While each is accomplished in his or her own right, the thirteen students scheduled* to be ordained/graduate from the Academy for Jewish Religion, California in 2013 do share a number of noteworthy traits. As second-career professionals who have achieved success in their chosen fields, they bring rich life experience and maturity to all that they do. Having successfully balanced their considerable professional and personal responsibilities while undertaking their rigorous academic studies, they have demonstrated an ability to effectively multitask to an impressive degree. As graduates of the Academy, their training has made them uniquely qualified to work with Jews of all denominations and in a variety of settings. And, most significantly, our 2013 ordinees and graduates share an enthusiasm, passion and commitment to serve the Jewish people so deep and so sincere that it is truly beautiful to behold.
*Students’ ordination and graduation is contingent upon successful completion of all curricular and co-curricular requirements of their respective Professional School.
To prospective employers: If your institution/organization is interested in learning more about one of the following students, you may contact them directly (individual contact information provided below) or by contacting Rabbi Cheryl Weiner, Director of Placement, at 954-920-2588. If you wish to call Rabbi Weiner, please note that she is based on the East Coast.
ILANA GOLDHABER-GORDON, PHD
Ilana Goldhaber-Gordon is a PhD biochemist and a Talmud scholar, soon to be rabbi. She is a community-builder, a teacher, and an empathic listener. She engages deeply with tradition, using creativity sharpened by knowledge to draw the past into our lives today. Ilana holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Harvard University and a PhD in biochemistry from MIT, and is the author of numerous scientific articles. At some level, Ilana will always be a scientist — she still gets excited when she reads the details of a protein’s function. But at a more intimate level Ilana has always been a rabbi. She has been studying and teaching Jewish texts at a high level her entire adult life. Many are the people who have turned to her in their times of personal turmoil, as a source of wisdom and compassion. Coming from a modern Orthodox background, Ilana is a graduate of Ida Crown Jewish Academy in Chicago and Midreshet Lindenbaum in Jerusalem. For her bat-mitzvah, Ilana and her father studied hundreds of hours together to complete a volume of the Talmud (masechet Makot) — an area of study considered by many in her childhood community to be off-limits to females. Her bat-mitzvah was the formative experience that a bat-mitzvah should be, teaching her to love tradition but also to work with it, to keep it potent today. Ilana has been teaching Torah in formal settings since 2006. She has taught extended courses at Stanford Hillel, Congregation Kol Emeth in Palo Alto, Peninsula Havura High, and to groups of adult learners meeting in participants’ living rooms. In 2010-11, Ilana was studying in the Kollel of the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem, and she had the opportunity to teach two courses at the Yeshiva as well. She is currently teaching at a liberal, non-denominational synagogue, Congregation Etz Chayim in Palo Alto, where she will serve as guest Rabbi during May, June and July of 2013. She enjoys writing, and publishes regularly in such national Jewish publications as Shma, CJ, Lillith, and Hadassah Magazine.
Goal as a Rabbi: “The Talmud itself acknowledges that Torah can be either “a potion of life” or “a potion of death” (Ta’anit 7a). In my rabbinate, I am determined to use the full force of Torah — for beauty and goodness alone.”
Ideal job: “Having lived and worked in liberal/Reform, Conservative and Orthodox settings, I am able to see beyond denominational lines. I am looking to serve as spiritual leader to a community on the San Francisco Peninsula.”
A longtime Jewish educator, Dov Gottesfeld has made a vocation of fostering a deep love for and commitment to Judaism and Israel among the hundreds of students whom he has taught over the past three plus decades. A native Israeli, Dov served as a combat soldier and, ultimately, achieved the rank of Warrant Officer of Education in the Israeli Army. Holding a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Theatre Arts from Brandeis University, he has also studied at Tel Aviv University, the Jewish Theological Seminary’s Teachers Institute, and the Ulpan Center of the Jewish Agency for Israel in New York City from which he received a Hebrew Teaching Certificate. With a particular expertise in developing and teaching curricula in the areas of Hebrew language, Bible, Siddur, Jewish history, Jewish philosophy, Jewish ethics and values, comparative religions, Jewish Hebrew literature and human relationships through Biblical study along with a specialization in working with special needs students, Dov has taught at numerous institutions throughout the Southland. These include New Community Jewish High School (West Hills), Temple Beth Shalom (Encino), Creative Arts Temple (Los Angeles), Temple Isaiah (Los Angeles), Temple Beth Am (Los Angeles), Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel (Los Angeles) and Valley Outreach Synagogue (Woodland Hills). While at AJRCA, he has held Rabbinic internships at Ahavat Torah Congregation (Brentwood), Mishkon Tephilo Synagogue (Venice), Men’s Central Jail (Los Angeles), Hallmark Cheviot Hills Assisted Living (Los Angeles) and Westwood Horizons Senior Living (Los Angeles). He has also held Chaplaincy internships at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills. Dov’s commitment to serving the Jewish community is such that, in addition to his teaching, rabbinic and chaplaincy work, he has also served, since 2008, as a Shomer (“watchman”), providing Taharah (ritual washing and dressing) and Shmira (prayers for the deceased) the night before the burial at Mount Sinai Memorial Parks and Mortuaries.
Goal as a Rabbi: “‘Hafoch ba, Ve’hafoch ba, de’kula ba – Turn it (the Torah) and turn it, for everything is in it.’ My Rabbinic goal is to motivate, inspire and empower congregants to explore the pages of the Torah for the purpose of construing its wisdom and using it to navigate the roadmap of their lives.”
Ideal job: “I would like to serve as a pulpit rabbi for a Reform or Transdenominational congregation; a position in which I can utilize my experience working with congregants as a Rabbinic intern as well as my background as a Jewish educator. While the Los Angeles area is preferable, I am definitely open to relocation for the right job.”
With almost two decades of experience, Robin Hoffman is a leader in the field of Jewish Education in Orange County. Holding a BA in English from the University of California, Los Angeles, an MS in Jewish Education from the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies in Chicago and currently a candidate for a Doctor of Science degree in Jewish Studies (DSJS) from Spertus, Robin has held positions of increasing responsibility in both synagogues and day schools. She began her career at Temple Beth David in Westminster, teaching Judaica for both children and adults. Then, reflecting her ability to multi-task, she also served as the Assistant Director of Education at Temple Beth El in Aliso Viejo, and later, as the Jewish Studies Director of Morasha Jewish Day School in Rancho Santa Margarita. Robin is currently the Director of Education at Congregation B’nai Israel in Tustin. There, she serves as the chief administrator of the K-12 supplementary school; managing and supporting the faculty, designing, researching and implementing the curriculum, creating and producing all-school special events and holiday celebrations, and working, collaboratively, with the synagogue’s clergy, lay leadership, volunteers and parents. During her studies at AJRCA, Robin served as a Rabbinic Intern at Temple Beth David. Prior to her work in Jewish Education, Robin was the Program Manager of the “Adopt-A-Social Worker Program” for the Orange County Child Abuse Prevention Center. Under her leadership, the program, which matches community organizations with County social workers and their caseloads, flourished. Expanding the program from 5 to 125 volunteer organizations, Robin was able to provide services and material goods to thousands of families in need.
Goal as a Rabbi: “As a Rabbi/Educator, I look forward to engaging students of all ages in the on-going conversation with Jewish texts, fostering the connection between our generation and generations past, and ensuring a future with knowledgeable, committed Jews. I have been inspired by many great teachers to continue to learn and grow in my faith and understanding of Judaism. May G-d help me inspire, teach, and share my love of study with those I humbly serve.”
Ideal job: Upon ordination, Rabbi Hoffman will serve as the Director of Education for Congregation B’nai Israel, a Conservative congregation of approximately 500 member families in Tustin, CA.
While attending AJRCA’s Rabbinical School, Cantor Ron Li-Paz also serves as the Spiritual Leader of Valley Outreach Synagogue (VOS), a transdenominational congregation in Woodland, Hills, CA. He and his wife, Bronwen, are the co-founders of the JEWELS Education and Ani v’Atah Teen Empowerment Programs at VOS. He has been on the pulpit at Valley Outreach Synagogue since 1996, having shared the spiritual leadership of the community with Rabbi Jerry Fisher for a decade. Today, as VOS’ sole Spiritual Leader, Cantor Li-Paz unites the ancient Jewish love of ideas with the beauty of Jewish music. Prior to synagogue leadership, Cantor Li-Paz served in the United States Air Force in Britain. He subsequently completed a bachelor’s degree at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, before working in theater, international broadcasting for the BBC, and management consultancy. Cantor Li-Paz worked throughout Europe, helping to create communications strategies for large international corporations. Today, in addition to spiritual leadership, he lectures and gives motivational speeches in the areas of leadership, communications, and change management for organizations such as the UCLA Anderson School of Business and the Johnson & Johnson/UCLA Management Development Institute in Africa. Cantor Li-Paz also preceded his cantorial career with a successful decade as a leading guest artist in opera and concerts. He sang as a soloist in eleven countries and in some of the world’s greatest cities and theaters. In Los Angeles, he sang in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, and the Universal Amphitheater. In 2011, he was invited by AIPAC to sing the anthems of the United States and Israel in Washington DC, before presidents, prime ministers, most members of Congress and an audience of more than ten thousand people. Cantor Li-Paz lives in Agoura Hills with his wife, Bronwen, his children, Jonah and Hannah, and eleven animals (three goats, four hens, a sulcatta tortoise, a parrot and two dogs). When he is not serving the Valley Outreach Synagogue community, he is most likely hiking, horse riding in Malibu Creek State Park or playing a lousy half-round of golf.
Goal as a Rabbi: “Sixteen years of spiritual leadership and an extraordinary rabbinical school education have led me to the realization that my role as a rabbi is to be a revealer of the beauty, wisdom and fulfillment that are all inherent in Jewish life. I look to the future with gratitude and great excitement.”
Ideal job: Upon ordination, Rabbi/Cantor Li-Paz will serve as the Spiritual Leader of Valley Outreach Synagogue in Woodland Hills, CA.
Belle Michael’s impressive academic credentials and career reflect her deep commitment to Jewish education and outreach. In addition to holding a Senior Teacher Certificate from the Oranim Seminar (now Oranim Academic College of Education) in Tiv’on, Israel, Belle received her Bachelor of Education (with honors) from Levinsky College in Tel Aviv and her M.A. in Jewish Thought and History from the University of Haifa. She also completed the “Educational Leadership Program” at Tel Aviv University. Currently an Adjunct Professor in the Religion department of California Lutheran University, Belle has also taught in the Hebrew department of American Jewish University and at Stephen S. Wise Temple’s Center for Jewish Life. While attending AJRCA, she served as a Rabbinic Intern at Temple Etz Chaim (Thousand Oaks) and as a Judaic teacher for Valley Outreach Synagogue’s (Chatsworth) “Jewels” program, and has a particular expertise in teaching Torah as well as in creating programming designed to enhance Jewish identity through the study of Jewish values, text and prayers, the implementation of Mitzvah projects, and the celebration of the Chagim. Belle’s dedication to and experience working in Jewish outreach has been enhanced in her current position as the Rabbinic Intern for the Hillel organization at California Lutheran University where she also works with the University’s Campus Ministry to foster Jewish life on campus. This includes promoting knowledge about Judaism, the history and traditions of the Jewish people, and modern Jewish thought through innovative programs and classes, celebrating Shabbat and holidays, and fostering interfaith dialogue.
Goal as a Rabbi: “I am motivated by my life long passion for studying the many facets of our faith, from the ancient Texts to modern Jewish thought, as well as my great joy in celebrating Jewish living, from the day-to-day traditions to the Chagim. My goal as a Rabbi is to convey the joy of Judaism in a way that will make others, particularly young adults, equally passionate and enthusiastic.”
Ideal job: “As a rabbi I would like to continue teaching adults or young adults in an academic setting, preferably at the university level or as part of a synagogue’s Florence Melton Adult Mini-School. I would also like to continue building and promoting Jewish life on college campuses as part of a university/college Hillel. My geographic preference is to work in the Conejo Valley or the San Fernando Valley area.”
Scholar, public servant, journalist, and activist, Robin Podolsky has worn many “hats” and worn them well. Robin holds an MA in Judaic Studies from the Edgar F. Magnin School of Graduate Studies of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and received her BA with Honors in English from Pitzer College. A student of the work of Emmanuel Levinas, she has been invited to present papers at conferences and symposia sponsored by the Association for Jewish Studies, the UCLA Center for Jewish Studies, the International Society for the Study of European Ideas, and the Society for Philosophy in the Contemporary World. For the past three years, Robin has been a guest lecturer at Hebrew Union College/University of Southern California, lecturing on Jewish thought to both rabbinical students and undergraduates. In June 2012, she traveled to Germany and Poland as the recipient of an award by FASPE (Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics). Before attending the Academy, Robin was the long-time Press Secretary in the Office of California State Senator Sheila Kuehl and, as a journalist, her work has appeared in such publications as The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, The L.A. Weekly, and Response: A Contemporary Jewish Review. She has also served as a guest Editor for Neighborhood Views for L.A. CultureNet, an on-line electronic forum of the Getty Information Institute of the Getty Center Museum, and as Editor of Caregiver, a publication of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. While undertaking her rabbinic studies, Robin was a Rabbinic Intern for the Progressive Jewish Alliance/Jewish Funds for Justice (now “Bend the Arc”) where she researched, drafted and disseminated materials commemorating the centennial anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire and Jewish values as applied to domestic workers. She also wrote opinion pieces for publication, conducted synagogue outreach, and represented the organization in public gatherings and as a guest speaker during Shabbat services. Robin has also taught an Adult Torah Study Class at Leo Baeck Temple in Los Angeles, and served as a Teaching Assistant for an undergraduate Holocaust Studies class at Hebrew Union College/University of Southern California.
Goal as a Rabbi: “As a rabbi, I hope to help other Jews connect with our extraordinary heritage: the wisdom of Torah–as much for how it teaches us to think as what to think–and Judaism as a holistic, meaningful way of life. I will also work for a more just world.”
Ideal job: “Given my experience, training, and interests, I believe that I could be effective and happy as a congregational rabbi, serving on a faculty or working for a community agency. My favorite things are preaching, teaching and being there for people. I love the scholarship of Judaism and its prophetic mission and also the work of personal healing. My background in journalism and public service have honed my writing and public speaking skills, I have experience as a hospice volunteer and, as I grow through AJRCA’s Rabbinical School, people at my synagogue have been turning to me for personal counseling from our tradition. My experience in public service has also taught me basic programming skills (events, not computers) and how to successfully function in organizations. I am open to relocating for the right job.”
A nationally recognized Jewish educator, Batshir Torchio considers studying and teaching Torah and Jewish texts to her students and their families “a dream come true.” Batshir received a BA in English with a Secondary Education Certificate from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and was a graduate student in the Interdepartmental Judaic Studies Program at The Jewish Theological Seminary before transferring to AJRCA. She is currently an 8th grade Judaic Studies teacher and Middle School Advisor at Brandeis Hillel Day School (BHDS), an independent co-educational school with approximately 600 students in grades K-8 on two campuses – San Francisco and San Rafael (Marin County). For the past seven years, Batshir has been on the team of educators involved in the “twinning” of her school with a counterpart school in Israel; writing and teaching applicable curriculum, collaborating with Israeli educators, and culminating in leading 60 eighth graders on a two week trip to Israel. Batshir’s innovative approach to education, both in and outside of the classroom, has been profiled in a number of articles that have appeared in J Weekly, the Jewish publication of Northern California. These include an article about her ongoing and very successful work with the national program, “Rosh Hodesh: It’s a Girl Thing,” as well as a piece detailing her experience taking a group of students to Joplin, MO to help in the rebuilding efforts after the community was devastated by a tornado in 2011. Reflecting her superlative teaching abilities, in 2008, Batshir was the recipient of the national “Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award for Excellence in Jewish Education;” an award recognizing outstanding classroom Jewish educators throughout North America. Having the innate and rare ability to successfully juggle multiple responsibilities, it is not surprising that, while attending the Academy and maintaining her full-time position at BHDS, Batshir has also had a Rabbinic internship at Congregation B’nai Emunah, a Conservative synagogue in San Francisco.
Goal as a Rabbi: “As a rabbi and educator, among my greatest goals is to inspire fellow Jews of all ages to learn about the beauty of Jewish ethical principles, to live those principles and, most importantly, translate them into social action.”
Ideal job: “Having spent my professional career as a Jewish educator, I seek to combine that experience and expertise, together with my Rabbinic training, to serve in a pulpit or as a School Rabbi for a Jewish Day School. I am open to relocating for the right position.”
SANDY STEINER BERNSTEIN
Numerous synagogues throughout Southern California have been the very fortunate beneficiaries of Sandy Bernstein’s passion for music and deep commitment to Judaism. Her ability to seamlessly meld the two has been evident since graduating with a BA in Music from California State University, Northridge. Sandy has served as a Soloist for Temple Ramat Zion (Northridge) and Congregation Ner Tamid (Palos Verdes), and as Cantorial Soloist at Temple Judea (Laguna Woods), as a part-time Cantor for Ner Tamid San Diego (Poway) and a Cantor/Educator at Congregation Beth Torah (Torrance). While undertaking her Cantorial studies at the Academy, she has been a Cantorial Intern at Congregation Tikvat Jacob (Manhattan Beach) and currently, at Sinai Temple (Los Angeles), a synagogue with 2000 member families. Since 2008, Sandy has also worked as the Choir Director and Preschool Music Educator for The Hebrew Academy, a preschool through grade 12 community day school in Huntington Beach. She has a 3 octave vocal range and is proficient in such diverse musical styles as Cantorial, Opera, Rock, Pop, Standards and Jazz. With more than 20 years of experience performing before audiences throughout LA County and beyond, Sandy has worked with such groups as the Santa Barbara Civic Light Opera, the Conejo Players, and Golden Opera West Theatre. She has also appeared in numerous concerts (as a soloist and/or part of a group) sponsored by various synagogues as well as such institutions as the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony and Hadassah Southern California. Proficient in Spanish and Hebrew, Sandy can sing in both of those languages as well as in Yiddish, Ladino, Italian, German, French, and Latin.
Goal as a Cantor: “My cantorate will focus on inspiration. As Jewish music has inspired me to study for the Cantorate, so too I pray that I will inspire my congregation to reach higher spiritual levels by incorporating both our musical heritage as well as contemporary Jewish music. I also hope to inspire my students’ love for Judaism and encourage them on their own Jewish journeys.”
Ideal job: “I would like to be at a mid or large sized congregation that has multigenerational programming, appreciates a high level of music and enjoys participation in active listening, singing, and body movement. While I enjoy living in Southern California, I am open to relocating for the right position.”
MARSHA (RONNIE) ABRAMS, RN, MS
Even the briefest review of Marsha (Ronnie) Abrams professional achievements and personal commitments makes clear that this is an individual for whom “caring” and “compassion” are the hallmarks of who she is and what she does. Ronnie received a Diploma as an RN from Jewish Hospital and Medical Center (Brooklyn, NY) and then a BA in Psychology, BS in Nursing and MS in Nursing Education with a minor in Health Care Management, all from California State University, Los Angeles. A longtime healthcare professional, Ronnie has held executive positions in Risk Management, Quality Improvement, Safety, Compliance, and Credentialing for such institutions as Cedars-Sinai Medical Network, Greater Valley Medical Group, Health Care Partners and Huntington Medical Group. She has served as “Charge Nurse” for the Pediatric Ambulatory Care Clinics at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and “Nursing Project Coordinator” at that same institution. At Gateways Community Mental Health Center, Ronnie worked with adolescent, adult, and geriatric groups as a Movement Therapist. While at AJRCA, she completed a Chaplaincy Internship at Simms/Mann UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology. An experienced and respected educator, Ronnie has conducted countless classes and given lectures on numerous healthcare issues including presentations at the National Association of Nurse Administrators and the National Nursing Symposium. Her articles have appeared in the American Journal of Nursing and in the book, Nursing Productivity: The Hospital’s Key to Survival and Profit (by Roxanne Spitzer, RN, MA, S-N Publications, Inc.). Equally accomplished in her extracurricular activities, Ronnie has served as a member of the Board of Directors of Yavneh Hebrew Academy and President of Congregation Shaare Tefila’s Sisterhood. Both a mother and grandmother of four, Ronnie was also a longtime foster parent whose two foster children have given her three foster grandsons.
Goal as a Chaplain: “‘You have changed my lament into dancing; You undid my sackcloth and girded me with gladness.’ As a Chaplain I will always seek to be present with my patients/clients at whatever spiritual state they might find themselves. I will always bring my belief that Hashem converts our sadness into pleasure even as we transition from this world to the ‘World to Come.’”
Ideal job: “My ideal job would be either working in a hospice with children and families, or working with autistic or developmentally handicapped individuals and their families through some type of community based program in the Los Angeles Area.”
Stephen Macht trained professionally at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, is a graduate of Dartmouth College, holds a Ph.D. in Dramatic Literature from Indiana University and, during his teaching days, was a tenured Associate Professor. Stephen has been called “one of the best educated working actors in American today.” He has played leading men in plays and dozens of television movies and feature films including “Raid on Entebbe,” “Graveyard Shift,” and “The Immigrants” to name just a few. On television, he has starred as Sharon Gless’ love interest in “Cagney and Lacey” and has had recurring roles on “Boston Public,” “Jack and Jill,” and “Boomtown.” In 2007, Soap Opera Digest nominated Stephen as “Villain of the Year” for his work as the dastardly “Trevor Lansing” on “General Hospital.” On stage, he played all the young leads at the Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario in its 1975 season and went on to star opposite Charlton Heston in both “A Man for All Seasons” and “Caine Mutiny Court Martial.” Most recently, he starred opposite Sharon Gless in “A Round Heeled Woman.” While undertaking his studies at AJRCA, Stephen has served as the Chaplaincy/Rabbinic Intern for Rabbi Jerry Cutler of Creative Arts Temple in Los Angeles, a position he has held for the past three years. In that capacity, he has served the congregation by officiating at lifecycle events, commenting on the weekly Parsha and, most recently, instituting the “Creative Arts Jewish Play Reading Series,” in which he directed Paddy Chayefsky’s “A Holiday Song.” Opera Theater Ink called the reading “a resounding success.” Reflecting his deep commitment to philanthropy, Stephen works with such organizations as The Parkinson’s Resource Organization, The Jewish National Fund, the Center for Jewish Culture and Creativity, serves as Celebrity Spokesman for the Israeli Consulate and as a performer/director in Jewish theatre projects in Los Angeles for the past twenty five years. Stephen and his wife, Suzanne, have four children as well as eight grandchildren and counting.
Goal as a Chaplain: “By integrating my theological and pastoral training and my career as an actor, producer and director, I hope to transmit my passion for Jewish values via the arts to the Jewish community in multiple ways as speaker, scholar, teacher, artist and chaplain.”
Ideal job: “For the past twenty five years, I have dreamed of establishing a Jewish “Juilliard” for the Performing Arts of Drama, Dance and Music. Now, Jewishly literate, I hope to bring this dream to fruition.”
JENNIFER EAVES NYE
Having received a BA cum laude and Honors in both majors of English and Religious Studies from Occidental College and an MA in Women’s Studies in Religion from Claremont Graduate University, it’s clear that religion is a subject that holds a deep fascination for Jennifer Nye. However, that fascination is not solely academic. While undertaking her Chaplaincy studies at AJRCA, Jennifer has also completed more than 1200 clinical hours of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) as part of the Academy’s Clinical Pastoral Education Program, a fully accredited ACPE (Association of Clinical Pastoral Education) satellite of Methodist Hospital of Southern California (Arcadia). At Methodist Hospital, Jennifer served in an interfaith capacity on every floor, including the Emergency Department, Intensive Care Unit and Coronary Care Unit, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, labor and delivery, pre-op, medical/surgical, transitional care and rehab units. She has assisted families requesting time or ritual with their deceased family member in the viewing room, worked with organ donation teams and families as well as bioethics teams comprised of doctors, nurses, ethicists and clergy, assisted patients and their families with Advance Health Care Directives, and facilitated the communication and implementation of protocol between patients, families, doctors, nurses, staff, community clergy, police and coroner representatives. Jennifer has also led various interfaith services for holidays and hospital events. At the conclusion of her CPE training, she was asked to continue at the hospital as a Community Clergy Chaplain. Additionally, both Jewish and non-Jewish patients’ families have felt so deeply connected to Jennifer that she has officiated at funerals and memorial services for their loved ones. Highly thought of among her fellow students, Jennifer was chosen to serve as a representative to the Va’ad, AJRCA’s student leadership group and, in that capacity, has acted as a liaison between students and the administration. She was also asked by the Chairman of AJRCA’s Board of Directors to represent the student body on the Search Committee for the school’s new President. In June 2012, along with the Dean of the Chaplaincy School and an alumna of the School, she conducted a workshop at the 10th Annual North American Chevra Kadisha and Jewish Cemetery Conference. Jennifer’s passion for religious studies will not end with her graduation from the Chaplaincy School. In the Fall of 2011, she was accepted and began her studies at the Academy’s Rabbinical School while simultaneously completing her Chaplaincy requirements. She will be continuing her rabbinic studies upon graduation from the Chaplaincy School.
Goal as a Chaplain: “In relation with the individuals, families and groups I encounter as a chaplain, I hope to open up a makom kodesh (a holy space) where they can connect with their authentic self, each other and G-d for shleimut—healing, integration and wholeness.”
Ideal job: “Upon graduation from the Chaplaincy School, I will be continuing my rabbinic studies and, as such, I am interested in a part-time (or flexible full-time) position training as a CPE Supervisor in the Los Angeles area—preferably close to Glendale/Hollywood. I would also be interested in a position at a hospital/hospice or in the military working with veterans, active-duty personnel and/or their families.”