North Adams: Rabbi chosen for fellowship program

Rabbi Rachel Barenblat of Congregation Beth Israel has been selected for the Rabbis Without Borders national fellowship program.

More than 90 applicants competed for the 18 spots.

Barenblat, ordained in 2011 by ALEPH: the Alliance for Jewish Renewal, has lived in Northern Berkshire for 20 years. Before becoming a rabbi, she was co-founder and executive director of literary arts nonprofit Inkberry; she also served as editor of The Women’s Times. She is the creator of award-winning blog “Velveteen Rabbi,” and author of “70 faces” (Phoenicia, 2011) a collection of Torah poems.

The program, now in its fourth year, encourages rabbis to think creatively about their work and the new American religious landscape. Building a network of religious leaders from all streams, RWB helps rabbis make Jewish insights readily available, adding to the well of American spiritual resources.

Rabbinic Fellows will gather in NYC four times over the academic year, 2012 to 2013. The first session, on Oct. 29 and 30, will feature Lisa Miller, religion editor at Newsweek magazine and The Daily Beast, who will discuss religion in America today.

The Dec. 17 and 18 program will feature social media innovator Daniel Sieradski, who will discuss technology’s effects on society.

Originally published in the Berkshire Eagle.

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