Category: Symposium on Rabbinic Diversity

Pluralism and Interfaith

A pluralistic and interfaith rabbinate — that’s how I would sum up to colleagues in a few words my professional role these days. As Director of Jewish Family Life of the Mayerson Jewish Community Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, I have the privilege to work each day with people from a variety of backgrounds and across the spectrum of Jewish tradition.…

Journey to Jewish Ethics

I went to rabbinical school not so much to be a rabbi as to find out what I wanted to do and hopefully find my passion. When I was younger, age eight to be exact, I was clear that the best way to change the world was to be a politician. Based on this ambition, I acquired the skills I…

An Ever-Evolving Rabbinate

I was exactly twelve weeks pregnant the day of ordination. Having not been a mother through rabbinical school I had no sense of the profound impact the sacred role parenting would have on my rabbinate. My first year as a rabbi I worked as the Director of Cincinnati Hillel, where I had worked as the rabbinic intern during my fifth…

Back to School

I’m writing these words from my middle school office at The Davis Academy, Atlanta’s Reform Jewish Day School. And as I write, I can hear activity all around me. Chairs being moved in the classroom above me. The Front Desk phone ringing as parents come to grab their kids for end-of-day doctors’ appointments, student athletes picking up their gear before heading…

“Will You Please…”

“Will you please…” Like markers on a trail these three words have dotted the path of my rabbinate. A moment in time where I am forced to stop and feel the presence of vocation and the presence of God. Some stops are fleeting a place to catch my breath — refocus and refresh. “Will you please pass the challah? Will…

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 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…