AOP Incoming Class 2020-21
We welcome our incoming class of nineteen rabbinic, rabbinic pastor, and cantorial talmidim. They bring rich and diverse life experiences to AOP and are united in their aspiration to bring their passion and talents to serve the Jewish people and the world.
– Rabbi Marcia Prager, Dean and Director
Debra Josephson Abrams
Debra holds a Doctor of Arts in English and education. A teacher of English, ESL, and EFL for over 30 years, she has been a US Department of State English Language Fellow in Russia and an English Language Specialist in South Korea. She is also an accomplished writer whose works, spanning different genres, appear in various publications. Debra became the first fellow in elder care and geropsychology at the Veterans Administration Puget Sound Health Care System upon completing a chaplain residency there. A transformative journey – lifelong wrestling with Judaism, combined with a desire to integrate it with her passion for providing spiritual care – led her to the Rabbinic Pastor Program, a decision made on the day of the Tree of Life massacre in Pittsburgh.
(rabbinic) Bloomington, IN
(rabbinic) Portland, OR
(rabbinic) – West Yarmouth, MA
(cantorial) Jerusalem, Israel
Ariel was born and raised in Sudbury, MA. After studying film and screenwriting in The New School in Manhattan, she began her career as a journalist, writing for publications like The Boston Phoenix, Bay Windows, and The Jerusalem Post. Ariel made Aliyah in 2013, moving to Jerusalem, and four years later she made a career change and became a grant writer for Israeli nonprofit organizations. She has also been leading chant and meditation circles in her neighborhood of Nachlaot on Shabbat mornings. By joining the Cantorial Program, she is pursuing her true passion and manifesting her spiritual calling more fully, as music is for Ariel a direct channel to and from the divine.
Marla Kolman Antebi
(rabbinic) Alameda, CA
Marla is an award-winning Jewish family educator, school director, social entrepreneur, and neo-mystic. She believes her mission is to nurture wonder and awe in children and elevate the sacred in our lives and on earth. She has a B.A. in child development, an M.S.W. in community organizing, and certification as a teacher of Jewish meditation. Marla has developed projects for Jewish camps and led peacemaker trainings, Israel trips, and interfaith gatherings – in the San Francisco Bay Area and abroad. A mussar devotee, she learns from everyone and everything. She spends her free time working in her glass mosaic studio and hiking with her husband and their two boys.
(rabbinic) Berkeley, CA
Zvika is Director of Responsible Innovation at Facebook. He previously served on the Executive Committee of the World Economic Forum, where he launched Centres for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in thirteen countries. He was also the first-ever US Department of State Representative to Silicon Valley, as well as Senior Vice President of the Center for Middle East Peace. Zvika has been a Middle East correspondent and editor at The Atlantic, The New Republic, and Newsweek. He has a B.A. from Yale University, studied Arabic at the American University in Cairo, and attended Yeshivat Sha’arei Mevaseret Zion. He has held leadership positions at DC Minyan, has served on the board of the Jewish Studio Project and Sukkat Shalom/Milk + Honey, and has led Shabbat services around the world.
(rabbinic) New York, NY
Ana is a writer, speaker, and eco-activist. She is the author of No Other Gods: The Politics of the Ten Commandments and a contributing editor for Tikkun magazine. She currently serves as the spiritual leader of a Unitarian Universalist congregation in Brooklyn. Ana is blessed to share her life path with her husband and ten-year-old twins, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan where they are active members of Romemu. Starting rabbinical school represents both the end and the beginning of a long journey – Ana seeks to open deeper spiritual currents within and build her Jewish wisdom, leadership capacities, and public voice in service of the transformation of our world.
(rabbinic) Occidental, CA
(rabbinic pastor) Ithaca, NY
(rabbinic) New York, NY
Rachel Rose Reid
(rabbinic) London, United Kingdom
(rabbinic) Toronto, Canada
(rabbinic) Jerusalem, Israel
(cantorial) Bloomington, IN
(rabbinic) Leuven, Belgium
Originally trained in community organizing in New York, Ilana received a Dorot Fellowship in 2004 to live and study in Israel. After two years studying at the Pardes Institute, she went on to serve as the Jerusalem director of Encounter. In 2012, Ilana founded the Center for Jewish Nonviolence, mobilizing Jews around the world to join Palestinians and Israelis in ending the occupation and bringing about a just, equitable, and peaceful future for all. She is a trained Focusing teacher in Embodied Listening and a facilitator of Work That Reconnects. Ilana now lives in Belgium with her spouse and son and co-organizes the Leuven havurah, Ohel Yachdav. She is the founding director of Shleimut and is writing a memoir about the seven years she lived in Jerusalem.
(rabbinic) New York, NY
Jericho is a writer, lecturer, and coach. While earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology, they founded Horizons Academy, an afterschool program for at-risk teens. They went on to earn a master’s degree in public policy as a Pforzheimer Fellow at Harvard University. Jericho is the author of the memoir, Cut Me Loose, and the co-author of Legends of the Talmud. Their essays have appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times, Salon, and The Forward. Jericho has been named to the Jewish Week’s 36 Under 36 and the Jewish Daily Forward’s Forward 50. They have lectured on trauma, gender, and transformation at colleges, organizations, and houses of worship across the country. Jericho is certified in IFS coaching and is currently working on a book about healing from trauma.
(rabbinic) Pittsburgh, PA
A 2019 Kesher Fellow of ALEPH, Ami is the founder of Ratzon: Center for Healing and Resistance, a queer, Jewish, and anarchist community center in Pittsburgh. They support the Ratzon community by leading Jewish ritual for queer young adults, coordinating mutual aid projects and running Shulayim L’Shalom, a queer Jewish youth group. Ami is also an educator at local synagogues and Hebrew schools. They are a graduate of the Steiner Summer Yiddish Program and a two-time graduate of the Romemu Yeshiva. In 2017 Ami received their undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh in history, fiction writing, and Jewish studies.