Rabbi Rachel Weiss ('09) was a keynote speaker at Evanston's first Pride Fest. | Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

Rabbi Rachel Weiss ('09) was a keynote speaker at Evanston's first Pride Fest.

News

By Karie Angell Luc; Photo credit: Karie Angell Luc/Pioneer Press

Originally published in the Chicago Tribune on July 30, 2019.

rabbi_rachel_weiss.jpg

Rabbi Rachel Weiss ('09) of Evanston’s Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation addresses the audience at Pride Fest in Evanston on July 25, 2019.

Rabbi Rachel Weiss (‘09) of Evanston’s Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation addresses the audience at Pride Fest in Evanston on July 25, 2019.

The city of Evanston’s inaugural Pride Fest July 25 filled Fountain Square Plaza downtown.

The fest took place in coordination with the Thursday Night Live! event series hosted by Downtown Evanston and admission was free and open to all ages.

“I’m always proud to be an Evanstonian,” said Evanston Mayor Steve Hagerty. “Even more so tonight as we demonstrate what an inclusive community we are.”

In his address, Hagerty remarked that Evanston is a diverse community that could be used as a larger example.

“We need more openness and inclusivity in this country, and we’re demonstrating it every day here in Evanston,” Hagerty said.

Chad Davidson attended the event and said he and his family have lived in Evanston for more than 20 years.

“My son goes to Evanston Township High School and it’s a great place to raise a family,” Davidson said. “The schools are great, the community is great and the neighbors are awesome.”

Keynote speakers included Rabbi Rachel Weiss of Evanston’s Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation. Weiss was raised in Evanston and said she is the town’s first lesbian rabbi.

“I came back after college and my wife and I got married here in Evanston at the synagogue where I am now rabbi,” Weiss said.

Her wife, Julia Tauber, and their children Norah Tauber-Weiss, 5, and Hannah Tauber-Weiss, 10, were among the audience members as Weiss addressed the crowd.

“We’re both from this area, we’ve been away for a long time,” Julia Tauber said, who added she was “very, very,” proud of Weiss and her accomplishments.

Tauber said she was happy that Evanston was hosting the event.

“I wish that it was in June rather than July,” Tauber said. “Maybe next year.”

More News

College News

‘We are all accountable’: Maryland’s Jewish community protests ICE in Howard County - Rabbi Ariana Katz ('18)

“We are all accountable for the violence that happens at our borders,” Katz said. “Showing up for others is actually an action you can do in a world that feels powerless.”

News
College News

A nesting chain of dependencies - Rabbi Leiah Moser (‘17)

“I was very interested in Kaplan’s approach to Judaism as an evolving religious civilization, and the idea that it is a manifestation of Jews and what we believe and how we believe, not the other way around. It is not that we are Torah, and therefore we are Jews. It is more that we are Jews, and therefore there is Torah.”

News
College News

Out rabbi to begin tenure at local synagogue - Rabbi Alanna Sklover (‘13)

A graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College with a specialization in the congregational rabbinate, Sklover said she identifies with the strong sense of community and inclusion that the Or Hadash congregation cultivates. 

News
College News

Tai chi with tefillin: Inside New York’s quirkiest yeshiva

“Parts of it feels radically different,” said Lily Solochek, a rabbinical student who began studying at the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary and is now a student at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.

News
College News

Meet the young Jews chanting ‘Never again!’ and blocking streets to shut down Trump’s camps

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports on Never Again Action’s July 2019 demonstrations against refugee detainment camps, featuring rabbinical student Lizzie Horn.

News
College News

Rabbi Ora Nitkin-Kaner ('16) Featured in Moving Video from Avodah Service Corps

This video recounts a pre-rabbinical school experience of Rabbi Ora Nitkin-Kaner, who graduated in 2016.

News
College News

Rabbi Ariana Katz ('18) Weaves Her Mark Into Jewish Podcasting with “Thread”

The first thing you should know about Rabbi Ariana Katz is that she’s a total badass. She’s a founding rabbi of Hinenu: The Baltimore Justice Shtiebel, a radical Jewish collective (check out their website). She’s worked at T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights and even as a chaplain at Planned Parenthood.

News
College News

Rabbi Alex Weissman ('17) "An Advocate for Social Justice and Civil Rights"

Rabbi Alex Weissman is the senior Jewish educator at Brown RISD Hillel, where he says he has the pleasure of drinking a lot of coffee and learning a lot of Torah with and from his students. He agreed to answer a few questions as part of Jewish Rhode Island’s ongoing effort to introduce community leaders.

News
College News

Faculty Member Rabbi Nancy Fuchs Kreimer Publishes Book on Peace Through Multifaith Understanding

Rabbi Nancy Fuchs Kreimer, Ph.D., a longtime faculty member of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College who founded the institution’s multifaith studies department, has published a new book, Strangers, Neighbors, Friends: Muslim-Christian-Jewish Reflections on Compassion and Peace.

News
College News

Rabbi Sandra Lawson (’18) Profiled by Student News Magazine

Rabbi Sandra Lawson, ’18, who serves as associate chaplain for Jewish life and Jewish educator at Elon University in North Carolina, was recently featured in an in-depth video segment produced by Elon News Network, the university’s student-run organization.

News
College News

Rabbi Amy Bernstein, '97, Chosen to Lead SoCal Board of Rabbis

Rabbi Amy Bernstein was installed on January 16, 2019 as the president of The Board of Rabbis of Southern California for a two-year term.

News
College News

Rabbi Lazarus-Klein ('04) Named to Buffalo Hillel Board

Rabbi Alex Lazarus-Klein, a 2004 graduate who serves Congregation Shir Shalom near Buffalo, has been named to the board of Hillel of Buffalo.

News
College News

Rabbi Lawson ('18) Recognized in JTA Twitter 50

2018 Graduate Rabbi Sandra Lawson was recognized in JTA’s Twitter 50 list this year. 

News
College News

Jewish Ethics, #MeToo, and Crowd-Sourced Responsa

In 5778, the hashtags #TimesUp #MeToo #GamAni sparked a broad communal conversation about abuses of power on the part of individuals and institutions, within and beyond the Jewish community. The year brought revelations of misconduct among celebrities and government officials, and in Jewish schools, organizations, and synagogues. Now, powerful people who abuse their power are being held accountable, and this is a development that is welcome and long overdue. That doesn’t mean it is easy.

News
College News

Labor and Faith Leaders Rally in Support of Immigrants

Rabbi Mordecai Liebling joined with labor and faith leaders in support of immigrants in an August 15 rally in Philadelphia that drew thousands. 

News