Rabbis Without Borders
Rabbis Without Borders is a dynamic forum for exploring contemporary issues in the Jewish world and beyond. Written by rabbis of different denominations, viewpoints, and parts of the country, Rabbis Without Borders is a project of Clal – The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership.
Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder, PhD. is the Rabbi-in-Residence at Be’chol Lashon and the editor of the blog Tzeh U’llimad. A culinary historian and mother of 2, she lives and meditates in San Francisco. Follow her on Twitter @rabbiruth
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.
Rabbi Ben Greenberg is the senior rabbi of BMH-BJ: The Denver Synagogue, Denver’s largest and oldest Modern Orthodox synagogue. He is a member of the Rocky Mountain Rabbinical Council, a member of the Board of Directors of the Hillel of Colorado and of the International Rabbinic Fellowship. Previously, Rabbi Greenberg was the rabbi of the Harvard Hillel and the Jewish chaplain of Harvard University and a past Vice President of the Harvard Chaplains. Rabbi Greenberg is the author of two books, Twitter Torah: Thoughts on the Hebrew Bible in 140 Characters or Less and Covenantal Promise and Destiny: Wisdom for Life, among other popular and scholarly articles. He is married to Sharon Weiss-Greenberg and together with their son live in Denver, Colorado.
Rachel Gurevitz, Ph.D.
Rachel Gurevitz is the associate rabbi of Congregation B’nai Israel, Bridgeport, CT. An organizer of interfaith dialogue for adult and teenage groups with Christians and Muslims, exploring sustainable living and sustainable food practices, in her congregation she is helping individuals to nourish and deepen their own path to positive Jewish living. With music, meditation, and creative innovation she has worked with numerous adult and teen groups to craft unique and meaningful pathways into prayer. It is the language and theology of Jewish mysticism — that there is no-thing but God – that informs her work to connect and more deeply integrate the life of the spirit with the multiple spheres in which we live our lives, inspired and guided by a Jewish wisdom that can be shared in accessible, meaningful ways. 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.
Rabbi Kobrin was ordained in May, 2009 by the Zeigler School of Rabbinical Studies at American Jewish University. She is currently the Assistant Rabbi at Congregation Agudas Achim in Austin Texas. She has shared her passion for Jewish life with children, teens, and adults at synagogues, Hillels and schools throughout the country. She was co-founder and co-coordinator of Minyan Malei Shirah, a soulful and song-filled independent Friday night minyan in Los Angeles. Rabbi Kobrin is a contributing author in the book God: Jewish Choices for Struggling with the Ultimate (2008). Rabbi Kobrin and her husband, Rabbi Rick Brody, have two children, Noa (age 5) and Adin (age 1).
Rabbi Tsafi Lev is a CLAL Rabbis Without Borders Fellow as well as a proud 2011 NaNoWriMo participant. He is the Director of Jewish Studies at 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.
Rabbi Tamara Miller is presently the Director of Spiritual Care at George Washington University Hospital. A graduate of the Academy for Jewish Religion in New York City, Rabbi Miller considers herself a non-denominational pluralistic rabbi with roots in Orthodoxy and wings in the Jewish Renewal movement. A congregational rabbi for over a decade, Rabbi Miller served in congregations on both coasts and for the past eight years nurtured an outreach congregation in the greater Washington area, “The Capital Kehillah” which was housed at the Historic Sixth & I Synagogue in the District of Columbia. Rabbi Miller also served as the Director of Jewish Living and Learning at the Washington DC Jewish Community Center. The divorced mother of three daughters, one son and nine grandchildren, Rabbi Miller ponders the question of legacy and lineage. Which one of her offspring will continue the family’s rabbinic line? Rabbi Miller’s own father was an orthodox rabbi as were her grandfather and great grandfather before her.
Geoffrey A. Mitelman
Rabbi Geoffrey A. Mitelman is the associate rabbi of Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester, and also blogs for The Huffington Post (particularly on the intersection of Judaism and science), as well as for Science and Religion Today. Ordained by HUC-JIR in Cincinnati in 2007, Rabbi Mitelman received The Cora Kahn Prize from the Cincinnati faculty for the most outstanding sermon delivery and oratory. He is an enthusiastic scholar; having won multiple prizes in Judaic and Biblical Studies at Princeton University, and he is always exploring how the intersection of Judaism and cognitive science can lead us towards greater personal fulfillment and a deeper impact on society.
Rebecca Einstein 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.
Rabbi Rebecca W. Sirbu is the director of Rabbis Without Borders at CLAL – The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership. Rabbis Without Borders provides rabbis with cutting edge methodologies for addressing the challenges people face today and supports rabbis as they become creative entrepreneurs, thinking outside the box to use Jewish wisdom in innovative ways. Rabbi Sirbu directs two rabbinic fellowship programs, teaches seminars to rabbis, rabbinical students, and lay leaders across the country, and coaches individual rabbis in attaining their career goals. She was the founding director of the cutting edge MetroWest Jewish Healing and Healing Center at JCC MetroWest and the Center for Jewish Life at JCC MetroWest in West Orange, NJ. In addition to her roles as chief administrator and program developer, she coordinated and facilitated support groups, adult education classes, a women’s group, a program of congregational nursing and provided pastoral and bereavement counseling for individuals. In addition, she is a trained hospital chaplain and speaks and writes on issues of health, healing, spirituality, and Jewish women. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Vassar College, she holds a masters degree and ordination from The Jewish Theological Seminary of America.
Rabbi Amy Joy Small was ordained at 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, and 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 a 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.
Rabbi Alana Suskin
A progressive political activist, a writer, and an experienced pulpit rabbi, Rabbi Alana Suskin has for years leveraged Jewish values and ethics to advance causes of peace and justice. The Director of Strategic Communications at Americans for Peace Now, Rabbi Suskin has served as the Assistant Rabbi at Adas Israel, Washington’s largest Conservative synagogue and as Director of Lifelong Learning at Shaare Torah in Gaithersburg, MD. She currently serves as an officer of Rabbis for Human Rights-North America and as a Managing Editor of Jewschool.com, a leading progressive Jewish faith blog. She is a contributor to several other blogs including Jewish Values Online, and has worked with and served on the boards of a variety of social justice organizations, including American Rights at Work and Jews United for Justice. Rabbi Suskin has published articles in a variety of magazines, journals and anthologies, including the Huffington Post, Sh’ma, Daily Beast and Lilith.
Pronounced: MIN-yun, meen-YAHN, Origin: Hebrew, quorum of 10 adult Jews (traditionally Jewish men) necessary for reciting many prayers.
Pronunced: TORE-uh, Origin: Hebrew, the Five Books of Moses.