Month: September 2016

Notes from a Chaplain

I serve as chaplain in a private, prestigious and fast paced school for seventh through twelfth graders. My work has a wide range and includes some activities that seem rabbinate-y and others that are less obvious. These include: designing and teaching a required eighth-grade course on health; designing and coordinating a cutting-edge substance education program for our community; sponsoring a…

Spirituality Meets Entrepreneurship

My first memories are of camping in Yosemite and Big Sur. I grew up backpacking in the Sierra, but when I made Aliyah, I left the outdoors behind for an observant Jewish life in Jerusalem as I studied, four years in yeshiva and then HUC in Israel. All that changed while I worked as the program director at Kol HaNeshama.…

On and Off the Bimah: A Rabbinate of Both

For the first five years of my rabbinate, I served as a congregational rabbi in a large suburban synagogue — and I loved it. Now, I am the Senior Engagement Officer at MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, and I love this too. A rabbinate doesn’t have to be solely on or off the bimah; mine has been both. Staying…

I Took the One Less Traveled By

My rabbinate has been unlike most. In my HUC interview, I stated that my intention was to be become a camp director in the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. At that time, youth work was not viewed too seriously at the College. Nevertheless, I was accepted and thrived during my time studying in Jerusalem and Cincinnati. During my third year,…

A Woman of Valour

“A woman of valour who can find? For her price is far above rubies.” (Proverbs 31:10 JPS) Eshet Hayil, A Woman of Valour,” the acrostic poem found in Proverbs 31, is a Jewish expression of appreciation for women. In many Jewish households these words are sung every Friday night, and they are also commonly sung to a bride during her…

A Community Rabbi for A New Community

I remember sitting in my rabbinical school interview in New York and someone around the table asked me why I wanted to become a rabbi since I had just completed a Master’s Degree in Jewish education and had worked in the field only for a few years. I explained that I hoped to become a rabbi/educator one day and to…

HUC and Rabbinic Leadership Beyond the Pulpit

Nine years into my rabbinate, I find myself as the dean and rabbi of Auburn Seminary in New York. We equip leaders for faith-rooted social justice work. Without degrees, students, or faculty, we raise and spend $7 million a year to train and support thousands of Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, and anyone else who is bringing a…