We are so excited to announce that we have signed a three-year contract with Rabbi Rachel Kort to begin a new spiritual journey together. Rabbi Kort’s first service will be our First Friday Family Shabbat service on Friday, July 6. She will also attend our General Membership Meeting on June 24. Please come to the meeting and welcome her!
Rabbi Kort is already in touch with Cantor Ellen Dreskin to begin shaping our 5779 High Holy days and has reached out to our Religious School Director to talk about the start of the new school year in September.
Rabbi Kort received her MA in Hebrew Literature, MA in Religious Education and was ordained from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR). Also through HUC-JIR, Rabbi Kort is a Mandel Fellow, which has provided her with intensive study in vision-driven institutions and leadership.
Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Rabbi Kort grew up in the north end of Seattle. After receiving her BA in Jewish History from New York University, she volunteered as an emissary with the Jewish Agency for Israel in St. Petersburg, Russia and since has served Jewish communities all over the world including: Ukraine, India, Central Pennsylvania and Queens, New York.
Before coming to Temple Beth Or, Rabbi Kort served as Co-Rabbi of Temple Beth El, a 570-household congregation located in South Orange County, California. Beth El is one of a handful of congregations in the country dually-affiliated with the Reform and Conservative Movements. In 2010, upon ordination from HUC-JIR in New York, Temple Beth El hired Rabbi Kort to serve as Assistant Rabbi and Director of Jewish Engagement, overseeing supplementary education at the synagogue. In 2016, Beth El promoted her to Co-Rabbi, sharing full rabbinic responsibilities with a rabbinic partner who was ordained through the Conservative Movement.
With a strong background in transformational change and visionary leadership, Rabbi Kort has introduced innovative programming to the synagogues she has served in the areas of experiential education, b’nai mitzvah, and relational engagement through Small Groups. These programs, all created in partnership with lay leadership, have been nationally recognized for their excellence by the Union for Reform Judaism, the United Synagogue for Conservative Judaism, and HUC-JIR. More than an institutional change agent, Rabbi Kort’s congregants appreciate her warmth, caring nature, and empowering leadership style.
Rabbi Kort and her husband, Dan Steingart, enjoy spending Shabbat afternoon at the beach with their 4-year-old daughter, Galit (which means ‘wave’ in Hebrew).
Rabbi Kort’s overall goal as a rabbi is to empower individuals to take the lead in their Jewish lives.
Rabbi Kort invites you to call upon her for help or support, or just to talk.
Finally, Rabbi Kort has been connecting with our summer bar & bat mitzvah families as she looks to take varying roles in their services.
The process of welcoming and on-boarding Rabbi Kort will start, in earnest, when she actually begins her role as our spiritual leader on July 1.