/ Rabbinic Leadership Initiative (RLI)

Elaine S.


Rabbinic Leadership Initiative Cohort VII

Rabbi Elaine S. Zecher is a proud member of the seventh cohort of the Rabbinic Leadership Initiative of the Hartman Institute. Rabbi Zecher became Senior Rabbi of Temple Israel of Boston on July 1, 2016. She has served the congregation since 1990 and was the first female rabbi in the history of Temple Israel. She has touched the lives of Temple Israel’s congregants – from the very youngest to our most senior members in many significant and meaningful ways. Rabbi Zecher has been instrumental in adding to the spiritual richness of our congregation. She developed and implemented the Service for the Healing of the Soul. She created the Learner’s Minyan for teaching the fundamentals of the Shabbat Service to adult learners and also “Thank Goodness It’s Shabbat!” to teach our very youngest learners. She initiated Study Groups and started Kallot. Her work reaches beyond the physical boundaries of the synagogue as she has created intergenerational experiences for our young adults and senior members. She has also developed original and innovative worship opportunities at Temple Israel’s High Holiday Services.

Rabbi Zecher’s work extends beyond the congregation as she sits on the New England Regional Board of the ADL. She has been instrumental in the development of Mishkah T’filah, the Reform Jewish Movement’s prayerbook for Shabbat, weekdays and festivals and the new Machzor, Mishkan HaNefesh. She served as Vice President for Leadership of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) and as the Chair of the Machzor Advisory Group. She served on the Board of a new Jewish startup called Tzedek America-a gap year program based in Los Angeles. She is the co-editor of the new book, Because My Soul Longs for You, essays on our personal relationship with God, published by CCAR Press.

Rabbi Zecher received a Doctor of Divinity (honoris causa) from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2013 and was ordained from HUC-JIR in 1988. Upon her ordination she became Program Director and Jewish Resource Director at the Striar Jewish Community Center in Stoughton. She grew up in Monroeville, Pennsylvania and is a graduate of Brandeis University. Rabbi Zecher is married to David M. Eisenberg. They have three children: Jacob, Benjamin, and Naomi.

Elaine S. Zecher


Mar 10, 2022

Yossi Klein Halevi in conversation with Rabbi Elaine Zecher about his book, Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor.

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