Rabbi Emily Stern

I was raised at Temple Sinai in Roslyn, New York where I enjoyed a close relationship with our Cantor, Cantor Andrew Edison, and Jewish music. After studying drama at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, I began to answer a burning desire in my soul to go on a more in-depth journey into Judaism as an adult. On Shavuot, the holiday where each of us receive the profound wisdom of our personal and collective Torah, I searched through the aisles at a used bookstore. I never knew how the true yearning of my soul to be a Rabbi would ever come to fruition.  I opened a copy of “The Guide to Jewish Knowledge” by Reuben Solomon Brookes and Chaim Pearl. As I opened this book, I found a note card that said, “I will teach you.”  I took finding this note card as an invitation and promise that I was to begin a journey of learning about Judaism. What followed was a year studying Torah in Israel, and then beginning ALEPH for Rabbinical studies.

I am blessed to now be a Mashpia, a Jewish Spiritual Director, and, after so many years of study, receiving smicha from the ALEPH Ordination Program. I am grateful to serve and engage in this work every day of my life.

As the card said, there have been many teachers enabling me to fulfill this dream. I’d like to thank all my teachers at ALEPH for being my guides to Jewish knowledge. Thank you to my Director of Studies, Rabbi Leila Gal Berner, and my mentor Rabbi Steven Silvern, who took me under his wing, and more so, into his heart. I thank you for your time, patience, and wise council. While personally and exquisitely modeling what a Rabbi could be, your support has simultaneously nurtured who I uniquely am as a Rabbi.

Thank you to my family for coming on this journey with me, for always recognizing me as I became more and more myself, and honoring me with the enactment of all our family lifecycle events. You have always believed in me and watched me in joy as I grew.

I’d also like to thank the Kol HaLev Synagogue in Baltimore, Maryland for choosing me as their Rabbi. My prayer now, as I enter the lineage of Rabbis, is that I can be part of the fulfillment of the burning desire of so many souls to learn.