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Meet Our Rabbinical Graduates 2017

Note: The class of 2018 become rabbis on June 10, 2018 at 2:30 p.m. at Old York Road Temple – Beth Am, 971 Old York Road, Abington, PA 19001. If you are unable to attend the ceremony in person or view the livestream on our Facebook page, please check back here in the weeks following June 10 for photos, bios and video of the class of 2018!

Meet Our Rabbinical Graduates of 2017! Our rabbinical students embark on a spiritual, emotional and intellectual journey at RRC that can last up to six years. The new rabbis in the class of 2017 come from unique backgrounds, and will bring different visions to their rabbinates. Meet them all and read about the gifts and values they will bring to their work. Watch below as they sing the beautiful song they prepared in response to becoming rabbis.


Rabbi Julie BenioffJulie Benioff was born and raised in Berkeley, Calif., holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a Master of Arts degree in Professional Communication from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. MORE


Rabbi Mimi FerraroMimi Ferraro is a native of Philadelphia, Pa. and graduate of nearby Cheltenham High School. After earning a Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy fromTemple University, Mimi earned both a Master of Arts and a Doctorate in Jewish Education/Special Education at Gratz College. MORE

Rabbi Rayna GrossmanRayna Grossman says, "I am so grateful to the incredible teachers, spiritual directors, and supervisors who have nurtured me with their Torah, their excitement, and their commitment to my learning and growth over these past five years. Thank you!"  MORE


Rabbi Georgette Kennebrae Wendy Georgette Kennebrae, known to all as Georgette, grew up in a military family and fell in love with the world - its people, languages, cultures, and religions. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma and a joint master’s degree from Brandeis University.  MORE

Rabbi Birgit KleinBirgit Klein was born in Krefeld, Germany, and motivated by the Torah portion “Lekh lekha,” “Go ahead of yourself.” Birgit has been a life-long seeker of the many facets of Judaism. Her explorations began with graduate Jewish Studies at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the mid-1980s. MORE

  Rabbi Kami KnappKami Knapp holds an undergraduate and graduate degrees in international studies and diplomacy from Seattle University and the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies. Originally from the state of Washington, Kami’s interest in rabbinical studies led her to RRC. MORE

Rabbi Leiah MoserLeiah Moser would like to thank her parents, Kevin and Noreen Moser, for their unwavering love and support through her many changes; her partner Ross Mattio, and his kids, Yemaya, Emma, Sebastian and Eleanor, for the many things they have taught her. MORE

  Rabbi Michael PollackMichael Pollack was born into a loving family in Rockville, Maryland. He graduated from the University of Maryland with a bachelor of liberal arts degree focused on government, politics and Jewish studies. He was drawn to RRC because rabbis were the happy people in his life. He wanted to know what they knew. MORE

Rabbi Jamie SerberJamie Serber has fond memories of the Shabbat dinners of her childhood. They were times of magic, tradition, and great love. She would watch her father recite the full kiddush in awe and wonder. That same awe and wonder has followed her into Hebrew school and beyond. Pride and determination allowed her to immerse herself in becoming a bat mitzvah. MORE

  Rabbi Hannah SpiroHannah Spiro grew up in Bethesda, Md., and graduated from the University of Maryland summa cum laude. The university recognized her contributions to the LGBT student community by presenting her with the Lorde-O’Leary Award. At RRC, Hannah received the Evelyn R. Mehlman Jewish Music Award twice and the A. Walter Socolow Writing Prize. MORE

Rabbi Ariel TarashAriel Tarash returned to her native Philadelphia to pursue her dream of becoming a rabbi. Earlier in her academic life, she graduated cum laude from Boston University with a Bachelor of Science in Communications. She went on to obtain a master’s degree in Jewish studies and in social work from the Jewish Theological Seminary and Columbia University dual-degree program. MORE

  Rabbi Diane TrachtDiane Tracht is a profoundly spiritual person. She talks to God daily, especially when she’s considering breaking the rules. Diane tends to make challah
each week while listening to Jewish podcasts. She often tears up when studying Torah because it is just that beautiful. MORE

Rabbi Marley WeinerMarley Weiner was born in Glenside, Pa., and had unknowingly been close to RRC her entire life. She attended Barnard College and List College, where she graduated cum laude in 2006. In her time at RRC, Marley has served in a variety of internships and fellowships. MORE

  Rabbi Alex WeissmanAlex Weissman is originally from the Philadelphia, Pa. area, and graduated magna cum laude with highest thesis honors from Tufts University where he received the Multicultural Service Award and the Ted Shapiro Award for Best Thesis in American Studies. Here at RRC, Alex received several awards for his outstanding contributions. MORE