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Chair David Roberts
St. Louis, MO
Vice Chair Susan Beckerman
New York City, NY
Treasurer Howard Kerbel
Upper Montclair, NJ
Secretary Karen Kolodny
New York City, NY
Chair Emeritus Donald L. Shapiro
General Chair Aaron Ziegelman
New York City, NY
Members of the Board of Governors
Hillel Becker, Montreal, QC
Howard Blitman, Scarsdale, NY
Barry Brian, Walnut Creek, CA
Joseph N. Cohen, Los Angeles, CA
Carol Feder, Potomac, MD
William H. Fern, Ph.D., Westport, CT
Hans Grunwald, M.D., Greenvale, NY
David Kuney, Potomac, MD
Herbert Krasnow, White Plains, NY
Daniel Levin, Winnetka, IL
Joshua Levin, Washington, DC
Harold Magid, White Plains, NY
Jonathan Markowitz, Evanston, IL
Mark Nussbaum, La Jolla, CA
Rabbi Debra Rappaport, Golden Valley, MN
Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben, Ph.D.,
Pacific Palisades, CA
John Riehl, Laurel, MD
Miriam Roland, Montreal, QC
Seth Rosen, Larchmont, NY
Eric Rosenbaum, New York City, NY
Myrna Sameth, Saugerties, NY
Myrna Sigman, Edwards, CO
Rabbi Amy Joy Small, Morristown, NJ
Rabbi Avi Winokur, Haddonfield, NJ
Jennifer Abraham, Philadelphia, PA
RRC Vice President, Administration
Loren Amdursky, Bethesda, MD
Chair, Youth and Education Commission
Hon. Abraham Clott, New York City, NY
Chair, Congregational Services Committee
Rabbi Joel Hecker, Bala Cynwyd, PA
Danielle Leshaw, Athens, OH
Interim Executive Director,
Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association
Rabbi Joshua Lesser, Atlanta, GA
Chair, Tikkun Olam Commission
Rabbi Nina Mandel, Selinsgrove, PA
President, Reconstructionist Rabbinical
Michael Mitchell, Toronto, ON
Chair, Movement Growth and Financial
Josh Peskin, Ph.D., Philadelphia, PA
Vice President for Strategic Advancement
Rabbi Amber Powers, Abington, PA
Vice President for Student Development
Diane Tracht, Philadelphia, PA
RRC Student Representative
Rabbi Isaac Saposnik, Philadelphia, PA
Director, Camp JRF
Judith Spatz, Davie, FL
Representative, Jewish Reconstructionist
Elsie Stern, Ph.D., Philadelphia, PA
Vice President for Academic Affairs
Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Ph.D., Elkins Park, PA
Board of Governors
Your support makes it possible for us to
Here are just two examples of how your gift can make a difference:
The Kleinbaum Congregational Internship honors RRC graduate Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, ’90. It celebrates her
many significant contributions to social justice in the larger Jewish community; her outstanding leadership of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah in Manhattan; and her creation of, and support for, a program of practical rabbinical training that has become a model in the field. The internship generally rotates among Reconstructionist congregations so they can experience its value first-hand. It also serves as a wonderful incentive for congregations to establish and fund their own internships, increasing the overall number of intensive congregational experiences available to RRC students.
This year’s Kleinbaum Congregational Internship involves especially poignant relationships, because the recipient’s father, Rabbi Daniel Kamesar, z”l, was a classmate of both the mentoring rabbi and Rabbi Kleinbaum.
Meet this year’s intern and mentor as well as the funder!
I am always seeking to create opportunities for our students to grow. Although I have funded many internships, the Kleinbaum Congregational Internship holds a special place in my heart. Rabbi Kleinbaum shaped my Jewish home, Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, a remarkable community of LGBTQ Jews and their allies in the heart of New York.
Wherever Kleinbaum Interns may be serving, each is invited to speak at CBST—both to honor Sharon Kleinbaum's congregation and to have yet another experience before a highly discerning audience. When I heard what a particularly fine d'var torah Nathan Kamesar gave for Shabbat morning at CBST, I felt truly gratified by the gifts of this still-young student. He is the kind of emerging Jewish leader who encourages teachers and mentors of rabbinical students, and makes all of our efforts worthwhile.
Bill Fern, RRC Supporter
and Internship Founder
Rabbi Avi Winokur, ’91,
Society Hill Synagogue
Nathan Kamesar, Intern at Society Hill Synagogue
Working in a congregation has allowed me to connect with people in meaningful, spiritually enriching ways. For instance, in the adult education classes I've taught, I've had the opportunity to explore my own spiritual inclinations while accompanying congregants on small parts of their journeys. In classes like one on Abraham Joshua Heschel's rich book The Sabbath, or one investigating our tradition's varied viewpoints on theodicy (i.e., "why bad things happen to good people"), we engaged in the process of delving more deeply into the questions our ancestors also struggled with.
The opportunity to compose and deliver divrei torah on a somewhat regular basis has allowed me to engage in a creative process I didn't realize I was yearning for. Everyone should be so lucky as to find work so meaningful for them!
In the process of building up the young adult (20s and 30s) presence at Society Hill Synagogue, I've gotten to work with peers on what feels meaningful to them. I even found myself teaching a class in which we compared Megillat Esther to Quentin Tarantino films, and Purim to Mardi Gras!
The whole experience has been incredibly meaningful to me, in no small part because Avi as well as Sharon were classmates of my father's at RRC. I feel incredibly grateful for this experience.
I am forever indebted to Bill Fern for his visionary leadership in establishing this internship. To have Nathan Kamesar as the Kleinbaum Congregational Intern has a special personal significance for me. Both Sharon and I were RRC classmates of Nathan’s father, the late Rabbi Daniel Kamesar, z"l. Daniel’s sudden death within a year of graduation was devastating for me, Sharon and the rest of our classmates. Sharon was very close to the Kamesar family, and though Nathan was just a youngster when his father died so tragically, he has fond childhood memories of Sharon. I had not seen Nathan for over 20 years and was deeply moved to think that, like his father, he was becoming a rabbi. Furthermore, like me, Nathan practiced law in the San Francisco Bay Area before entering rabbinical school. Everything about this has been especially meaningful to me.
Nathan’s introduction to our community occurred through his divrei torah on the High Holidays. He was superb, and I was inundated with accolades for him. Every time he has led services, his talks have been of the highest quality. Nathan’s work on expanding our young adult membership has been a real boon to me. Most fulfilling has been my mentoring role, the conversations and feedback about the conduct of services, and sharing with him some of the more private aspects of the rabbinate—including how to shape rabbinic leadership so that it is at once effective and also empowers and energizes lay leaders to succeed.
Nathan’s instincts are unusually compatible with the congregational rabbinate, and the idea that I am privileged to have a role in his development is most gratifying. In fact, our community is so delighted with Nathan that we have found a way to have him return next year in a new internship that we devised with RRC. This fulfills another goal of the Kleinbaum Internship, and it is a blessing for our community.
Thanks to your support, RRC attracts world-class scholars and deeply committed educators.
Our newest faculty member is Talmud professor Rabbi Mira Wasserman, Ph.D.
She brings immediacy and vibrancy to texts dating back to the seventh century.
Rabbi Mira Wasserman, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Rabbinic Literature
I’m inspired by the Talmud and firmly believe that traditional Jewish texts can help guide our 21st-century lives. The final exam for one of my classes took place amid a tumultuous time of violence and protest in our country. Therefore, I asked the students to relate talmudic discussions of rabbinic law to highly publicized cases of police shootings of African-American men. I challenged the class not only to interpret our traditional sources and wisdom, but also to make them relevant today. This is what they will have to do when they become rabbis. I was deeply gratified by the insights and passion I saw when I read their answers.
You have many ways to get involved, and your gift can help provide: