Cohort 1



Rabbi Ethan Bair grew up in Boston where he was raised by spiritual seekers who rediscovered their Judaism through the Jewish Renewal movement. A graduate of OberlinCollege and a former Fulbright scholar to Germany, Rabbi Bair was ordained at HebrewUnionCollege, Los Angeles, in 2011. He wrote his rabbinic thesis on “Re-Envisioning Reform Jewish Prayer,” with Dr. Rachel Adler. While in rabbinical school, he was a recipient of the prestigious Schusterman Rabbinical Fellowship which brought together future Reform and Conservative rabbis to learn about volunteer engagement, strategic planning and synagogue management. Stemming from this experience, Rabbi Bair would describe himself as a member of a new generation of Jewish leaders for whom denominations are secondary to transformational Jewish experience. Over the last six years, Ethan has served congregations in Ogden, Utah; Vancouver, British Columbia; Sun Valley, Idaho; and San Rafael, CA. Most recently, he worked at American Jewish World Service, a global Jewish non-profit working to realize human rights in the developing world. Before that, he served as Campus Rabbi at the University of Southern California Hillel. He enjoys running, hiking, singing, and welcoming Shabbat guests into his home with his wife, Nadya. She is a doctoral candidate in Art History, currently writing her dissertation.


Rabbi Rachael Bregman first took a try at innovative Jewish leadership when she orchestrated a walkout on her 6th grade Hebrew school class to honor women’s rights. After a call to her parents she was invited back to class where she knew she had much to learn. Rachael was raised outside of Boston, part of a family and a Jewish community committed to lovingkindness for all, charitable works and deeds, and regularly going out of one’s way for the betterment of others. Her family fostered many people throughout her upbringing and her shul took in Cuban refugees. Rachael earned a B.A. in Human Development and Psychology from BostonCollege in 1998 and an Ed. M. in Human Development from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education in 2004. She was commissioned as an officer in the United States Navy in March of 2007 as a chaplain candidate. She was ordained a rabbi in 2010 from HUC-JIR in New York. Rachael began her rabbinic career at The Temple in AtlantaGeorgia to invigorate and enrich Jewish life in young Atlanta through an initiative called Open Jewish Project. She brought the tools of community organizing and the ideals of empathic justice to the young adult Jewish community. She is now continuing this work independently while serving part time as the rabbi for the beach community of Brunswick, Georgia.


Rabbi Aderet Drucker is an innovative spiritual leader, inspired educator, trailblazing social entrepreneur, expert relationship-based community builder, and serves as the Executive Director of the Den Collective. After receiving her rabbinic ordination along with a concentration in pastoral care from the Jewish Theological Seminary, Rabbi Aderet served as senior rabbi for a congregation in Northern California. She has also served as the Campus Rabbi for Hillel at the University of Maryland, where she was part of UMD’s Interfaith Campus Chaplaincy and a co-founder of UMD’s first Interfaith Student Fellowship. Rabbi Aderet is an expert community builder, trained by JOIN for Justice. She led a successful two-year community building listening project for an 850-household congregation in New York that resulted in successful communal action. Rabbi Aderet leads trainings for organizational boards and professionals seeking to impact systemic change within their organizations and communities. Rabbi Aderet holds a certificate in Mindful Leadership in Higher Education from NYU’s Of Many Institute For Multifaith Leadership, is an AJWS Global Justice Fellow, and a fellow of RRC’s Campus Chaplaincy for a Multifaith World. She is an alumnus of the Gladstein Fellowship in Entrepreneurial Leadership, the Rabbis Without Borders Fellowship, and was selected to be in the inaugural cohort of the Clergy Leadership Incubator (CLI) Fellowship. Rabbi Aderet serves on JWI’s Clergy Task Force, working to end domestic abuse in the Jewish community and also serves in the inaugural cohort of JCADA’s Rabbinic Ambassador Program. An experienced backpacker, Rabbi Aderet loves traveling, spending time by the water, cooking, and enjoys spontaneous dance parties with her husband, Brett, and two incredible children.


Rabbi Leora Frankel is the Assistant Rabbi of Community Synagogue of Rye in NY. She was ordained in 2012 at the Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Religion, where she was a Schusterman Rabbinic Fellow. Rabbi Frankel grew up in East Brunswick, NJ and was active in the Zionist youth movement Young Judaea, eventually becoming its National Mazkira (President). Upon her return from Young Judaea’s Year Course in Israel program, she completed the Dual Degree Program at Barnard College and the Jewish Theological Seminary, majoring in psychology and Bible, as well as an MA in Jewish Education at JTS. Following her graduate studies, Rabbi Frankel worked full time for Young Judaea and its high school leadership camp, Tel Yehudah. Before her student pulpit at Community Synagogue, she served as the Rabbinic Intern for B’nai Jeshurun’s Youth and Family Education Department in New York City. Rabbi Frankel lives in Port Chester, NY with her husband, Andrew, and their daughter, Miriam.


Rabbi Jeremy Gerber is the rabbi of Congregation Ohev Shalom in Wallingford, PA, where he has served since 2009. He was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) in New York City. His academic career at JTS began in the undergraduate Joint Program with ColumbiaUniversity, where he earned Bachelor’s Degrees in Talmud & Rabbinics at JTS and Anthropology at Columbia. He also holds an MA in Jewish Education. While in rabbinical school, Rabbi Gerber was a Gladstein Fellow in Entrepreneurial Rabbinic Leadership, and served as the rabbi of Beth Shalom of Lake Norman, NC, and the rabbinic intern at Congregation Agudath Israel in Caldwell, NJ. Rabbi Gerber is also an associate chaplain at WidenerUniversity and the past president of the Swarthmore-Wallingford Interfaith Ministerium (SWIM). Rabbi Gerber grew up in Stockholm, Sweden, where his father is the Cantor in the Great Synagogue of Stockholm. His wife, Rebecca, hails from Brooklyn, NY, and works for a non-profit organization in CenterCity, Philadelphia. Rabbi Gerber is also the proud parent of a six-month old daughter, Caroline.


Rabbi Salomon Gruenwald has served as Associate Rabbi of Congregation HEA in Denver, Colorado, since his ordination from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles in 2008. In 2011, Rabbi Gruenwald created JConnect-Denver, an innovative program to engage Jewish adults in their 20s in 30s. His previous experience includes serving as a chaplain at UCLAMedicalCenter and directing the Lishma Program at CampRamah in California. He holds a B.A. in Social Sciences from UC Irvine, an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Women’s Studies from UC Santa Barbara, and an MA in Rabbinic Studies from the American Jewish University. Rabbi Gruenwald also serves as a volunteer chaplain with the Denver Police Department. Salomon’s rabbinate is driven by a belief that the Jewish tradition is an enduring source of wisdom that can help us live deeper lives, connect with others, and improve the world. Rabbi Gruenwald was raised in southern California and is the son of Jewish immigrants from Peru. He and his wife, Melanie, have three children.


Rabbi Eytan Hammerman is the rabbi of the Jewish Community Center of Harrison, NY. He is a graduate of the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) in New York City where he was a Gladstein Fellow in Entrepreneurial Rabbinic Leadership. He holds an MA from JTS in Jewish Studies with a concentration in Jewish History. He is a graduate of ColumbiaUniversity (’99) with a degree in Political Science and holds a B.A with “Honors and Distinction” from ListCollege of the Jewish Theological Seminary. He has been a visiting student at Union Theological Seminary, New York, and the HebrewUniversity and the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, Israel. Eytan served as Rabbinic Intern at TempleIsraelCenter in White Plains, NY and was also Student Rabbi of Kehillat Shalom in Skokie, IL. Before entering rabbinical school Eytan served as Director of the Jewish Youth Philanthropy Institute in Washington D.C., an innovative community service and tzedakah (charity) organization for teenagers. Along with his wife Rebecca, Rabbi Hammerman founded a Masorti (Conservative) synagogue in Madrid, Spain – Congregacion Bet El – and continues to serve on the Board of the International Masorti Movement. He is the extremely proud father of three girls, Ary, Rena and Ilana.


Rabbi Corey Helfand is the spiritual leader of Peninsula Sinai Congregation in Foster City, CA. He received his rabbinic ordination in 2011 from JTS along with a MA in Talmud and Jewish Law and a certificate in pastoral care. As a Gladstein Fellow in Entrepreneurial Rabbinic Leadership, Corey served as the rabbinic intern at the Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel in Riverdale under the mentorship of Rabbi Barry Dov Katz and as the rabbi of Beth Shalom of Lake Norman in Davidson, North Carolina. Corey graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a BA in Jewish and Islamic Studies and in Political Science. He completed two 400-hour units of Clinical Pastoral Education, one at the Zicklin Hospice Center through the Center for Pastoral Education at JTS and one unit at Bellevue Hospital. He served as the rabbinic intern for the Masorti Community in Kiryat Bialik outside Haifa under the mentorship of Rabbi Mauricio Balter. He currently serves as the rabbinic co-chair of Shalom Bayit, the Bay Area organization committed to ending domestic violence, is the chair of the Bay Area Rabbinical Assembly, and is on the board of the Ronald C. Wornick Jewish Day School. Corey is married to Jenny Ackerman, who completed her MPH at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem and her MSW at Hunter College, and currently practices as a social worker at Kaiser Permanente in Santa Clara, CA. Corey and Jenny are proud parents of Eden and Matan.


Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann is the founder and rabbi at Mishkan Chicago, a dynamic spiritual community founded in 2011 whose mission is to spread inspired, down-to-earth Judaism and to reach out to people who have felt on the edges of Jewish life-young adults, LGBT Jews, Jews in interfaith relationships and non-Jewish partners, and is a welcoming space for all. Lizzi was ordained by the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in 2010 and, while there, trained at IKAR- first on the davening team, then as a rabbinic intern, and then as the first Revson Rabbinic Fellow. Lizzi grew up on the South Side of Chicago, is a Young Judaea Year Course alum, graduated with honors from Stanford University in 2004, and was a 2012 fellow with Rabbis Without Borders.


Rabbi Heidi Hoover is the rabbi of Temple Beth Emeth v’Ohr Progressive Shaari Zedek, a Reform synagogue in Brooklyn, NY. She was ordained in 2011 by the Academy for Jewish Religion (New York) and holds a MA in Jewish Studies from Gratz College. She was a Rabbis Without Borders Fellow, has been profiled in the New York Times, and has guest blogged for The Lutheran magazine. She is a participant in the Sacred Stories Project, a joint venture between Clal and the National Museum of American Jewish History. Her interests include the relationship between Jews and Germany, the experience and history of conversion to Judaism (she is a Jew by choice), and assumptions made about religious identity based on appearance and other superficial characteristics. Before rabbinical school, she had a career in publishing technology as a consultant and trainer. Rabbi Hoover seeks to model a Judaism that is open, joyful and also sustaining in hard times. She works to bring anyone interested in Judaism into a living tradition, helping them become knowledgeable about it and empowering them to wrestle with it and make it their own. She feels honored to be leading a Jewish community that is warm, loving, supportive and open. She and her husband live in Brooklyn with their two wonderful daughters, and love to sing karaoke, watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and go to see musical theater.


Rabbi Emma Kippley-Ogman has just returned home to Minnesota to serve Beth Jacob Congregation as Assistant Rabbi. She is working on the launch of Afikim, a community Hebrew immersion Jewish afterschool program for young children. Ordained by the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College in 2010, she previously served Congregation Kehillath Israel in Brookline, MA, as well as Jewish communities in Russia, Israel, and across the southern U.S. Rabbi Emma is passionate about engaging folks of all ages to live empowered Jewish lives: to build community where we truly see one another, to daven with inspiration, to listen for Torah speaking to us today, and to take responsibility for the world we inhabit. She is animated by the American folk singing and worldwide Jewish piyut chanting traditions. Rabbi Emma is married to Benj Kamm. Their toddler, Otto, moves them daily.


Rabbi Shoshana Newman Leis is serving in her fifth year as co-rabbi of Har Shalom Center for Jewish Living in Fort Collins, Colorado. She previously served as Rabbi and Educational Director at Congregation Tehillah in Riverdale, where she developed Shira Hadasha, a community building educational initiative for which she received the Legacy Heritage Innovator Award. She is founding member of Faith Family Hospitality and The Abrahamic Trialogue, two programs which build communities of faith through service and dialogue. Shoshana serves on the Rabbinic Advisory Board of Hazon, and recently initiated the first Northern Colorado Hazon Bike Ride. A graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and Dartmouth College, Shoshana also studied at St. Petersburg University in Russia, the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem and the Drisha Institute for Jewish Studies in New York City. Shoshana lives in Ft. Collins with her husband and co-rabbi, Ben Newman, a musician and philosopher, and their two children, Sophia and Isaiah. In her free time, she enjoys spending time in Poudre Canyon, creating music with her family, and practicing yoga/meditation.


Rabbi Dev Noily is part of the clergy team at Kehilla Community Synagogue, a Jewish Renewal congregation with a deep commitment to justice work and joyful spiritual practice in Oakland, CA. As Kehilla’s new Associate Rabbi, Dev brings kavanot to support and deepen Kehilla’s core of spiritual practice, while continuing to make its walls more porous—bringing its practice to the streets, and inviting an ever-wider circle into the community. In 2011, while serving as the director of Kehilla School, Dev initiated Kehillat Ha’Adamah, a partnership with Urban Adamah that weaves farm-based experiential learning and food justice themes into the fabric of Jewish time. Dev is a 2009 graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, and there annually to co-teach a mini-course on LGBTQ inclusion. While in Philadelphia, Dev began an ongoing relationship with the Jewish Dialogue Group, facilitating difficult conversations among Jews about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In the Bay Area, Dev serves on the board of the Interfaith Coalition of Welcoming Congregations, on the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center Chaplaincy Advisory Board, and plays trumpet with Congregation Sha’ar Zahav’s house band Gay iz Mir. Dev is parent to poet Jesse Lev, who just became a bar mitzvah, and partner to circus theater artist Sara Felder.


Rabbi Michael Ragozin serves Congregation Sha’are Shalom in Leesburg, VA where he is privileged both to guide and to join individuals and families on the path of Jewish living. He cherishes the moments to interact personally with fellow Jews and Gentile spouses-learning and praying together, performing mitzvot of kindness, playing basketball, or simply chatting. Rabbi Michael is an active participant in Loudoun Interfaith BRIDGES, serves as an On-Call Chaplain for Loudon Hospital, and a columnist for the Loudoun Times “On Faith” column. Rabbi Michael also serves on the Rabbinical Assembly’s Resolutions Committee and on the board of directors of the George Mason University Hillel. Prior to becoming a rabbi, Rabbi Michael taught high school algebra in Baltimore, Maryland, worked as a technology consultant in Seattle, Washington, and was the Development Manager at the Seattle Jewish Film Festival.


Rabbi Elyse Seidner-Joseph, MD, received smicha in 2013 from ALEPH. Her passion for creating Jewish community that addresses adult needs and desires led to her founding Makom Kadosh: The Jewish Fellowship of Chester County (JFCC) in 2010. The JFCC meets in a cozy farmhouse on the property of a retreat center, and currently offers Friday night services and a pot-luck veggie dinner twice a month, a once-a-month Shabbat morning experience (meditation, chanting, or a hike), holiday services and celebrations, and adult learning. Interfaith engagement is an essential element in Elyse’s life. She is a member of the Bawa Muhaiyadeen Fellowship, serves the poor at a local Catholic church weekly, and co-creates an annual women’s multi-faith seder. Elyse leads a Daughters of Abraham reading group and initiated a local multi-faith clergy reading group. She has been a guest speaker at American Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, UCC, UU, and independent churches. Elyse’s senior t’shuvah was on the kashrut status of in vitro meat. She received an MD from Columbia and practiced gastroenterology for almost twenty years. Elyse has been married to clarinetist Kenny Joseph for thirty years; they are the parents of two adult children. Other passions include reading novels, the Philadelphia Flyers, classical music, and playing uklele and Scrabble.


Rabbi Dean Shapiro serves as Senior Rabbi of Temple Emanuel of Tempe, Arizona. For Rabbi Shapiro, a synagogue is a place for personal growth and communal action, for enriching lives through learning, prayer, culture, and care for the vulnerable. He loves teaching people of all ages, and serving as a guide for Jewish journeys. Rabbi Dean received his Rabbinic Ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles, California and his Bachelor’s Degree, cum laude, from Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His rabbinic thesis was entitled “Journeying To Wholeness: Towards a Psycho-Symbolic Reading of Torah.” He also holds a Certificate in Jewish Communal Service from HUC-JIR. He has previously served congregations in Los Angeles, the Bay Area, Yuma, AZ and Auckland, New Zealand. Rabbi Shapiro joined Temple Emanuel of Tempe in 2011. Prior to becoming a rabbi, Shapiro worked in international sale and marketing of feature films, handling the distribution of a wide range of titles including My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Rabbi Dean has addressed audiences across New Zealand and Australia, and led prayer in the Houses of Parliament in both countries. He has also been featured on New Zealand’s National Radio, and NPR. Rabbi Dean is a native of Los Angeles. He and his partner, Haim, have a young son who attends Temple Emanuel’s Yad B’Yad Preschool.


Rabbi Lori Shapiro is the founder of The Open Temple centered in Venice, CA. Lori’s rabbinate is dedicated to reaching unaffiliated and intermarried families and seekers. Most recently, she was the Director of Jewish Life and Senior Consultant for Interfaith Relations and Outreach at the University of Southern California Hillel. A graduate of both the Academy for Jewish Religion/California as well as the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, she has served communities in Reform, Reconstructionist, Conservative as well as non-denominational affiliations. She and her husband, Dr. Joel Shapiro, live in the Venice (CA) canals with their daughter, Harel. Lori is a graduate of Barnard College.


Rabbi David Singer is Associate Rabbi of Congregation Shearith Israel in Dallas, Texas, and the founding rabbi of Makom, a laboratory for re-imagining Jewish life among young Jews in Dallas. In 2013, he was named by the Jewish Forward as one of America’s Most Inspiring Rabbis. A graduate of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles, CA, David concentrated his studies in Philosophy and was awarded the Jacob Pressman Award in Homiletics upon ordination. Rabbi Singer was raised in San Diego and received his BA in History with honors from the University of California, Berkeley in 2004. He trained as a chaplain in the Pediatric Oncology Unit of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York from 2007-2008. Rabbi Singer has previously worked closely with American Jewish World Service and Brooklyn Jews. He is the 2011 recipient of the Whizin Prize in Jewish Ethics, and the author of Yisrael Sheli-My Israel: People and Places, a children’s book about Israel. Rabbi Singer is passionate about teaching Torah, building community, and Apple computers.


Rabbi Aaron Weininger is an assistant rabbi at Adath Jeshurun Congregation in Minnetonka, Minnesota where he seeks to connect each person’s spark to the warmth of community. Aaron is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis (2007) and received ordination from JTS in 2012 where he was a Schusterman Rabbinic Fellow. As the first openly gay person to enroll in the JTS rabbinical school, Aaron believes community can be transformed when the wisdom of inherited tradition encounters the depth of lived experience. As part of his rabbinic studies, Aaron trained as a chaplain at Bellevue Hospital Center and at the Educational Alliance with isolated and homeless older adults on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. During his two years at Park Slope Jewish Center, he experimented with new approaches to B’nai Mitzvah learning, engaged 20s and 30s in Brooklyn, and created an innovative prayer leading team for Kabbalat Shabbat. In his final year at JTS, the Legacy Heritage Rabbinic Fellowship brought him to the Bible Belt to serve Congregation Emanuel in Statesville, North Carolina. Deeply committed to cross-denominational learning, Aaron trained in congregation-based community organizing and studied in the Shalom Hartman Rabbinical Student Seminar in Israel. He addressed the importance of chaplaincy at the opening plenary of the 2011 General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America and the same year spoke about LGBT inclusion for the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable at the White House. Aaron is an alumnus of Clal’s Rabbis Without Borders Fellowship.

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