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Rethinking Jewish Life

ABOUT: Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi, Ph.D.

Rabbi Sabath is a well-known thought leader, institutional builder, strategic innovator, published author and public speaker. She is completing two books for publication and currently serves as a senior fellow at the Kaplan Center for Jewish Peoplehood and as the Director of Content for the recently launched international project Our Common Destiny.

Most recently, Rabbi Sabath led a four-campus team at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC) as the National Director of Recruitment and Admissions and Assistant Professor of Jewish Thought and Ethics. In 2013 she was appointed President’s Scholar. Rabbi Sabath has taught courses on modern Jewish thought, gender, liturgy and theology to graduate students and undergraduates for nearly 20 years.

Prior to her recent national role at HUC, Rabbi Sabath served as Vice President of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem and for over a decade as a member of the Institute’s faculty while directing the Hartman Lay leadership, Rabbinic leadership, and Christian leadership programs for North American leaders as well as programs on pluralism and Jewish identity for officers of the IDF. Ordained in New York in 1995, Rabbi Sabath also earned a Ph.D. in Jewish Philosophy from the Jewish Theological Seminary. 

Rabbi Sabath is co-author of the popular Jewish guide entitled Preparing Your Heart for the High Holy Days as well as a guide to ethical practice, entitled Striving Toward Virtue. For several years she wrote a monthly column for the  Jerusalem Post. She also writes regularly for Sh’ma, a journal of Jewish Sensibilities, The Times of Israel, The Huffington Post and other publications. Rachel has also published numerous scholarly articles as well as pieces in key Jewish thought publications including “Radically Free and Radically Claimed” in Jewish Theology in Our Time. Rabbi Sabath teaches and mentors Jewish leaders of several generations and is a sought-after speaker throughout North America and Israel on leadership, Israel, gender, and theology. Rabbi Sabath serves on the editorial board of the CCAR Journal of Reform Judaism and as a consulting editor for the new multi-denominational journal, Zeramim: An Online Journal of Applied Jewish Thought.

Rabbi Sabath is an alumna of the Wexner Foundation Graduate Fellowship and the Phi Beta Kappa Society. She has also served on the faculties of the Wexner Foundation, the Tikvah Fund, the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, CLAL, and the Skirball Center.  For over a decade, Rabbi Sabath served as rabbi and scholar for Congregation Shirat HaYam on Nantucket Island. During the High Holy Days she has also served congregations in Chicago, New Hampshire, Florida, and Tennessee. Rabbi Sabath lived in Israel for nearly 15 years and currently lives in Cincinnati with her husband—a fourth generation Israeli—Rabbi Ofer Sabath Beit-Halachmi, and their three children.

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