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Our Permanent Rabbi Finalists’ Biographies

Scroll down or click on the rabbi's name to see their bio.

January 20–22:  Rabbi Braham David

January 27–29:  Rabbi Amy Hertz

February 3–5:     Rabbi Dr. Oren Steinitz
 



Status update: February 6

As of February 6 we are in a review phase while surveys are being conducted with the community to inform the committee's recommendation for our next permanent rabbi.


 

Questions

Feel free to reach out to us at rabbisearch@bethelohim.org with any questions or comments.



Thank you for your participation in this important initiative for our community.

Rabbi Search Committee
Danya Bloomstone (Co-chair)        
Michelle Siegert  (Co-chair)        
Aurora Carruthers-Grey (Sept.-Dec.)    
Rick Green
Arye Hess                
Barry Nyer                
Evan Shechter
Jess Rosenblatt
Judy Kramer
Robin Newman
Cantor Sarra Spierer

 


The Finalists

Rabbi Braham David (January 20–22)

Rabbi Braham David received his ordination and a Master’s in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) in New York. Throughout his rabbinate, he has focused on creating welcoming spaces where individuals, couples, and families of all backgrounds and identities can worship, learn, and create community together. As an Indian Jew with roots in the Bene Israel community, and two adopted children from Nepal, Rabbi David is personally and professionally committed to incorporating Judaism’s foundational values of diversity, inclusion, and equity into everything he does.  

Rabbi David served as the rabbi of Temple Shalom in Medford, Massachusetts, an intimate egalitarian Conservative congregation, from 2003-2021. During his tenure, he guided the synagogue’s successful renewal process. This included interfaith outreach initiatives, new programming to attract young families, and the growth of the religious school from zero to over 70 children. Rabbi David rejuvenated the b'nai mitzvah program, was instrumental in the sanctuary renewal project, represented the local Jewish community in public-facing events, and was an active member of the Medford interfaith clergy group.

Rabbi David has also served as Director of the Jewish Discovery Institute (JDI) since 2007, a flagship interfaith outreach, Jewish education, and conversion program serving the Greater Boston Area. He has guided over 400 Jews by choice on their Jewish journeys. Rabbi David has counseled interfaith couples and individuals from diverse backgrounds and advised numerous synagogue clergy and lay leaders on interfaith inclusion.  

A lifelong learner, Rabbi David was selected to join the inaugural class of Rukin Rabbinic Fellows, an 18 Doors (Interfaith Family) program dedicated to creating a community of practice for rabbis working with interfaith couples and families. He has studied in Jerusalem at the Shalom Hartman, Schechter, and Pardes Institutes, and at the Institute for Jewish Spirituality.

Since August 2022, Rabbi David has served as interim rabbi at Congregation Beth Elohim in Acton, Massachusetts. During the CBE’s transition period, he has provided stability, leadership, and spiritual guidance. Rabbi David has demonstrated skill and commitment to advancing CBE’s culture of inclusion. As interim, Rabbi David leads Shabbat and holiday services, offers Torah study, officiates at life-cycle events, provides pastoral care, guides b’nai mitzvah families, engages with Hebrew School students and teachers, and works to strengthen CBE’s ties with the civic leaders and neighboring faith communities.   

Rabbi David is the son and son-in-law of Reform rabbis. He lives in Lexington, Massachusetts with his wife, Naomi Blumberg David, and their two children, Asha and Pukar. Naomi is a global health writer at Abt Associates where she works on an international public health project. Asha is a sophomore at Lexington High School and Pukar is a freshman at Minuteman High School. Sports fill the kids’ afternoons and weekends each season. Rabbi David and Naomi enjoy spending time in the Berkshires, on the Cape, and at Walden Pond. This year, they are raising a future guide dog puppy named “Miss Yoki”. (back to top of page)


Rabbi Amy Hertz (January 27–29)

Rabbi Amy Hertz is very excited to be a candidate for CBE’s next Rabbi.  Originally from Houston, TX, Rabbi Amy graduated from Northwestern University with degrees in Mathematics and Economics and then earned Rabbinic Ordination and a Master’s Degree and from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Cincinnati, OH. 
As a rabbinical student, Rabbi Amy served student congregations throughout Indiana – in Terre Haute, Columbus and Greencastle where she led services and worked with families on significant life cycle events such as B’nai Mitzvah, baby namings, and funerals.  She was also selected as a rabbinic intern in the Department of Youth Programs at HUC-JIR, welcoming high school and college students to campus for pre-rabbinic learning programs, and served as a representative of the college on the national level. Rabbi Amy served as a chaplain at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital where she also completed a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education.

Following rabbinic school, Rabbi Amy served as the Associate Rabbi of Rodef Shalom Congregation in Pittsburgh, PA, for five years.  In this role, Rabbi Amy participated fully in all aspects of congregational life, as well as in the larger Pittsburgh Jewish community. She truly enjoyed working with students, both children and adults, on their B’nai Mitzvah, leading services weekly, celebrating with families during times of joy and helping guide congregants through deaths and other hard times.  She served as the President of the Greater Pittsburgh Rabbinic Association and as a board member of Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Pittsburgh.

Following her time in Pittsburgh, Rabbi Amy moved to the greater Boston area and began her tenure at Temple Isaiah of Lexington. As the Director of Congregational Learning, she is part of the fabric of Jewish life in the community with full responsibility for all learning. Under Rabbi Amy’s leadership, there has been renewed focus on personal and relevant Jewish learning in the youth community, as well as deep partnership in adult learning with Hebrew College and the development of a strong Mussar program, a Jewish spiritual practice that gives concrete instructions on how to live a meaningful and ethical life. One of the highlights of Rabbi Amy’s year is leading the Women’s Weekend Away with the Temple Isaiah Sisterhood where members of the group gather for a spirited weekend of praying, learning and community.  She also has found great meaning in working with families on baby namings, weddings, and funerals.  Outside of Temple Isaiah, she is involved in the greater Lexington community as a member of the Lexington Interfaith Clergy Association and as an executive board member of the Cary Memorial Library.

Rabbi Amy is passionate about exploring Jewish journeys with people of all ages and stages of life.  She is a relational and warm spiritual leader who believes in the power of joyful Judaism to guide us in creating deep and meaningful lives.  Rabbi Amy is also a skilled educator with a Master’s Degree in Religious Education who enjoys teaching and guiding students of all ages.  

Outside of her congregational life, Rabbi Amy enjoys creating art, seeing musicals, and spending time with Mason the dog.  She currently lives in Waltham, MA, with her wife Beth Goldstein, Director of Education and Community Engagement at Congregation Beth Elohim in Acton, MA.. (back to top of page)

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Rabbi Dr. Oren Z. Steinitz (February 3–5)

Rabbi Dr. Oren Z. Steinitz has served as a prayer leader, teacher and musician in Jewish communities across the denominational spectrum in Israel, Canada and the USA for over fifteen years. Ordained in 2014, he has been serving as the Rabbi of Congregation Kol Ami in Elmira, New York since 2015. During his tenure at Kol Ami, Rabbi Oren introduced the congregation to a musical, engaging style of service; significantly increased worship and adult ed participation; founded the congregational choir; led the congregation's technological transition to online – and later, hybrid - services and programing; trained and mentored lay leaders; and created a series of congregational prayer books. He is particularly passionate about Jewish music and creating knowledgeable, engaged Jewish communities. 

In 2020, after years of rigorous studying of the laws of conversion to Judaism and Jewish divorce, Rabbi Oren became the sixth Jewish Renewal rabbi to receive advanced rabbinic ordination as Dayan — Mediator and Adjudicator of Jewish Law — from Rabbi Daniel Siegel and ALEPH Canada's Integral Halacha Institute. He is one of a handful of non-Orthodox rabbis trained as a mesader gittin, an administrator of Jewish divorce.

Rabbi Oren holds a doctorate from University of Calgary, researching the attitude towards the “Other” in Jewish and Islamic legal websites, as well as BA and MA degrees from the Ben Gurion University of the Negev (Israel). He taught at the University of Calgary, Mount Royal University, The ALEPH Ordinations Program and the Aquarian Minyan Yeshiva, as well as in different synagogues and Jewish Community Centers. 

Rabbi Oren is married to Adar, and they have two energetic children - Eytan (12) and Eliana (8).(back to top of page)

 


 

Tue, February 7 2023 16 Shevat 5783