Rachel Weiss became rabbi of Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation in Evanston, Ill. in August of 2016. Rabbi Weiss is known for her commitment to Jewish life that is creative, connective, and deep. She brings her warmth and energy to life cycle officiation and pastoral counseling, is an innovative teacher of Torah and a passionate spiritual leader. A graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Rabbi Weiss was an Aaron and Marjorie Ziegelman scholar, and the recipient of the Berger Prize in Practical Rabbinics. She holds a certificate in Congregational Life and has taken leadership roles within the Reconstructionist movement.
Rabbi Weiss previously served Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, New York City’s LGBTQS synagogue, as their associate rabbi. In 2014, she was named one of the New York Pride Guide’s “45 Under 45” for her leadership. As a rabbinic fellow at the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, she developed a multi-denominational rabbinic fellowship to bring rabbinical students from all backgrounds to study social justice and community organizing.
Prior to becoming a rabbi, Rabbi Weiss served as the Director of Nuestro Center in Highwood, Ill., providing social work services to recently immigrated Latino families through Family Service of South Lake County. A fluent Spanish speaker, she is a graduate of Grinnell College in Iowa where she earned a B.A. in Spanish with an interdisciplinary concentration in Gender and Women’s Studies.
A JRC and Evanston native, Rabbi Weiss is excited to have returned to her home congregation and community and to Lake Michigan. She is a foodie and fan of all things culinary, an artisan and craftsperson, a lover of languages and grammar, and a Hebrew/English calligrapher. She is married to Julia Tauber, and they are the parents to Hannah and Norah.
September 17th, 2019 | Season 1 | 45 mins 45 secs
In this inaugural episode, we speak with Rabbi Rachel Weiss of Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation in Evanston, Ill. Weiss describes her community’s effort to remain relevant at a time of great change in Jewish life and North American life more generally. From deep and respectful dialogue on divisive issues, to the transformational use of post-it notes, Rabbi Weiss shares a window into her synagogue community’s ongoing evolution.