ALEPH Ordination Program Ordains Four Rabbis,
One Hazzan, Three Dayanim, and Seventeen
Jewish Spiritual Directors
On Sunday, January 15, at the OMNI Interlocken Resort in Broomfield, Colorado, opening the 19th annual conference of OHALAH: The Association of Rabbis, Cantors and Rabbinic Pastors for Renewal, the ALEPH Ordination Program welcomed four new rabbis and one hazzan into the lineage of ordained Jewish Renewal leaders. In addition to honoring the musmachot (ordinees), ALEPH also honored three rabbinic colleagues who furthered their learning to earn a second smicha (ordination) as dayanim – adjudicators and mediators in the field of Jewish law.
Family, friends, rabbis, teachers, Jewish leaders and other honored guests representing the spectrum of Jewish affiliations swelled attendance at the OHALAH conference for the inspiring ordination ceremony.
The ordination each year blends the ancient tradition of awarding smicha through the “laying on of hands,” with the ritual creativity of the students who design the surrounding ceremony. As the music and chant begins, the AOP VAAD – the core faculty and Directors of Studies of the Ordination Program – processes into room. All stand to honor the beloved teachers who guide our growing seminary-without-walls, now the largest rigorous liberal Jewish seminary, embracing students from throughout the US, Canada, South America, and Europe.
The procession was led by Director and Dean of the Ordination Program, Rabbi Marcia Prager and Chacham Dayan Rabbi Daniel Siegel, who would bestow the smicha upon the new dayanim, followed by the Director of the Cantorial Program, Hazzan Jack Kessler, and the Director of the Rabbinic Pastor Program, RP Shulamit Fagan. The procession of teachers and VAAD members continued with Rabbis Leila Gal Berner – Dean of Students, Elliot Ginsburg, Victor Gross, Nadya Gross – Dir. Of the Hashpa’ah Program, Shawn Israel Zevit – Assoc. Dir. Hashpa’ah Program, Shohama Weiner – Rosh Hashpa’ah, Steve Silvern – Rosh Tachlis, and Laura Duhan Kaplan, and RP Sandra Wortzel, Asst. Dir. of the RP Program. Holding the Chuppah under which all processed were ALEPH Board Chairs Rabbis David Evan Markus and Rachel Barenblat, ALEPH Excecutive Director Shoshanna Schechter-Shaffin, and Chair of the ALEPH Student Board Caryn Aviv. AOP students and faculty extend gratitude to the many rabbis and honored teachers who also participated in the smicha ceremony.
2017 Graduates of the Rabbinic
and Cantorial Programs
On the Saturday night preceding this ceremony, the ALEPH Hashpa’ah Training Program for Jewish Spiritual Directors celebrated the graduation of its 4th cohort with a moving ceremony certifying 17 new Mashpi’im aand Mashpi’ot – Jewish Spiritual Directors.
Right to left (facing) on the stage: Yeshaya Ballon, Mia Cohen, Bonnie Cramer, David Curiel, Zelig Golden, Linda Leah Greene, Adinah Pat Hickman, Jason Mann, Ira Wiesner, Hannah Salander, Meira Bracha Sumka, Gavriel Strauss
The 2017 Hashpa’ah
Hazzan David Abramowitz
E. David Curiel
Linda Leah Greene
Cantor Adinah Hickman
Meira Bracha Sumka