Rabbi Michael Bernstein is the spiritual leader of Congregation Gesher L’Torah in Alpharetta, Ga. He served as the senior Rabbi at Congregation Bnai Jacob in Longmeadow, MA from 1999-2004, and at Congregation Beth Am Israel in Penn Valley, Pa., from 2004-2008. Michael received his ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1999 and is an alumnus of the Rabbis Without Borders second cohort. Michael specializes in Jewish philosophy, especially that of Emmanuel Levinas and focuses on how to see the directives inherent in Jewish tradition as meaningful, ethical, and relevant.
Vision | “I approach my rabbinate as an opportunity to teach and learn how the lives we lead are interwoven with the sources, practices and insights that make up the fabric of Jewishness. I seek to foster deep expression of how being Jewish can be impactful and not rote, emphasizing the embrace of each individual’s personal stories. I frame prayer, learning, and active engagement as doors to meaning open to all irrespective of background, perceived level of learning or identity. I try to model a Judaism in which there are many ways to find meaning and personal connection in being part of a Jewish community.”
Rabbi Neil F. Blumofe is the Senior Rabbi of Congregation Agudas Achim in Austin, Texas. He holds Rabbinic Ordination from both the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) in New York and the Academy for Jewish Religion in Los Angeles. Neil is active in the greater Austin music community — producing and performing the monthly “Jazz and the Art of” series for the public radio station (KUT). His weekly Liner Notes on various jazz artists can be heard on the radio in Austin every Sunday morning and is distributed across the country. He is on faculty at St.EdwardsUniversity, teaching in both Jewish Studies and Jazz Studies. Blumofe has been a Rabbis Without Borders fellow in New York, is a member of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, and is a member of the upcoming Rabbinic Leadership Institute at the Hartman Institute in Jerusalem (2013-2016). He is also an active Crossfitter.
Vision | “Leadership comes with the discipline of patience and generosity. Character is forged not only in the public workshops of performance – rather more significantly in the small ways of rendering goodness. Like a soloist in a jazz ensemble, playing beautifully and technically inspires others to improvise in turn and to trust from the charts of their personal experience. I believe in learning and growing from our learning and to know and appreciate the gifts and the limitations that we have. I view the synagogue as a sacred laboratory and to share vision, sweat, and possibility with those invested in its existence and improvement.”
Rabbi Terry A. Bookman is the senior rabbi of Temple Beth Am in Miami, Florida and was ordained by the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in New York in 1984. He holds a Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters (H.U.C.), a Master of Arts in Systematic Theology (Marquette University), and a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities (C.U.N.Y.). He received certification in the areas of secondary education, language arts, and communication from the University of Colorado. Rabbi Bookman was a Fellow at the Center for Religion and Psychotherapy in Chicago and is co-founder of Eitzah/The Center for Congregational Leadership, whose mission is to strengthen the capacities of congregational leaders to create effective, vibrant synagogues. Over the past decade Rabbi Bookman has coached more than 300 rabbis and religious leaders from across the denominational streams. Rabbi Bookman is married to Karen Sobel, herself a Jewish educator, and is the father of four sons – Ariel, Jonah, Micah, and Jesse.
Vision | “I exist to be a connector—connecting people to themselves (allowing for awareness and insight, as well as wholeness and personal growth); to one another (creating sacred community); and to God (linking themselves to kedusha in all they do in life). While my primary “container” is Judaism, which challenges us to lead a life of holiness, I draw from the truths I have discovered in all faith traditions, psychology, literature, science, the arts, popular culture, leadership and organizational theory, philosophy, anthropology, and history – and always with a sense of humor.”
Rabbi Laura Geller is Senior Rabbi of Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills. She was the first woman to be selected to lead a major metropolitan synagogue and was twice named one of Newsweek’s 50 Most Influential Rabbis in America and was featured in the PBS documentary “Jewish Americans.” Ordained by Hebrew Union College in 1976, she is the third woman in the Reform Movement to become a rabbi. A frequent contributor to the Huffington Post, she is a Fellow of the Corporation of Brown University from where she graduated in 1971. Prior to coming to TempleEmanuel she served as the Hillel Director at USC for 14 years and then as the regional director of the American Jewish Congress. She is married to Richard Siegel, the mother of Joshua and Elana, and the step-mother of Andy and Ruth.
Vision | “My role is to be translator, teacher, guide, nudge, connector and leader. As translator and teacher, I try to make these Jewish tools accessible through teaching, writing, facilitating prayer experience and the example of how I live my own life. As guide, I am present to individuals and families at important moments of celebration and loss through creative engagement with ritual and prayer. As nudge, I am relentless in my intention to empower others to take responsibility for their Jewish lives and the life of our community. As connector, I facilitate relationships among people and among diverse communities. As leader, I try to be bold about articulating, advocating and organizing in the Jewish community, in Israel, and in the larger world to move us a little closer to a vision of a world redeemed.”
Rabbi Elyse Goldstein served for twenty years as the Director of Kolel: The Adult Centre for Liberal Jewish Learning which she founded in Toronto. She is currently the Founding Rabbi of City Shul, an out-of-the-box new Reform congregation in downtown Toronto. She was ordained from Hebrew Union College in 1983, and served as Canada’s only female rabbi for the first three years of her rabbinate. She is one of seven women featured in the Canadian National Film Board documentary, “Half the Kingdom.” She is the author of ReVisions: Seeing Torah through a Feminist Lens and Seek Her Out. Elyse is also the editor of The Women’s Torah Commentary, The Women’s Haftarah Commentary and New Jewish Feminism: Probing the Past, Forging the Future. She is the 2005 recipient of the Covenant Award for Exceptional Jewish Educators. Elyse loves spinning, skiing (both downhill and cross-country) and singing her heart out. She is a devoted foodie, fast-paced traveler (having taken her kids out of school for 6 months to travel around the world) and family-lover of husband Baruch and sons Noam, Carmi-Yonah, and Micah.
Vision | I have wanted to be a rabbi since my Bat Mitzvah at age 13— though I had never seen a woman on the bima. Being a rabbi is to grab hold of the rich and meaningful chain of Jewish tradition, wind it around in new and thought-provoking ways and help people take a hold of whatever link lands near their heart. To be a liberal rabbi in this century is the deep but motivating paradox of being an agent of change with a reverence for an unchanging text and a slowly-changing tradition. I still believe that the synagogue is the best place to do that; a place where it is safe to wrestle with the angels both within and without.
Rabbi Rachel Gurevitz serves Congregation B’nai Shalom in Westborough, MA. A graduate of the CLAL student program, and the first cohort of the Rabbis Without Borders Fellowship, Rabbi Gurevitz became Rabbi of CBS in 2012 after six years as the Associate Rabbi of Congregation B’nai Israel, Bridgeport, CT, where she was a founder of an interfaith Tent of Abraham program and served for several summers with the management team of Elat Chayim. Growing up in a Modern Orthodox community in the suburbs of London and transitioning to a Reform community and Jewish Renewal chavurah during her college years, Rachel studied for the rabbinate at Leo Baeck College, London and Hebrew Union College, NY and a Ph.D in Cultural Geography (Sociology) at University College London. Rabbi Gurevitz is married to Rabbi Suri Krieger (AJR, NY, 2009) and they have four adult step-children.
Vision | “As a rabbi who seeks to understand and serve my community and bring Jewish wisdom into the context of their everyday lives, I bring the outside world into my teaching and provide bridges for congregants to navigate the different parts of their lives. I have a love of Jewish mysticism and spiritual practice and bring creative, experiential prayer into a mainstream, Reform congregation in ways that open people to trying new things. I am passionate about interfaith work and making our congregation more actively present in the wider community. I work as a partner with my lay leadership, shaping the identity and values of the congregation together, and seeking to make it more of a model of the values and sacred community that we all aspire to be.”
Rabbi Daniel Levin serves as the senior rabbi of Temple Beth El of Boca Raton. In addition to his congregational work, Dan currently serves as president of the southeast region of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and on the Reform Movement’s Joint Commission on Ritual and Religious Living. He served as a member of the Reform Movement’s Think Tank, a group seeking to create a visioning process for the future of Reform Judaism. Dan serves on the Executive Committee of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County as a board member of Ruth and Norman Rales Jewish Family Services and the American Jewish Committee. As a Wexner Graduate Fellow Rabbi Levin served for the past two years as part of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship’s Alumni Mentoring Program, and for many years as a mentor for the CCAR.
Vision | I see the rabbinate as a vessel through which Torah and holiness and can be translated into a language Jews in our contemporary period can understand and embrace. I strive to work with my congregational and community partners to create a community where each member is inspired to lead a life of spiritual richness, meaning, purpose, and service. In many ways, we live in a ”post-mitzvah” world, where Jews need to learn to listen to the commanding voice that wells up from within, rather than that which comes from the outside. Thus I seek to build a congregation whose mission is to synthesize the essential questions and challenges of the world in which we live with the wisdom and power of the tradition we are asked to embrace. It is this weaving of tradition into the modern world that guides my teaching, my learning, my ritual life, and my pastoral care.
Rabbi Ellen Lippmann is founder and rabbi of Kolot Chayeinu/Voices of Our Lives, building a progressive Jewish community in Brooklyn for 22 years. Rabbi Lippmann is the former East Coast Director of MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, and former director of the Jewish Women’s Program at the New 14th Street Y in Manhattan. Rabbi Lippmann was Co-chair and still serves on the board of T’ruah: the Rabbinic Call for Human Rights. She served as the first social justice chair for the Women’s Rabbinic Network. She is the founder of the Soup Kitchen at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, and co-founder of the ten year-old Children of Abraham Peace Walk: Jews, Christians and Muslims Walking Together in Brooklyn in Peace. She also serves on the rabbinic councils of J-Street and Jews for Racial and Economic Justice. Rabbi Lippmann was ordained in 1991 by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and also received there the degree of Master of Hebrew Letters. She holds a BA in English Language and Literature from Boston University and an MS in Library Science from Simmons College. Rabbi Lippmann and her partner are long-time Brooklyn residents and believe to be absolutely true what a Kolot Chayeinu member once said in jest: ”IT DON’T GET ANY BETTER THAN BROOKLYN!”
Vision | A Jewish home has an open door: I have believed for a long time that Jewish community and any one Jewish community must be open to its margins, to embracing the fringes that we who wear tallitot can well imagine: We gather the fringes of our tallitot as the many become one! I believe in welcoming – hakhnasat orkhim – as a value for all, and never as a way for an “us” to welcome a “you” who thus immediately feels “other.” For Jews as for many peoples, food is often the best way to open up: When we join to break bread, we also break down the divides that can otherwise separate us. And when we break bread and acknowledge the chain of work that begins with God’s gift of wheat and ends with the last person who made or purchased the bread, we are honoring avodah: the labor and service that went into the food we are eating, linking us to workers of all kinds. Eating together can provide a bridge from the outside world to the world within, from work to prayer, from home to shul, from busy to restful. Shabbat is the locus of our rest and determination, our prayer and community, our learning and commitment to doing. “We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes,” said the legendary civil rights hero Ella Baker. I say, “We who believe in freedom MUST rest SO it can come.”
Rabbi Jack Moline is Executive Director of Interfaith Alliance and Rabbi Emeritus of Agudas Achim Congregation in Alexandria, Virginia. He was the first Director of Public Policy for the Rabbinical Assembly. Rabbi Moline has chaired the Washington Board of Rabbis, the Interfaith Relations Committee of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the board of Interfaith Alliance, and the Alexandria Interfaith Council. He has served as an officer of the Washington-Baltimore Rabbinical Assembly and has been on the boards the Faith and Politics Institute and Operation Understanding DC. Rabbi Moline is an adjunct faculty member of the Jewish Theological Seminary and Virginia Theological Seminary. Rabbi Moline has authored two books and has contributed to many publications. He is a popular speaker, featured on radio, television and web broadcasts and in synagogues, churches and organizations across the United States and Canada. He prefers to be best known as husband of Ann and father of Julia, Max, and Jennie and Kevin O’Holleran (and grandfather to their perfect daughter). Rabbi Moline is an alumnus of the Rabbis Without Borders Fellowship.
Vision | “I am an intensely private person in an excruciatingly public position. My own expectation, which mirrors others’ expectations, is that I will model an authentic Jewish life in my ritual conduct and moral compass. I strive to be the real deal. It begins with being unembarrassed by my belief in a personal God, a commitment to my life being guided by Jewish law, and a determination to be honest about both –even when personal conviction or shortcomings get in my way. I therefore strive to be generous, compassionate and understanding, and to meet people where they are. I find it equally important to listen and to speak up. The trick is in knowing when to do each.”
Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum is the Rabbi and Executive Director of the Kavana Cooperative, which she co-founded in 2006. Kavana has been named to Newsweek Magazine’s list of “America’s 25 Most Vibrant Congregations” and has received numerous awards and grants for its innovative approach to building Jewish community. In addition, Rachel has been a recipient of the prestigious AVI CHAI Fellowship, the Joshua Venture Group Fellowship (for Jewish social entrepreneurs), and the Wexner Graduate Fellowship. Originally from Charleston, South Carolina, Rachel has degrees from Duke University and the Jewish Theological Seminary. She lives in Seattle, Washington with her husband Noam Pianko and their children Yona, Mia, and Elisha.
Vision | As a rabbi, I hope to inspire, encourage, and support others in finding their own Jewish paths and building meaningful Jewish lives for themselves. I see myself as a teacher of Torah, in the broadest possible sense of that word. I value depth of content, and intellectual rigor; I believe that prayer should come from the heart, and that Jewish values should be lived in the world. I especially love midrash, and look to that ancient interpretive tradition as a model for how we can uphold multiple interpretations side-by-side as we build open, non-judgmental and pluralistic communities today. Over the past decade, I have spent lots of time and energy thinking about how we can craft Jewish institutions to better meet the needs of contemporary Jews, and I’m still learning and experimenting in my attempts to answer that question.
Rabbi Shalom Carnie Rose serves at the Rabbi Bernard Lipnick Senior Rabbinic Chair of Congregation B’nai Amoona in St. Louis, MO. Rose has lived, studied, and taught throughout the world, including stints in Canada, Israel, The Far East, and Europe. Deeply committed to pluralism, Rabbi Rose continually strives to find innovative ways to make Jewish tradition existentially relevant for contemporary seekers. Rose has served as a member of the Federation’s National Young Leadership Cabinet; was selected to participate in the STAR Rabbis: From Good to Great Program; KJL – The Kellogg School of Management’s Education for Jewish Leaders Circle; CLAL’s Rabbis Without Borders; the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Global Emerging Leaders Forum; the International Rabbinic Leadership Council, the Rabbinic Leadership Institute of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem; and spent the 2011-2012 academic year in Jerusalem as a Fellow at the Hebrew University’s Melton Centre for Jewish Education. He is married to Pauline and they have four children, Noa, Zakai, Lev & Ellior.
Vision | “I am deeply committed to pluralism and continually strive to find innovative ways to make Jewish tradition existentially relevant for contemporary seekers. I consider myself a dynamic and passionate teacher and preacher who strives to bridge the ways of the past with the needs of the present for the sake of the future.”
Rabbi Peter Rubinstein is the Director of Jewish Community and the Bronfman Center for Jewish Life at the 92Y in New York City. He is also the Rabbi Emeritus of Manhattan’s Central Synagogue, a Reform congregation where he served as the Senior Rabbi for 23 years. He is presently the Director of the Be Wise Fellowship in Jewish Entrepreneurship at the HUC-JIR in New York City. In addition to his professional affiliations and responsibilities, Peter is a founder and chair of the Rabbinic Council of the World Union for Progressive Judaism; co-chair of the Partnership of Faith in New York City which includes the senior clergy of the city’s major congregations; and chairperson of the Rabbinic Vision Initiative aimed at the evolution of Reform Judaism in North America. Peter serves as the Co-President of the U.S. Board of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation and is the immediate past Chair of the Board of Auburn Theological Seminary. Peter has been named both on Newsweek’s list of America’s 50 Most Influential Rabbis and by the Forward’s list of America’s Most Inspiring Rabbis.
Vision | My vision includes the heretical disavowal of time worn assumptions and the need to reinterpret the original intent of our traditional expressions applying them anew to our own time and personal spiritual longing. Jewish existence needs to be anchored in strength of character, depth of soul, and the power of relationships. Imagining the unimaginable must be our hallmark.
Jews believe that we were born into history to matter. With our roots in study, the Torah and a covenant with God we confirm that our purpose is to make a difference in this creation, to make humanity ever better, with greater goodness and immutable integrity. We can manage it all by being a people who believe that dreams become real, that aspirations can be achieved, and that truth can be refined. Jewish institutions must encourage ludicrous dreams, the opportunity to take chances and dedication to the immense possibilities of Jewish existence. That’s why I love being a rabbi.
Rabbi Eric Solomon is the rabbi of Beth Meyer Synagogue in Raleigh, NC, one of the fastest growing synagogues in the southeastern United States. Under his leadership, Beth Meyer has experienced a dramatic increase in prayer service attendance, multiplied its programmatic offerings, and solidified social justice as a core mission of the congregation. In 2011, Beth Meyer completed a multi-million dollar capital campaign which resulted in a new education building, Biblical garden, and the only non-Orthodox mikveh in all of eastern North Carolina. He is active in inter-religious dialogue and other issues of social concern with a particular focus on immigration and immigrants’ rights. For his work, Rabbis for Human Rights-North America honored him as a “Rabbi of the Month” and the Raleigh News Observer as a “Tarheel of the Week.” Rabbi Solomon is married to Rabbi Jennifer Solomon and has three children. Rabbi Solomon is an alumnus of the Rabbis Without Borders Fellowship.
Vision | “I am a passionate Jew who seeks God’s presence through meditation, prayer, song, relationships, and community. I love the Torah and aim to study its teachings so that I may embody its wisdom and inspire others to do so as well. I strive to be a sensitive and caring pastor who brings a sense of God’s supportive presence and a listening heart to those who are suffering. In the prophetic tradition, I make it a priority to stand up for the poor, the stranger and all who experience injustice. As a leader, I aim to engage and empower my congregants to co-create, strategize, and implement a shared vision.”
Rabbi Marc Soloway has been Bonai Shalom’s rabbi in Boulder, Colorado since his 2004 ordination from Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in California. Previously he was an actor and complementary medicine practitioner in London. He chairs Hazon’s Rabbinical Advisory Board, was part of a 2012 rabbis’ delegation to Ghana with AJWS, is a graduate of the Institute of Jewish Spirituality and a board member of Ramah of the Rockies. Marc narrates two films: PBS featured A Fire in the Forest: Life and Legacy of the Baal Shem Tov and Treasure under the Bridge: Pilgrimage to Hassidic Masters of Ukraine, released in 2015. Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, in both films, has been a bridge between Hassidut and contemporary expressions of Jewish life and an important teacher for Marc, giving him secondary smicha shortly before he died in 2014. Marc had the deep honor of co-officiating Reb Zalman’s funeral. With a commitment to a more sustainable community, Marc was listed in The Forward’s most inspiring rabbis of 2014.
Vision | Sustainability, creativity and spirituality define the ways in which I connect to and transmit Judaism to Jews and non-Jews, striving to bring a rich and nuanced past into a vibrant future. In the tradition of my teacher Reb Zalman and others, “neo-Hassidim” integrates the psycho-spiritual depth of the Hassidic masters with an urgent response to the issues and needs of our time, as activists and practitioners; healers and teachers. Most of those we serve and inspire crave that they be seen and heard, witnessed with love and authenticity. Our role is to hear them and to help them tell their own sacred stories along with the ancient narratives of our people, and to live lives of meaning and connection in a frightening and confusing world. Imagination and compassion help my rabbinate breathe.
Rabbi Amy Wallk Katz is the rabbi of Temple Beth El in Springfield Massachusetts. In addition, she serves on Chancellor Arnold Eisen’s Rabbinic Leadership Cabinet, writes a column for Moment Magazine, and teaches a class at the Jewish Theological Seminary in the Davidson School of Education. For most of her rabbinate, Amy has been involved with the FlorenceMeltonAdultMini-School. She has been a director of a Melton school and has taught Melton classes yearly since 1995. Amy received rabbinical ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Her post-secondary education includes a bachelor’s degree in Jewish Studies from BarnardCollege; a master’s degree in Journalism from NorthwesternUniversity; a master’s degree in Jewish Education from the University of Judaism, and a doctorate in Education from MichiganStateUniversity. She is married to Kenneth Katz, and the couple has three children Tamar, Gabriel and Nina. Rabbi Walk Katz is an alumna of the Rabbis Without Borders Fellowship.
Vision | “I am an educator who happens to be a rabbi. I aim to use every moment to teach about Judaism. Whether under the chuppa, on the bima, at the bedside of someone who is ill, in a counseling session or at a meeting I teach. I am open to others’ approaches to Judaism and work hard to make sure that those around me do not feel as though they are being judged. I am mindful that as a senior rabbi I must be a visionary leader for the synagogue, I must attend to the individual needs of my congregants and I represent the synagogue in the community.”
Rabbi Nahum Ward-Lev is the Scholar-in-Residence at Temple Beth Shalom in Santa Fe, NM. Nahum served congregations for fifteen years until 2000, when he left the pulpit to focus on teaching and spiritual direction. Nahum is the founder of two Beit Midrash learning circles in Santa Fe, one predominately Jewish and the other for people from many backgrounds. Beit Midrash is an intensive learning community where traditional Jewish texts are studied in a manner that engages the intellect, heart, and soul of the student. Nahum has a particular passion for studying the spiritual experience of the Hebrew Prophets and mining that experience to inspire and guide contemporary social activism. He is one of the leaders of a multi-faith social justice summer institute for young adults. Nahum has taught Jewish meditation and mindfulness practice for many years. Nahum is also adjunct faculty at a medical residency program where he teaches spirituality and medicine. Rabbi Ward-Lev is an alumnus of the Rabbis Without Borders Fellowship.
Vision | In my rabbinate, I nurture sacred learning communities, circles where people are vulnerable, thoughtful, honest, courageous and kind in engaging sacred text in the pursuit of wisdom, social justice and a growing relationship with the Divine Mystery. I find endless fascination in Jewish texts. As a rabbi, I practice deep listening. I seek to be fully present and attentive to each person and each moment in my life. Spiritual practice, including study, meditation and prayer has become fundamental for me. My life has been profoundly enhanced by friendships with people who practice Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism. I am drawn to work in multi-faith settings.
Rabbi Michael Wasserman, together with his wife Rabbi Elana Kanter, founded The New Shul in Scottsdale Arizona in 2002. They have served as co-rabbis there ever since. Rabbi Wasserman is a graduate of Harvard University, the Jewish Theological Seminary, and the Shalom Hartman Institute’s Rabbinic Leadership Initiative. He has published numerous articles in professional and academic journals, most recently “The Vendor Trap: Why Selling Spirituality Doesn’t Work” (eJewishPhilanthropy Jan. 9 2014).
Vision | I believe that building vibrant spiritual communities today means not only offering more to contemporary Jews, but asking more of them. Meaning is not a product that one person can provide to another. It emerges out of shared responsibility and shared commitment. The greatest need that contemporary Jews have is to know that they are needed, that true community depends on their own openness to growth and self-transcendence.
Rabbi Sheila Weinberg has served in multiple capacities in the Jewish community – including Hillel director, day school teacher and community relations professional. She is a 1986 graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and has served as a congregational rabbi for seventeen years, including thirteen years at the Jewish Community of Amherst. In the last twenty- three years Rabbi Weinberg has studied mindfulness meditation and is a senior teacher and director of community outreach of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. Weinberg has written extensively on a variety of subjects including Jewish spirituality, social justice, feminism and parenting and is developer and co-director of the Jewish Mindfulness Teachers’ Training. She is a major contributor to the Kol Haneshamah prayer book series. Her CD, Preparing the Heart: Meditation for Jewish Spiritual Practice integrates Jewish sacred text and meditation. Her first book, Surprisingly Happy: An Atypical Religious Memoir was published in 2010. Rabbi Weinberg is married to Maynard Seider. She is mom to Abby and Ezra, step-mom to Aaron and mom-in-law to Nathan, Olivia and Erin.
Vision | “I teach, write and counsel to create a deeper engagement among Jewish leaders with the wellsprings of Jewish spirituality as a force for personal and social transformation. I am a visionary innovator who creatively weaves different sacred traditions with Judaism. Through devotion to my own spiritual practice I seek to inspire others to engage more fully in their chosen practices. My prayer and hope is for us all to thereby work more effectively to heal the suffering of ourselves and our world bringing peace and justice.”
Rabbi Shawn Israel Zevit is the lead rabbi at congregation Mishkan Shalom, in Philadelphia, PA, committed to the integration of meaningful spiritual living, life-long learning and acts of caring and social justice. Rabbi Zevit worked for over thirty years consulting to and supporting dozens of congregations, organizations, social justice and sustainability initiatives in the Jewish and larger world. He is co-director with Rabbi Marcia Prager of the award-winning Davennen Leader’s Training Institute (www.dlti.org) and is a spiritual director and associate director for the ALEPH Hashpa’ah (Spiritual Direction) program. He is also a recording and performing artist (http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ShawnZevit) and has been an organizer for over twenty years of men’s programming and retreats. He is the co-editor with Harry Brod of Brother Keepers: New Perspectives in Jewish Masculinity (Men’s Studies Press, 2010). He is also the author of Offerings of the Heart: Money and Values in Faith Community (Alban Institute). Rabbi Zevit is a graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and also has simcha from Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l and ALEPH.
Vision | Shviti Shechinah L’Negdi Tamid– Striving to be conscious and acting on the Divine potential in all Life- always. This kavannah or guiding principle informs my longing and work as a human being, and thus in my rabbinic roles. I see my work at the nexus of spiritual formation, sustainable living, justice and healing on a personal, interpersonal and communal level. I am committed to helping the people I encounter and work with to awake to what is possible within themselves and in the world. I see “rabbi-ing” as being an active leader, catalyst and supporter in prayer, congregational management, teaching, counseling, organizing for justice and change, and meaningful and creative Jewish spiritual expression.