognized Rabbi Koppell as the 1997 winner of the "World of People" award. In 1999 she was grand marshal of the city of Mesa Veteran's Day Parade. In 2004, Rabbi Koppell was honored as "Woman of The Year" for the city of Mesa.

She was married to David Rubenstein, PhD., of blessed memory, and is the parent of two daughters, Jessie and Sarah, and grandmother of Helena Ruth, Michael David, and Leon Brom. She married Ron Kushner in December 2016.

You can contact Rabbi Koppell at: rabbikoppell@templechai.com