Authors

Ruth Abusch MagderRuth Abusch Magder
Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder PhD. is the Rabbi-in-Residence at Be'chol Lashon and the editor of the blog Jewish&. A culinary historian and mother of 2, she lives and meditates in San Francisco. Follow her on Twitter @rabbiruth
Larry BachLarry Bach
Rabbi Larry Bach serves Temple Mount Sinai, the Reform Jewish congregation in El Paso, Texas. He is a leader in his city's congregation-based community organization, Border Interfaith, and is currently serving as Vice President of Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, an asylum and legal aid agency. He loves teaching the deep spiritual wisdom of the Hasidic tradition, from a more universal and open perspective. Larry is married, and is the father of three beautiful girls. Away from work, he enjoys road cycling and helping his wife prepare delicious vegan cuisine.
Michael BalinskyMichael Balinsky
Rabbi Michael Balinsky is the Executive Vice President of the Chicago Board of Rabbis, an organization representing two hundred rabbis of all denominations. Previously he was Director of Faculty Development for the Florence Melton Adult Mini-Schools and was a Hillel director for twenty- two years, over nineteen of those as the director of the Louis and Saerree Fiedler Hillel Center at Northwestern University, after two and a half years as the Associate Director of Hillel at the University of Michigan. He is a long time member of the Jewish Catholic Scholars Dialogue in Chicago and is an executive member of the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago. Rabbi Balinsky is a graduate of Yeshiva University where he also received his ordination. He is married to Dr. Myra Rapoport and they are the parents of three daughters.
Laura BaumLaura Baum
Rabbi Laura Baum is a Founding Rabbi and the Chief Operating Officer of OurJewishCommunity.org and a Rabbi at Congregation Beth Adam in Cincinnati. With expertise in social media and the changing needs of the Jewish community, Laura has created an innovative model for engaging those seeking new ways to connect to Judaism. Under her leadership, OurJewishCommunity.org provides meaningful Jewish connections for Jews around the world and was named by Slingshot as one of the top 50 innovative Jewish organizations. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Yale, she has rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College and an MBA from Xavier University.
Steve BayarSteve Bayar
Steven Bayar received his BA in religious studies and an MA in Biblical Studies and Medieval Jewish Philosophy from the University of Virginia. He was ordained at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and served in congregations in Greenbelt, Maryland and Chestnut Ridge, New York before coming to Congregation Bnai Israel, Millburn, New Jersey in 1989. He is the author (with Francine Hirschman) of Teens & Trust: Building Bridges in Jewish Education (Torah Aura), Rachel & Mischa (Kar-Ben Copies, with Ilene Strauss), And You Shall Teach Them Diligently to Your Children: Transmitting Jewish Values from Generation to Generation (Town House Press, with Naomi Eisenberger). He authored the Ziv/Giraffe Values Curriculum (Righteous Persons Foundation) and as Co founder of Ikkar Publishing has written over 50 curricula in use in over 800 schools and educational institutions throughout the world. A hospice chaplain, He currently serves as Chair of the Rabbinic Advisory Committee of the Golda Ochs Hebrew Academy, President of the Millburn Clergy Association and is a Chaplain for the Millburn Police Department.
Michael BernsteinMichael Bernstein
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 alumni 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.
Hannah DresnerHannah Dresner
Hannah Dresner believes it is her calling is to work toward a revitalized Judaism across denominational boundaries, integrating the experiences of head, heart and physical being into Jewish practice. She currently serves Reform congregation B’nei Torah in Brentwood, CA as Visiting Rabbi, leads chant and meditation at Conservative congregation Netivot Shalom in Berkeley, and teaches chassidic texts, the art of prayer, and the spiritual practice of song at synagogues, retreat centers and universities. She is in the last cohort to have received rabbinic smicha from Rabbi Zalman Shachter-Shalomi through the ALEPH Alliance for Jewish Renewal, where she was also ordained as a spiritual director. Reb Hannah entered the rabbinate with an MFA from the University of Chicago and an exhibition, curatorial, and teaching record in visual arts. She and her husband Dr. Ross Andelman have raised three daughters in the Berkeley hills.
Laura Duhan KaplanLaura Duhan Kaplan
Laura Duhan Kaplan is rabbi of Or Shalom Synagogue in Vancouver, Canada, a traditional-innovative spiritual community affiliated with ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal. Laura, also a retired philosophy professor and a faculty member at ALEPH ordination programs, has a passion for teaching philosophy, theology, and spirituality. Laura lives with her husband Charles, psychologist and musician; their two young adult children, who are active in the Habonim-Dror socialist Zionist youth movement; and many companion animals. Follow her blog at onsophiastreet.com.
Eliana FalkEliana Falk
Rabbi Eliana Falk feels blessed to serve at Beth El Synagogue in Woodbury, Conn. She was ordained through the Academy for Jewish Religion, and is committed to Jewish pluralism in all of its wonderful and challenging glory. In her congregation and her work as a chaplain, she works to open doors to the joys of Jewish life, and deeper understanding of the richness of our heritage, through experiential learning in a joyful community that reaches beyond the walls of the synagogue. She has twice been awarded the Herschel J Matt Creative Liturgy Award. She is committed to the evolution of Jewish life, environmental responsibility, and building interfaith ties.
Matt GewirtzMatt Gewirtz
Matthew D. Gewirtz is the Senior Rabbi at Congregation B'nai Jeshurun in Short Hills, New Jersey. He is the author of The Gift of Grief: Finding Peace, Transformation and Renewed Life after Great Sorrow” (Random House). A strong advocate of social justice, Rabbi Gewirtz is a founding executive committee member of the Newark Coalition for Hope and Peace, an interfaith organization of Jews, Christians and Muslims that is committed to ending gang violence in Newark. Rabbi Gewirtz strives to find joy and meaning in his daily life and is committed to helping do the same for others. His greatest joy comes from his wife, Lauren and their three beautiful children.
Seth GoldsteinSeth Goldstein
Rabbi Seth Goldstein has served as the rabbi of Temple Beth Hatfiloh in Olympia, WA since 2003. He was ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and also holds an MA from the Jewish Theological Seminary. He is a member of the board of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, served as a co-chair of an RRA task force examining issues of Jewish status and identity and is a participant in the Clergy Leadership Program of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. A regular blogger at his personal blog Rabbi360, Rabbi Goldstein is the author of numerous published articles and a contributor to A Guide to Jewish Practice: Shabbat and Holidays. He is both committed to creating vibrant Jewish community and using a spiritual voice to speak to issues of social justice and common concern.
Pamela Jay GottfriedPamela Jay Gottfried
Rabbi Pamela Jay Gottfried teaches Torah and ceramics at Ramah Darom in the summer and directs the Jewish Women’s Getaway in the fall. The rest of the year, she serves as a rabbi/artist-in-residence at synagogues and churches around the southeast, teaches lifelong learners at the JCC in Atlanta, and spends most mornings at home, writing and revising the manuscript of her second book. Connect with her at pamelagottfried.com.
Ben GreenbergBen Greenberg
Ben Greenberg received his rabbinic ordination from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School in New York City. He has also completed graduate coursework in both Medieval Jewish History and Public Administration. Rabbi Greenberg has worked in the college campus and in synagogues from Boston to Denver. He is the author of two books and has written numerous articles on topics of Jewish thought, philosophy and contemporary issues. Rabbi Greenberg is married to Dr. Sharon Weiss-Greenberg and together they have two sons.
Rachel GurevitzRachel Gurevitz
Rachel Gurevitz is the Senior Rabbi of Congregation B'nai Shalom, Westborough, MA. In her congregation she is helping individuals to nourish and deepen their own path to positive Jewish living. Her passions include working on interfaith interaction and cooperation, music, chant, and meditation, and Jewish mysticism. Rachel was ordained at Hebrew Union College where she completed the rabbinic studies she began at Leo Baeck College, London. Prior to this, she received her B.S. and Ph.D. degrees from University College, London, researching, consulting and publishing on environmental and sustainable development education from a multi-disciplinary perspective.
Heidi HooverHeidi Hoover
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.
Rachel KobrinRachel Kobrin
Rabbi Rachel Kobrin is the Assistant Rabbi at Congregation Agudas Achim (CAA), a vibrant spiritual community in Austin, Texas. A 2009 graduate of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, Rachel is passionate about building Jewish community and engaging people in meaningful prayer, acts of social justice, and transformative Jewish learning. Rachel was the co-founder of Minyan Malei Shirah, a soulful and song-filled Friday night minyan in Los Angeles and is spearheading Selah -- an innovative South Austin satellite community of CAA. She is on the faculty at the Austin Jewish Academy and is a contributing author in the book God: Jewish Choices for Struggling with the Ultimate (2008). Rachel is married to Rick Brody -- also a rabbi -- and they are the parents of Noa and Adin.
Adam LavittAdam Lavitt
Rabbi Adam Lavitt is a spiritual leader, educator, and writer. He was ordained at the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College in 2012, and has since been a Liturgist in Residence at the National Havurah Institute, and a CLAL Rabbis Without Borders Fellow. His interest in embodiment and spiritual practice has led him to found several projects, including the Movement Minyan and Circus Shul - and fueled his recent work reimagining education at Congregation Dorshei Tzedek, in Newton, MA. where he recently served as Assistant Rabbi.
Tsafi LevTsafi Lev
Rabbi Tsafi Lev, is a CLAL Rabbis Without Borders Fellow. He is the Rabbinic Director of New Community Jewish High School in West Hills, CA, and a Lecturer for the Fingerhut School of Education Master of Arts in Education program at the American Jewish University.
David MarkusDavid Markus
David Evan Markus is associate spiritual leader of Temple Beth-El of City Island, NYC, and vice chair and general counsel of ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal. An alum of Rabbis Without Borders, David is a January 2015 candidate for rabbinic ordination from ALEPH; he also received ordination as mashpia ruchani (spiritual director) from ALEPH. David’s work has appeared in Sh’ma Journal, on Velveteen Rabbi and at OHALAH (the trans-denominational clergy association for Jewish Renewal). David presides as judicial referee in New York Supreme Court, 9th Judicial District. His previous public service posts include senior counsel to the New York State Senate, special counsel to the Chief Judge of New York, and senior law clerk to the New York Court of Appeals. He also served as faculty in graduate public administration at Pace University and political science faculty at Fordham University. David earned his Juris Doctor magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, his Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and his Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude from Williams College.
Rabbi Jason MillerRabbi Jason Miller
Rabbi Jason Miller is an educator, entrepreneur, social media expert and blogger. He is president of Access Computer Technology, a computer consulting firm based in Detroit, and is the founder/director of Kosher Michigan, a kosher certification agency. His personal blog has reached over a million and he has created PopJewish.com, TorahDaily.com and CelebrateJewish.com. Follow him on Twitter: @rabbijason
Tamara MillerTamara Miller
Rabbi Tamara Miller is a graduate of the Academy for Jewish Religion in New York City. She is currently the Spiritual Director at the Center for Integrative Medicine in Washington, D.C. A CLAL Rabbis Without Borders Fellow, Rabbi Miller also has an independent practice as a Judaics teacher, spiritual counselor and life ritualist.
Geoff MitelmanGeoff Mitelman
Rabbi Geoffrey A. Mitelman is the Founding Director of Sinai and Synapses, an organization that bridges the scientific and religious worlds, and is being incubated at Clal - The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership. He was ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, where he received the Cora Kahn Prize from the Cincinnati faculty for the most outstanding sermon delivery and oratory. An alumnus of Princeton University, he received multiple prizes for outstanding scholarship in Biblical and Judaic studies. In addition to My Jewish Learning, his writings about the intersection of religion and science have appeared on the homepages of several sites, including The Huffington Post, Science and Religion Today, and WordPress.com. He was interviewed by BBC Radio’s World Have Your Say about the religious implications of the Higgs Boson, and is also on the planning committee for the new URJ 6 Points Science Academy. For seven years, he served as Assistant and then Associate Rabbi of Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester. He lives in Westchester with his wife Heather Stoltz, a fiber artist, and their daughter Caroline.
Joshua RatnerJoshua Ratner
Rabbi Joshua Ratner is the rabbi of Congregation Kol Ami in Cheshire, CT. Ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in May 2012, Rabbi Ratner was a Joseph Neubauer Fellow and also earned a Master's Degree in Midrash and a Certificate in Pastoral Care. He also worked as an attorney for five years prior to entering rabbinical school. Rabbi Ratner is passionate about the interplay between Judaism, public policy, and American culture. He has received training in congregation-based community organizing and was part of the original rabbinical student cohort of Rabbis Without Borders fellows. He and his wife, Dr. Elena Ratner, are the proud parents of Dimitri, Eli, and Gabriella.
Hanan SchlesingerHanan Schlesinger
Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger resides in Alon Shvut, Israel. He serves as the Director of Memnosyne Israel, promoting interfaith, bridge building projects between Israeli settlers and local Palestinians. As the Executive Director and Community Rabbinic Scholar of the Jewish Studies Initiative of North Texas, he also flies to Dallas, Texas once a month to teach adult education classes within the Jewish community and to spearhead interfaith dialogue.
Rebecca SchorrRebecca Schorr
Ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Rabbi Rebecca Einstein Schorr is a CLAL Rabbis Without Borders Fellow and the editor of the CCAR Newsletter. Writing at her blog, This Messy Life, Rabbi Schorr finds meaning in the sacred and not-yet-sacred intersections of daily life. Follow her on Twitter @rebeccaschorr.
Amy SmallAmy Small
Rabbi Amy Joy Small is the founding Rabbi and Director of Deborah's Palm Center for Jewish Learning and Experiences. She was ordained from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 1987 and has served congregations in New Jersey, Michigan and Indiana. She is a past president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, with many years of board service. She is a fellow of Rabbis Without Borders and a senior fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute. She is currently on the Board of Governors of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, the Jewish Federation of Metrowest NJ, National Interreligious Leadership Delegation for Peace in the Middle East, and the MetroWest NJ Partnership for Jewish Learning and Life. She was a Vice Chair for the National JNFA Rabbinic Cabinet, and served on the boards of Religions for Peace USA, the American Zionist Movement, and the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation Israel Committee. Among her interfaith activities, she co-taught an intensive course, Building Abrahamic Partnerships at the Hartford Seminary. Rabbi Small previously was Dean of Academic Administration and Director of the Education Program at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.
Alana SuskinAlana Suskin
Rabbi Alana Suskin is an educator, activist, and writer published in dozens of anthologies and journals, including the Daily Beast, Lilith, Sh’ma and "The New Jewish Feminism: Probing the Past, Forging the Future," a finalist in the 2010 National Jewish Book Award. She is a senior managing editor of Jewschool.com, the Secretary of T'ruah (formerly Rabbis for Human Rights-North America) and sits on the board of American Rights at Work. Rabbi Suskin is Director of Strategic Communications for Americans for Peace Now.
Elianna YolkutElianna Yolkut
Elianna Yolkut is a rabbi without borders, thinker and educator who strives to bring comfort, Jewish wisdom and connection to people at all life stages through a deeper engagement with Judaism. Ordained in 2006 by the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles, she was later an adjunct faculty member there while serving as assistant rabbi at the Conservative synagogue Adat Ari El in nearby Valley Village. Elly, who holds a BA in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and Sociology from Brandeis University, now lives with her partner and their young twins in Washington D.C. (Learn more at www.rabbielianna.com)
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