Cohort 4

(2019-2021)

Uri Allen is a guitar playing rabbi who loves cooking, traveling around the country to see his favorite band Phish and learning Torah. His passions in the rabbinate are in educating and teaching learners of all ages, working with young families like his own, and using music to add contour and depth to Jewish rituals and life. Rabbi Allen received Rabbinic ordination from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies along with an MA in Rabbinic Studies from American Jewish University, an MA from Tel Aviv University in Jewish Thought in partnership with The Melamdim Teacher Training Program of the Hartman Institute. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland with a BA in Jewish Studies. Currently he serves as the associate rabbi of Temple Beth Sholom in Roslyn New York where he lives with his wife Sari and three children Doron (7), Aderet (5) and Yedidyah (4).

 

David Basior has served as rabbi and education director for the Kadima Reconstructionist Community in Seattle, WA since 2015. Kadima has a 40+ year history as “a progressive voice in the Jewish community and a Jewish voice in the progressive community.” David graduated from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 2015 where he served as student body president winning awards for Tikkun Olam work and community building.

David serves as Rosh Chevra for the Jewish Voice for Peace rabbinical council, and a clergy organizer in various capacities for the Poor People’s Campaign, No New Youth Jail Campaign, and various other struggles for poor and working-class people, immigration justice, and indigenous rights. He received his BS in Business Management from the University of Florida where he was a founding father of the school’s chapter of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. David grew up in a combination of Westchester, Manhattan, and Broward County, Florida. He is the grateful great-grandson of Eastern European Jewish immigrants, an avid bike commuter, and an occasional saxophone player when he isn’t enjoying time with his partner, Ariel and their two daughters, Gahlia and Madrona.

Adena Blum is the associate rabbi at Congregation Beth Chaim in Princeton Junction, NJ. Previously, she served as the rabbinic intern at Beth Haverim Shir Shalom in Mahwah, NJ, and Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple in New Brunswick, NJ. Adena is an alumna of Brandeis University where she graduated magna cum laude with a BA in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and a minor in Religious Studies. She was ordained at HUC-JIR in New York in 2014.

Adena is passionate about education, Israel, interfaith and interdenominational dialogue, spirituality, and forging meaningful relationships. In her free time, Rabbi Blum enjoys good food, traveling the world, exercising, and spending time with her husband, Sean, their son, Jonah, and their dog, Nomi.

Malcolm Cohen is the rabbi of Temple Sinai in Las Vegas, NV. As a community builder, Malcolm follows the Buberian principle that “All real living is meeting”, that relationships are what have to drive his work. A native of England, he came to the rabbinate via a classical Zionist youth movement, youth work on housing projects, and outreach to young adults for the British Reform Movement. He has experienced working in both the ‘flagship’ shuls and ‘mom and pop store fronts’ in London, New York and Florence, South Carolina. At Temple Sinai, using organizing techniques learned from the Industrial Areas Foundation, he has now had the privilege of working with multiple generations of many of the families from the congregation. Inside the Jewish community, he works with cross-communal partners on programs such as Limmud and connections with Las Vegas’s Israeli twinning region, Ramat HaNegev. Beyond the community’s walls, he partners with religious institutions and businesses on issues of public education, payday lending, and human trafficking. He is married to Sarah Stewart, a teacher and school counselor, and their family includes Elijah (10) and Rachel (8), along with a relatively constant flow of shinshinim (community service youth) from Israel.

David Fainsilber serves as the spiritual leader and first full-time rabbi of the Jewish Community of Greater Stowe (JCOGS), an innovative, trans-denominational synagogue and community center in Vermont. Ordained at the pluralistic rabbinical school of Hebrew College, he also received a Certificate in Organizational Leadership from Boston University and Hebrew College. David has grown the religious school from 8 to 50+ children, reaching youth from birth to college. He is also instrumental in working across the local community with faith, business, law enforcement, and education leaders to help form the first homeless shelter in Lamoille County. David is an active leader of the newly formed Stowe-Morrisville Coalition steering committee, tackling multiple forms of bigotry in the wake of recent local racist and anti-Semitic incidents. David’s impact has been featured in the The Boston Globe, the Vermont weekly Seven Days, and VPR. Prior to moving to Vermont, David served as an interfaith CIRCLE Fellow, AJWS Kol Tzedek Fellow, and as a rabbinic intern for Nehar Shalom, Kolot Chayeinu, and MIT and Tufts Hillels. Hailing from Montreal, he currently lives with his wife Alison and their three young children in Morrisville, Vermont. David is also more than slightly obsessed with Crossfit, enjoys chopping wood, and loves wrestling with his kids. Read his writings and listen to his music at www.melodyofeverysoul.com.

Amy Feder is the senior rabbi of Congregation Temple Israel in St. Louis, Missouri. A graduate of the University of Michigan, she was ordained from Hebrew Union College in 2006. She began her work as an assistant at Temple Israel following ordination, and was invested as its senior rabbi in 2010, becoming the youngest woman to lead a large Reform congregation. With a background in vocal performance, she also serves as the primary cantorial soloist for the congregation. Amy’s rabbinic passions include creating opportunities for flexible education, ritual innovation, and intergenerational worship. She is also a coffee snob who knows how to make the perfect cappuccino. She has served as the president of the St. Louis Association of Reform Rabbis and vice president of the St. Louis Rabbinic Association. Amy serves Temple Israel alongside her husband, Rabbi Michael Alper, and they are the proud parents of two children.

Aviva Fellman currently serves the Greater Worcester community as rabbi at Congregation Beth Israel. Since she was 8, Aviva knew she wanted to be a rabbi. As a third grader, she felt that her presence in the synagogue mattered and that her participation in her community was valued. Aviva earned an MA in Talmud and Jewish Law from Machon Schechter in Jerusalem and was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) where she is proud to have been half of the first simultaneous daughter-father rabbinical student duo. A former ambulance driver, certified scuba diver, and with a cameo appearance on Israeli Wife Swap (Ema Machlifa), Aviva serves on the executive board of Worcester Interfaith and is active on committees at City Hall, including the efforts to end homelessness and address issues of race and inequality. She teaches about Judaism and Torah for students at Clark University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute and other area schools. Aviva and her husband, Ari, are parents to Hadar Ori, Idan Shalev, Maayan Nogah and Noam Tair.

Samantha Kahn joins Temple Sinai of Sarasota as its new senior rabbi on July 1, 2019. She recently served as San Francisco Bay Area Director for InterfaithFamily as well as the Director of Sherith Littles at Congregation Sherith Israel in San Francisco. Previously she served as the assistant rabbi of Congregation Emanu El, in Houston, TX, where she was nicknamed “Chief Engagement Officer” for her warm presence and ability to create meaningful connections.

Samantha grew up in the vibrant Jewish community of Miami, Florida. She received her BA from the University of Florida, majoring in Political Science and Religion, and earned rabbinic ordination from HUC-JIR in Los Angeles. There she also received an MA in Jewish Nonprofit Management and a Certificate in Jewish Communal Service. Samantha is a co-president of the Board of Rabbis of Northern California and, until recently, was its Interim Chair. She is married to Matt Kahn and they are parents to Roey and Stella Mae. She is most content when seeing her husband and children giggling.

Stephanie Kramer is the associate rabbi at Congregation Shomrei Torah, a Reform congregation in Santa Rosa, California. During the 2017 Northern California Wildfires, Stephanie organized resources to help families in need and turned the temple into an evacuation center, a day camp, and a place for comfort, earning her the moniker the “Fire Rabbi”. Fittingly, Stephanie also works in a group supporting rabbis through trauma and natural disasters. Along with her daily pulpit responsibilities, Stephanie enjoys supporting the broader Jewish community through her work on a number of boards and committees including IsraAID, the CCAR and as president of Sonoma Hillel. Ordained at HUC-JIR, Stephanie is also a fellow in the Shalom Hartman Rabbinic Leadership Initiative, continuing her intense studies in Jerusalem twice a year. Stephanie’s has published articles in The Washington Post, eJewish Philanthropy, and the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. She and her husband, Adam Kramer have two children, Micah and Noa.

Alex Lazarus-Klein is the rabbi of Congregation Shir Shalom, in Buffalo, New York, where he has served since 2008. He is a graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, and received a MA in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary. He is a dual member of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, where he serves on its board, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis. Congregation Shir Shalom is the result of a merger between a Reform and Reconstructionist community which Alex was instrumental in forging in 2012. Alex serves on many boards including the Buffalo Jewish Federation, the National Federation of Just Communities and the Coalition of Economic Justice. He is a past president of the Network of Religious Communities. Alex is a trained chaplain as well as a poet, storyteller, and song writer. Many of his articles appear in the My View section of the Buffalo News. He is married to Ashirah, and together they have three children, Jarah, Boaz, and Noam.

Arielle Lekach-Rosenberg joined the rabbinic team at Shir Tikvah in Minneapolis, Minnesota in the summer of 2017. Her work focuses on the intersection of music, prayer and activism.   She was ordained by the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College in June 2017. She spent her final two years of rabbinical school working as a full-time rabbinic fellow at B’nai Jeshurun in New York City, where she developed innovative initiatives for people of all ages and backgrounds to deepen their relationship with prayer, music and spiritual practice.  A trained singer and amateur accordionist, Arielle travels and performs piyutim from North Africa and the Middle East with her ensemble Sefarad-Yerushalayim-New York (SYNY) and composes liturgical music and niggunim. Before rabbinical school, Arielle worked as a workers’ rights and migrant justice organizer in the Pacific Northwest. She lives in South Minneapolis with her husband, Noam, and their dog, Gavi. She is inspired by courageous acts of music making, prophetic activism and transformative moments in communal life.

Chai Levy is the rabbi of Congregation Netivot Shalom in Berkeley, California. Previously, she served Congregation Kol Shofar in Tiburon, CA, where she was founding rabbi of the Center for Jewish Spirituality, an award-winning venue to bring the many Jews of Marin County identifying as “spiritual but not religious” to the synagogue community through learning and practices that connect mind, body, and spirit. Her innovative services at Kol Shofar combined music, meditation, chant, and creative approaches to prayer and Torah that brought new life to the synagogue and made Jewish spirituality accessible. Originally from Richmond, Virginia, Chai was ordained in 2002 at the Jewish Theological Seminary, is a graduate of Institute for Jewish Spirituality’s Clergy Leadership Program, and trained as a Spiritual Director. Chai enjoys dance, music, and playing bass in a rock band. She and her husband, Roger Studley, are the parents of Ezra.

Leah Lewis serves as the rabbi of Temple Menorah in Redondo Beach, California. She was ordained by the HUC-JIR in 2002. Following ordination, she served for seven years at Leo Baeck Temple in Los Angeles, for two years as the chair of the Department of Jewish Studies and Dean of Jewish Life at Tarbut v’Torah Community Day School in Irvine, California, and then served as Rabbi and Director of Lifelong at Congregation Shir HaMa’alot in Irvine for seven years. A graduate of UC Santa Barbara, Leah spent a year as a Legislative Assistant at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington, D.C. before beginning her rabbinical studies. She is married to David Lewis, a fellow professional pursuer of Jewish learning and engagement. They are the proud parents of three children, Gabriel, Jonah and Nomi.

 

 

Ilana Schachter is currently the Director of Community Building at Temple Shaaray Tefila in New York and is the incoming Associate Rabbi of Temple Sinai of Roslyn on Long Island. Ilana was ordained at HUC-JIR. She received her AB with Honors in Comparative Literature and Judaic Studies from Brown University. Ilana spent seven years immersed in Jewish life on the college campus as the Rabbi and Director of Jewish Student Life at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and at Penn Hillel as Senior Jewish Educator and Campus Rabbi. Her diverse campus work deepened her passion for interfaith cooperation and underscored for her the value of cross-cultural exchange. In her work Ilana encourages multiple access points to Jewish engagement and the pursuit of a justice rooted in faith through Jewish texts, values and rituals. Ilana lives with her husband, John, and their two children, Jacob and Aviva.

 

Nico Socolovsky is the Senior Rabbi of Temple Beth Tikvah in Fullerton California. Nico grew up in Buenos Aires and immigrated to Israel in 2002. He has worked in many different social frameworks, with teenagers, immigrants, ex-prisoners, underprivileged families, and others. In 2010 Nico initiated the Shchuniya, a home for Jewish renaissance in Haifa. He also worked for RHR – Rabbis for Human Rights – directing the Center for Economic Rights in Hadera, Israel.Nico graduated from Haifa University with a BA in Educational Management and Jewish Thought and an MA in Jewish Thought. Following his studies in the Israeli Rabbinical program of the HUC, both in Israel and in New York, in 2013 Nico was ordained as Rabbi in Jerusalem. Nico came to California after spending two years in Singapore, where he offered rabbinical accompaniment and services within Singapore and in South East Asia, as well as worked on his own scholastic and musical projects. He continues to share his ideas on his website www.povesham.org. Nico is a Brickner Fellow for social justice leadership in the RAC-Religious Action Center of the Union for Reform Judaism. He lives with his wife Noga, children Amitai, Nitzan and Guilad, and their dog Sancho.

Rabbi Jay TelRav is the spiritual leader of Temple Sinai in Stamford, CT. While studying at HUC-JIR in Jerusalem, he created an overwhelmingly powerful Carlebach-inspired minyan. This has directed his commitment to facilitating experiences of depth for those in his communities. After ordination in 2007, this work continued at Temple Sinai in Denver, CO, where he served as associate rabbi. He developed and delivered transformative prayer environments for all ages and a shabbat morning meditation group that continues, today, almost seven years after he left that community. Since his move to Stamford in 2012, he has focused his efforts on the creation of similarly potent environments based on Mussar practice, meditation and retreats. His annual group of male retreat participants have translated their bonds with each other and the sacred duties of Judaism into action. In February of 2019, 14 men from Temple Sinai will travel to Senegal to build a primary school with the villagers – simultaneously transforming the meaning of Judaism in their own lives. He is married to Dr. Julie TelRav and they are the parents of Amitai and Nili.

Rachel Weiss has served as rabbi of the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation in Evanston, IL since 2016. A JRC and Evanston native, she is a graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, where she was the recipient of the Berger Prize in Practical Rabbinics. Rachel previously served Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, New York City’s LGBTQS synagogue, as their associate rabbi, and is a proud member of CBST’s Cooperberg-Rittmaster Rabbinical Intern Alumni association. In 2014, she was named one of the New York Pride Guide’s “45 Under 45” for her leadership. Prior to becoming a rabbi, Rachel served as the Director of Nuestro Center in Highwood, IL, providing social work services and community programming to recently immigrated Latino families.  A fluent Spanish speaker, she is a graduate of Grinnell College in Iowa where she earned a B.A. in Spanish and Gender and Women’s Studies. Rachel is a foodie and fan of all things culinary, an artisan and craftsperson, a lover of languages and grammar, and a Hebrew/English calligrapher. She is married to Julia Tauber, and they are the parents to Hannah and Norah.  

K’vod Wieder is the Rabbi of Temple Beth El of South Orange County. He received rabbinic ordination from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies and a MA in counseling from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. He has studied and taught meditation and traditional and innovative approaches to Jewish spirituality for over 20 years. K’vod has worked in organizational and educational capacities in a variety of Jewish institutions including the Jewish Federation of Sonoma County, Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. He is the husband of Ilana Rogel Wieder and father to Levi, Aiden, and Aviv.

Eric Woodward serves as the senior rabbi of Tiferet Bet Israel synagogue in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. Previously, he was assistant rabbi at Congregation Tifereth Israel in Columbus, Ohio. He was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary, from which he also received an M.A. in Jewish Philosophy. While at JTS, he was a Schusterman Rabbinical and Legacy Heritage fellow and received numerous awards for homiletics and writing. He received his B.A. cum laude from Williams College in 2003, and was a fellow at Yeshivat Hadar in 2009. In 2015, he was named by the Jewish Daily Forward as one of America’s Most Inspiring Rabbis.

Having grown up in an interfaith home, Eric is passionate about creating a Judaism of access and depth. He loves cooking and baking, reading and writing, and is passionate about social justice and prayer. He grew up in Los Angeles, but loves the change of seasons.

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