Marshall T. Meyer Rabbinic Fellowship
Our rabbinic fellows enrich our BJ community, and indeed, the fellows’ experience enables them to help reinvigorate Jewish life beyond BJ’s walls, in the greater New York City region and beyond. Our rabbinic fellows are integrated into every facet of synagogue life—services, life cycle events, Jewish learning and more—and go on to be leaders and innovators, carrying BJ’s values of inclusivity, innovation and social action out into the world.
Fellows engage the community in a variety of different settings: leading services, officiating at Minha B’nai Mitzvah ceremonies, teaching in Kadima@BJ and at holiday events, working with conversion candidates and participating in social justice opportunities. Certain key roles are divided and assigned to a specific fellow, such as overseeing the conversion process or serving as the rabbinic presence at morning minyan. Weekly meetings with the BJ rabbis are an essential component of the fellowship and a valuable opportunity for gaining extraordinary insight into building, maintaining, and growing holy communities.
The objective is to train rabbis in the “BJ model” with the goal of contributing to the revitalization of Jewish life beyond BJ. The fellows experience at BJ enables them to be agents of change beyond BJ, bringing new life, along with a guiding belief in the power of energetic, inclusive prayer, and a dedication to social justice.
Our Rabbinic Fellows
Alissa is a rabbinical student at HUC-JIR in New York. Originally from Brookline, MA, Alissa discovered her great loves of Jewish life and music early on. She attended the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and earned two bachelors degrees: one in Judaic Studies and one in Jazz Vocal Performance. Moving to NYC after college, Alissa sang jazz professionally and then worked at synagogues all over the city, Brooklyn and Queens. She spent two and a half years living in Israel where she studied at Hebrew University, HUC-JIR and The Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. She has led tefila all over the world from Prague to Tel Aviv, from Belarus to Poland and on both the west to east coasts. Alissa’s favorite color is purple and she is beyond delighted to join and get to know the B’nai Jeshurun community.
A fourth-year rabbinical student, Aaron Leven has spent most of his life deeply involved in Jewish community and education. He is pursuing the rabbinate in order to dedicate his life to creating dynamic Jewish experiences as rich as those with which he grew up. Aaron is in the current cohort of UJA graduate fellows, works as the admissions intern for the JTS rabbinical school, and is thrilled to be part of the team at BJ, where he is able to continue to learn and grow in his pursuit of creating meaningful, spiritual, and joyous Jewish community.
Grace Gleason is a rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Prior to rabbinical school, she pursued her love of Talmud at SVARA: A Traditionally Radical Yeshiva, Yeshivat Hadar, and the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. She served in many settings as a teacher and prayer leader, including as a fellow at Mishkan Chicago. Originally from Chicago, she completed her B.A. in interdisciplinary studies at the University of Chicago in 2014. In her free time she likes to sing, dance, and explore the city by bike.
Deborah Sacks Mintz
Rabbi Deborah Sacks Mintz serves on the faculty of the Hadar Institute as their Director of Tefillah and Music. She received rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary, where she also earned her MA in Women and Gender Studies; additionally, she holds degrees in music and religious anthropology from the University of Michigan. Prior to and during rabbinical school, she served in a variety of Jewish communal service capacities, including as the education director of Shir Chadash Congregation in New Orleans, spiritual care chaplain with DOROT, rabbinic fellow at B’nai Jeshurun NYC, and on the founding team of the Rising Song Institute as an artist, educator, and consultant.
Rabbi Hughes-Robinson was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2021, where she also earned an MA in Midrash and Scriptural Exegesis. New Yorker by birth, she grew up in communities all over the United States before attending Clark University, where she graduated in 2015 with degrees in Theatre and Jewish Studies. Margo is also a proud alumna of the Conservative Yeshiva Lishma Fellowship and the Hartman Rabbinic Student Seminar. During her time in rabbinical school, she has enjoyed professional endeavors with Avodah, the Milstein Center for Interreligious Dialogue, Fort Tryon Jewish Center in New York City, Adat Israel in Guatemala City, and Norwalk Hospital (where she served as a chaplaincy intern in the Emergency and Adult Psychiatric departments). She currently serves as the New York Rabbinic Organizer with T’ruah: the Rabbinic Call for Human Rights.
Abi Weber is a rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary. She grew up in Evanston, Illinois, and graduated from Pomona College in 2011, where she studied the intersection of anthropology and religion. Before starting rabbinical school, Abi worked as an Employment Preparation Trainer for people experiencing homelessness and poverty, served as a Rabbinic Intern/Leadership Fellow at Mishkan Chicago, and spent two years working in the ski industry in Colorado. She completed a chaplaincy internship at Penn Medicine Princeton Health in Princeton, NJ, where she worked in the Critical Care Unit in addition to leading outpatient recovery groups focused on spirituality. Abi is a long-time devotee of Camp Ramah in the Poconos, where she has spent seventeen summers as a camper and staff member, and is an alum of Avodah and Moishe House.
Tobias Divack Moss
Assistant Rabbi, Temple Israel
Rabbi Moss serves Temple Israel (Minneapolis) where he cultivates the synagogue’s B’nai Mitzvah program, 20s/30s community, musical offerings, and social media presence. He grew up in Tenafly, New Jersey, and later graduated from Washington University in St. Louis where he studied economics, music, and history. After graduating, Tobias worked in business analytics in Thailand and New York, and studied at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. Immediately before joining BJ as a rabbinic fellow, Tobias served as a chaplain intern at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and rabbinic intern at the North Fork Reform Synagogue. Tobias received rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2019.
Assistant Rabbi, Adas Israel Congregation
Rabbi Krinsky was ordained in 2018 by the Jewish Theological Seminary. She grew up in Los Angeles, California, and attended Yale University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 2012. After graduating, Sarah spent a year as an Eisendrath Legislative Assistant at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. In rabbinical school, she enjoyed professional endeavors with the Rabbinical Assembly, Avodah, Gindling Hilltop Camp in Malibu, CA, Temple Sholom in Greenwich, CT, and the Spiritual Care Department at the National Institutes of Health. She is now the Assistant Rabbi at Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, D.C.
Assistant Rabbi, Shir Tikvah
Rabbi Rosenberg serves Shir Tikvah in Minneapolis, Minnesota as Assistant Rabbi, with focuses on cultivating meaningful and embodied prayer life and organizing for immigrant and racial justice. Arielle was ordained in 2017 through Hebrew College, the transdenominational rabbinical school in Boston, MA. Before and during rabbinical school, Arielle worked as an organizer with migrant and workers’ rights organizations in Seattle, WA and Woodburn, OR, created multiple Jewish social justice curricula, both as the rabbinic intern at the Jewish Farm School and at AVODAH, and served as rabbinic intern at Congregation Beth Shalom of Traverse City, MI from 2012-2016.
Rabbi, Beth Sholom Synagogue
Rabbi Horwitz is the rabbi of Beth Sholom Synagogue in Memphis, TN. She was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary, was an MTM Rabbinic Fellow during rabbinical school, and stayed on at BJ for two more years as Senior Rabbinic Fellow. Sarit is married to Rabbi Abe Schacter-Gampel and they are parents to Lavi, Yakir, and Rami.
Associate Rabbi, Congregation Tifereth Israel
Rabbi Braver is the Associate Rabbi at Congregation Tifereth Israel, a warm and engaging synagogue community in Columbus. He loves getting to do everything from lunch-and-learn’s at a downtown law firm, to singing niggunim, to diving into playful activities with young families during Shabbat morning services. Alex was ordained in 2016 by the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, with an MA in Midrash and Scriptural Exegesis, and a certificate in pastoral care and counseling. After graduating from Brandeis University in 2009, Alex taught math and English in a Boston charter school, helping students who were performing below grade-level. He then received a fellowship from Mechon Hadar for a full-time funded year of Jewish study before deciding to become a rabbi. He lives in Columbus with his husband (also named Alex), their son Ezra, and their dog Benjy.
Rabbi & Senior Jewish Educator
Hunter Hillel, New York, NY
Rabbi Geffen is the Senior Jewish Educator and Campus Rabbi at Hunter Hillel. Jonah has taught, led, and organized across the Jewish communal landscape at such places as J Street, The New Shul, Yeshivat Hadar, Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, Kivunim, and The Pardes Center for Judaism and Conflict Resolution. Jonah attended Young Judaea Year Course, received his BA in History and Jewish Studies from Indiana University, an MS in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University, and an MA in Jewish Studies and Rabbinic Ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary. He was a Kollel Fellow at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem, a summer fellow at Yeshivat Hadar, and a CLAL Rabbis Without Borders Fellow. His writing has been featured in the Washington Post, Haaretz, the Jerusalem Post, and the Huffington Post, among others. Jonah lives in Harlem with his beloved, Julia Mannes, and their two roller derby-playing daughters. As a family they enjoy frequenting the parks and playgrounds of the world, watching cooking shows, and singing the Indiana University fight song.
Associate Rabbi, Congregation Shearith Israel
Rabbi Roffman is a proud Schechter alum, a graduate of Amherst College with a degree in Political Science, and Circle in the Square Theatre School with a certificate in Musical Theatre Performance. He began his rabbinic education at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem. Rabbi Roffman graduated with a Masters in Talmud from the Jewish Theological Seminary where he was awarded the The Rabbi Max Gelb Memorial Prize in Talmud and the Israel H. Levinthal Prize in Homiletics.
Associate Chaplain, Brown University
Rabbi, Brown RISD Hillel
Rabbi Dardashti serves as the Rabbi of Brown RISD Hillel and Associate University Chaplain for the Jewish Community at Brown. Rabbi Dardashti was ordained and received a Masters in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary. Prior to this position, she served as Director of Community Engagement at Temple Beth El in Stamford, Connecticut, where she worked to cultivate those at the fringes of community (potentially just entering or just exiting) through a grassroots model of engagement. Rabbi Dardashti and her husband, Nathan Sher, live in Providence with their children, Eden, Miya, and Lavi.
Jewish Life Manager, YM & YWHA of Washington Heights and Inwood
New York, NY
Rabbi Weinberg is primarily identified through his work as a rabbi, teacher, song leader, spiritual peace-builder, and an environmental activist. He served as the rabbi at Mishkan Ha’am, Hastings on Hudson, NY until 2012. He additionally has worked at Eden Village Camp as the assistant director. He is a musician and skilled leader of prayer in a variety of denominational settings, and is a teacher of multi-faith education at Fairleigh Dickinson University. The job he is most proud of, however, is being a “stay-at-home-dad” for his son Benjamin. Ezra was ordained at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia.
Director of Congregational Innovation, Union for Reform Judaism
New York, NY
Rabbi Lederman is the Director of Congregational Innovation at the Union for Reform Judaism. Prior to that role, she was the Associate Rabbi at Temple Micah in Washington, D.C. She was ordained in May 2008 from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City. From 2010-2015, she and Michelle Citrin led an extremely popular alternative High Holiday experience for young, unaffiliated Jews in Washington D.C. Prior to becoming a rabbi, Esther spent several years working in the non-profit world. She held positions with the Israel Policy Forum and directed a project on Middle East peace education for the Union for Reform Judaism. Prior to that, she was the National Director of Habonim Dror North America. She received her B.A. in Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies from McGill University in 1996. Esther is very involved in the wider Jewish community, at both the national and local level. She sits on the national Board of T’ruah: the Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, chairs the Advisory council of Avodah in Washington, D.C., and serves on the national board of Ameinu, a national, progressive Zionist organization. Originally from Ottawa, Canada, she now lives in Virginia with her husband and two children.
Brent Chaim Spodek
Rabbi, Beacon Hebrew Alliance
Rabbi Spodek has been recognized by the Jewish Forward as one of the most inspiring rabbis in America, Hudson Valley Magazine as a Person to Watch and by Newsweek as “a rabbi to watch.” He is a Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute and a Fellow of the Schusterman Foundation. Before coming to Beacon Hebrew Alliance, he served as the Rabbi in Residence at American Jewish World Service and the Marshall T. Meyer Fellow at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in New York. Rabbi Brent holds rabbinic ordination and a masters in philosophy from the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he was the first recipient of the Neubauer Fellowship. Prior to entering the rabbinate, he attended Wesleyan University and worked as a daily journalist in Durham, NC. To schedule a time to talk with Rabbi Brent, please use this link or be in touch with Faith Adams. He lives in Beacon with his wife Alison, a professor of environmental chemistry at Vassar College and their two children, Noa and Abraham.
Chen Ben-Or Tsfoni
Rabbi, Congregation Nigun Ha’Lev
Jezreel Valley, Israel
Rabbi Tsfoni is the spiritual leader of Congregation Raanan Beit-Samueli, at Raanana, Israel. She was the spiritual leader, and one of the founders, of Congregation Nigun Ha’Lev. She was part of a group of spiritual leaders to work, build, and renew Israeli Judaism. Prior to becoming a Rabbi, she worked for 10 years as a social worker and was one of the founders of “Ha’Midrasha” Educational Center for the Renewal of Jewish Life in Israel. She also works to educate teachers and students in public schools. She was ordained in November 2009 from Hebrew Union College — Jewish Institute of Religion in Israel.
Senior Rabbi, Temple Isaiah
Los Angeles, CA
Rabbi Frimmer is graduate of Stanford University, holding a B.A. in Feminist Studies and Religious Studies. She received her Masters in Theological Studies at Harvard Divinity School. She was ordained in 2006 at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City. Since joining the Isaiah community in 2007, first as Assistant Rabbi, then co-Senior Rabbi, and now Senior Rabbi, Dara is engaged in every aspect of congregational and life cycle events, with a focus on social justice and Israel. She is active with many local and national organizations, including American Jewish World Service, Bend the Arc, One LA-IAF, T’ruah, and RAC-CA. In her free time, Dara can be found shopping at the local farmer’s market, picking books to read for her next sabbatical, or pretending to follow Wisconsin sports teams.
Co-Senior Rabbi, Adas Israel Congregation
Rabbi Holtzblatt is the co-senior rabbi at Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, DC. She was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary and is celebrated by the Forward as one of the 32 most inspiring rabbis in the country. Last year, she was named one of Jewish Women’s International’s (JWI) “Women to Watch,” and is a current recipient of the coveted Schusterman Fellowship, a leadership development program for individuals who are committed to growing their leadership in the Jewish community. She co-created the acclaimed MakomDC adult learning curriculum, launched (and leads) the “Return Again” worship service, and directs the Jewish Mindfulness Center of Washington, which has twice been recognized as one of America’s top innovative Jewish projects by the annual Slingshot Guide for Jewish Innovation. Previously, Rabbi Holtzblatt served as the Hillel Foundation Director of Campus Initiatives and as Associate Rabbi at the Yale University Hillel. She is married to Ari Holtzblatt, and their two children, Noa and Elijah, attend the Milton Gottesman Jewish Day School of the Nation’s Capital.
Rabbi, Or Shalom Jewish Community
San Francisco, CA
On the way to the rabbinate, Rabbi Mizrahi spent several years living in Jerusalem, where she devoted her time to human rights and peace education work, as well as intensive Jewish learning. During her rabbinical training she worked as a chaplain, a teacher, a student rabbi and a cantor in various communities. She was ordained through the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 2005. Since then, she served as a Visiting Rabbi for Kehilat Kol HaNeshama in Jerusalem, and as Sabbatical Rabbi for West End Synagogue.
Rabbi, Beth Shalom Synagogue
Edmonton, AB, Canada
Rabbi Rose was born in Jerusalem to a rabbinical family and grew up in Winnipeg, Canada. Kliel earned a BA in Judaic studies from Gratz College, in Philadelphia, after which he studied at the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS). As a student, Kliel served a number of congregations in New York and one community in London, England, under the auspices of Masorati Olami. As a senior rabbinical student, Kliel received the prestigious Rabbi Marshall T. Meyer Rabbinic Fellowship at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in New York. He was ordained in 2004. Previously he served as Rabbi at Temple Emanu-El in Miami Beach, Florida for 3 years, then was the Spiritual Leader of West End Synagogue in Nashville, Tennessee, where he served for 5 years. In 2014 Kliel was given the Rabbinical Human Rights Hero award by T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights. Kliel was recognized for his involvement in interfaith justice work. Kliel and his wife Dorit Kosmin, are the proud parents of five beautiful and very active children.
Jessica Zimmerman Graf
Senior Rabbi, Congregation Sherith Israel
San Francisco, CA
Rabbi Graf is the current senior rabbi of Congregation Sherith Israel. A graduate of Columbia University, she was ordained by Hebrew Union College in 2003. She has worked in congregations from New York City to Juneau, and is active in several major Jewish organizations. During her time in Florence, Italy, where she studied art history, she spent time exploring small Jewish communities to learn as much about them as she could. After college, she worked for a professor of astronomy and astrophysics. She worked with congregations around the country during her tenure as Director of Congregational Engagement for Synagogue 3000 from 2006-2014. She and her husband Jonathan are raising two children, Arielle and Zachary.
Senior Rabbi, Temple Beth-El
Great Neck, NY
Rabbi Feldman began his tenure at Temple Beth-El of Great Neck in July, 2009. During his years as a rabbinical student at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, Meir Feldman served for a year as a CLAL Intern with Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist and Reform rabbinical students. In fall 2001, he started the bi-weekly Park Slope Friday Night Minyan.
Jewish Chaplaincy Director, Georgetown University
Rabbi Gartner serves on the board of T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights. She is a co-author of the Moving Tradition’s “Rosh Hodesh: It’s A Girl Thing Sourcebook,” and is the Director of Jewish Life at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Rabbi Garner was ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 2002.
Founder & Senior Rabbi, IKAR
Los Angeles, CA
Rabbi Brous is the senior rabbi of IKAR, which she founded in 2004 shortly after her BJ Fellowship concluded. She has devoted her rabbinate to reinvigorating Jewish tradition and practice and advancing soulful, multi-faith justice work in Los Angeles and around the country. Her TED talk, “Reclaiming Religion,” has been viewed by more than 1.3 million people and translated into 19 languages. In 2013, she blessed President Obama and Vice President Biden at the Inaugural National Prayer Service, spoke at the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., and at the opening of the Legacy Museum and Memorial in Montgomery, AL. She is an Auburn Senior Fellow, sits on the faculty of the Shalom Hartman Institute-North America and REBOOT, and serves on the International Council of the New Israel Fund and the national steering committee for the Poor People’s Campaign.
Rabbi, B’nai Jeshurun
New York, NY
Rabbi Sol has served as a rabbi at BJ since 2001, becoming the first woman to serve as a rabbi to the community in the congregation’s almost 200-year history. Rabbi Sol began her initial involvement with the BJ community when she was still a rabbinical student at Hebrew Union College. While serving as Family and Youth Director, she created Pnei Shabbat, B’nai Jeshurun’s families’ prayer book. After Rabbi Sol’s ordination, she became a Marshall T. Meyer Rabbinic Fellow at BJ. During that time, Rabbi Sol edited Zimrat Yah: Prayers and Songs for Shabbat and Festivals. After two years under the mentorship of Rabbis J. Rolando Matalon and Marcelo Bronstein, Rabbi Sol joined her teachers in their rabbinic partnership. She received the 2005 PaceSetter Award and was honored in 2006 as a Partner in Justice by Avodah: The Jewish Service Corps. Rabbi Sol was featured in the documentary All of the Above: Single, Clergy, Mother and has an essay in the book Faithfully Feminist: Jewish, Christian and Muslim Feminists on Why We Stay. Rabbi Sol earned a BA in Developmental Psychology and Education from Tufts University, a Masters in Jewish Education from the Rhea Hirsch School of Education of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, her Masters of Hebrew Letters (1996) and rabbinic ordination (1999) also from HUC-JIR. She served on the board of Bend the Arc for 15 years, and is a member of the rabbinic council of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice. Raised in Connecticut, Rabbi Sol has a son and a daughter and lives on the Upper West Side.
Rabbi, Beth Meyer Synagogue
Since 2005, Rabbi Solomon has served as the spiritual leader of Beth Meyer Synagogue in Raleigh, NC. Raised in Columbia, MD, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Maryland and then entered rabbinical school, spending three years in Jerusalem and three years in New York City. In Israel, he studied rabbinic literature at the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies and then continued on as a Senior Educator at the Melton Center for Jewish Education and as a Talmud student at the Shalom Hartman Institute. Rabbi Solomon currently serves on the boards of Truah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, Urban Ministries of Wake County and as the recently-appointed Vice Chair of the City of Ralegh Compassionate City Campaign. He served as an AJWS Global Justice Fellow and holds the title of Senior Rabbinic Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. Rabbi Solomon loves playing tennis and is an avid runner, having completed two marathons and several half-marathons. He is married to Rabbi Dr. Jennifer Solomon, founding Director of the Libi Eir Community Mikveh and Director of Spiritual Engagement at Beth Meyer Synagogue. Together, they are crazy about their three children: Meirav, Adiel, and Natan.
Joshua Levine Grater
Current board President for NRCAT
Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater is the Executive Director of Friends in Deed, a local, faith-based non-profit addressing homelessness and poverty in the greater Pasadena area. He served as a pulpit rabbi for 16 years, including 12 years at Pasadena Jewish Temple and Center, where he established himself as a spiritual leader, social justice activist and interfaith coalition builder. Before coming to Pasadena, he spent two years as a Marshall T. Meyer Rabbinic Fellow at B’nai Jeshurun in Manhattan, and three years as rabbi of Ahavath Israel in Kingston, NY. He was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1999. In the summer of 2016, he worked for NRCAT (National Religious Campaign Against Torture as a California Organizer, bringing together a broad coalition of interfaith leaders to successfully pass SB1143, a state bill to limit juvenile isolation and room confinement. In the fall of 2016, he served as Deputy on the successful Portantino for California State Senate campaign. Rabbi Grater has served on many boards and committees, including 4 years on the board of T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights; and currently he serves on the board of NRCAT (National Religious Campaign Against Torture). He is a published writer and his works can be found on numerous websites, including Pasadena Now. He lives in Pasadena with his wife and teenage twins.
Associate Chaplain for Jewish and Interfaith Life, Carleton College
Rabbi, Temple Sholom
Eau Claire, WI
Rabbi Dworsky serves as Associate Chaplain for Jewish and Interfaith Life at Carleton College in Northfield, MN, and as the rabbi of Temple Sholom in Eau Claire, WI – doing both jobs, and more, while living happily in her native St. Paul, MN.
Rabbi, Congregation Dor Hadash
San Diego, CA
A 1997 graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Rabbi Ridberg received her BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1990 in Communication Arts and Women’s Studies. Rabbi Ridberg served as the President of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, as a member of the Rabbinic Council of the New Israel Fund, the Board of Plaza Jewish Community Chapel, and has led a bereavement support group through the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services and the Jewish Healing Center.