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Introducing Our Rabbinic Candidates

03/27/2024 03:11:47 PM


Rabbinic Search Committee

Dear CBI Community,

You are warmly invited to join the CBI Rabbinic Search Committee in welcoming the prospective candidates for the role of Rabbi for Spiritual and Ritual LifeRabbi Yosef Berman and Rabbi Ruhi Sophia Motzkin Rubenstein on April 19-20 and May 3-4, respectively. 

While we are still firming up the complete schedules for each weekend, you can prepare for the following: On Friday night, the candidates will each help lead Kabbalat Shabbat during Shiru Shabbat, give a short d’var Torah, and lead Maariv. On Saturday, the candidates will leyn 8-9 lines of Torah, give a 5-10 minute d’var torah, and lead Musaf. They will also join the community for Kiddush and an open Q&A after services. Each candidate will also host an open learning session, and we will share more details about date, times, and topics of discussion closer to their visit dates. 

Please read on to learn more about the candidates. We encourage you to also read each Rabbis’ letter to the CBI community, hyperlinked below their bio.

The Search Committee, which was deliberately formed to reflect the diversity of the CBI community, has unanimously agreed on these two candidates being the best potential fits for the role out of the entire applicant pool. The upcoming weekends are not only opportunities for the community to get to know the candidates, but for the Rabbis to get to know CBI. We hope you will join us to warmly welcome both Rabbi Ruhi and Rabbi Yosef to Northampton. 


Meredith Lewis & Naomi Barnesky, Rabbinic Search Committee co-chairs
Veronica Darmon, Leah King Kaufman, Maxine Stein, Noah T. Winer, committee members

Rabbi Yosef Berman: Friday, April 19-Saturday, April 20

Rabbi Yosef Berman (he/they) grew up in Houston, Albany, and Kansas City and received his Bachelor of Arts from Wesleyan University in Connecticut. A Wexner graduate fellow, Rabbi Yosef was ordained in 2010 by the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College, an unaffiliated and pluralistic seminary in Boston. Following ordination, they served for five years as the Rabbi of Temple B’nai Israel in Revere, MA. In 2018 Rabbi Yosef co-founded the New Synagogue Project, a spiritually vibrant, justice-focused, and radically inclusive congregation in Washington, DC. Before co-founding NSP, they co-founded Ruach Guild, a skill development and support group for activists who provide spiritual care to social justice movements and organizations. He has also worked as a farmer, chaplain, community organizer, and advocate for justice and equality for Palestinians and Israelis. He is passionate about joyful Jewish observance, gardening, ultimate frisbee, and the power of community to create both personal and societal transformation. Rabbi Berman and his partner have two daughters.
Read Rabbi Yosef’s resume and letter to the CBI community

Rabbi Ruhi Sophia Motzkin Rubenstein: Friday, May 3-Saturday, May 4

Ruhi Sophia Motzkin Rubenstein (she/her) has served as the rabbi of Temple Beth Israel: Center for Jewish Life in Eugene, Oregon, since her ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 2015.  While completing her rabbinic studies, she served for two years as a Cooperberg-Rittmaster Rabbinical Intern at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, New York’s LGBTQ synagogue. Prior to rabbinic ordination, Rabbi Rubenstein worked as a Jewish environmental educator with the Teva Learning Alliance and spent a year in Jerusalem through the New Israel Fund-Shatil Social Justice Fellowship. For several years, she wrote a monthly op-ed for her local newspaper, bringing a Torah lens to current events, and she is a frequent speaker on antisemitism, aspects of Judaism, and social and environmental justice in the wider local community. Rabbi Rubenstein and her husband have three daughters.
Read Rabbi Ruhi’s resume and letter to the CBI community

Mon, July 22 2024 16 Tammuz 5784