Rabbi Rena Rifkin joined the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue community on July 1 as director of the Religious School.
Rabbi Rifkin received her MA in Jewish education from the HUC-JIR Rhea Hirsch School of Education in 2008 and was ordained by HUC-JIR in 2010. During her time as a student, she worked in various communities throughout Los Angeles and New York City, including Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills and Temple Shaaray Tefilah of New York City.
Following ordination, she served North Shore Synagogue in Syosset, NY, as the director of lifelong learning and has most recently been working at Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan as the coordinator of faculty and family engagement.
Rabbi Rifkin grew up at and continues to have strong ties with the URJ Camp Eisner. She is a board member for the Association of Reform Jewish Educators (formerly NATE). Rabbi Rifkin lives in Manhattan with her husband, Scott, and their two children, Eden and Simon.
“Rabbi Rifkin was the unanimous and enthusiastic choice of our search committee,” said Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch, Stephen Wise Free Synagogue’s senior rabbi. “She is a brilliant, talented, and innovative educator. We are excited to welcome Rabbi Rifkin to the Stephen Wise community and look forward to many years of learning, growth, and enrichment.”