Rabbi Rachel Dorit Goldberg
Applying to rabbinical school felt like the biggest step I’d ever take in my life. Once I mustered the koach / strength to take that step, many more followed in rapid pace. This journey of following through, one step at a time, helped me to cultivate a spiritual focus and endurance that I wasn’t sure I had until reaching this precipice of completion.
As someone who began this journey already a teacher, healer, and entrepreneur, I had a clear idea of what I thought I wanted to do. However, I quickly realized that if I fully surrendered to the process of development, I did not know who I would be on the other side. I chose to open to the unknown, listen closely for the kol d’mama daka / still small voice, and let myself be humbled and surprised by my own path unfolding.
Professionally, I’ve had the opportunity to engage a student pulpit at Mishkan Chicago; serve as the Education Director at Shir Hadash Reconstructionist Synagogue; innovate new modes of Jewish communal life throughout the pandemic and beyond; serve as the first Rabbinic Intern at Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies (one of three years of immersive yeshiva study); hold faculty roles with MyJewishLearning and the Jewish Learning Collaborative; co-lead the synagogue at Fuchsberg Jerusalem Center; serve in pastoral roles with Israeli evacuees post October 7; support Palestinian partners in solidarity activism through protective presence and direct aid campaigns, both before the war and during; do chaplaincy work at a hospital in Tel Aviv, in a department moved underground due to daily rocket and missile sirens.
Living in Israel throughout the war that began October 7 is a life defining experience that I cannot yet articulate. I am beginning my rabbinic career uniquely positioned in the realms of peace-building, healing and reconciliation work, as well as Thought Leadership deeply rooted in Torah, informed by intimate experience with the most pressing issues of today. I am a Mashpia Ruchanit / Spiritual Director with a growing private practice, traveling for scholar-in-residence engagements, and open to other opportunities that arise.
I am grateful to that infinitely expansive, interconnected, universal oneness that a lot of folks call G!d. Thank you for being my constant companion, guiding each step of my path.
I am grateful to my family for raising me to be strong and creative, teaching me to make my life into my greatest masterpiece, and supporting me completely.
I am grateful to my chevre / beloved friends for walking with me on the path.
I am grateful to all of my teachers. I would like to thank three directly:
Rabbi Leila Gal Berner, my Director of Studies, for being a living embodiment of chesed, overflowing loving kindness.
Rabbi Phyllis Ocean Berman, my current mashpia, for teaching me that g’vurah is not the opposite of chesed, but is chesed flowing inward.
Rabbi Ruth Gan Kagan, my mashpia for the first four years of this journey, for teaching me as Reb Zalman taught you:
מְעֹנָה אֱלֹהֵי קֶדֶם וּמִתַּחַת זְרֹעֹת עוֹלָם
G!d is an eternal refuge, beneath me are the arms of the universe. (Devarim 33:27)
Thank you for teaching me to live this Torah as daily practice.