April Luncheon – Changing Up the Passover Seder One Tradition at a Time
Date(s) - Tue, Apr 5, 2016
11:15 am - 1:00 pm
Congregation Agudas Achim
National Council of Jewish Women Austin is hosting an informative and fun luncheon on Tuesday, April 5th from 11:15am to 1:00pm. Our delicious luncheon will take place at Congregation Agudas Achim, 7300 Hart Lane. The cost is $20 per person to be paid at the door. RSVP REQUIRED by April 2nd to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guest speakers Rabbi Gail Swedroe, Rabbi Amy Cohen, and Rabbi Rebecca Epstein will discuss “Changing Up The Passover Seder One Tradition at a Time.”
Rabbi Gail Swedroe is thrilled and honored to be part of the CAA community. Having grown up in Silicon Valley with a large (and largely unaffiliated Jewish population), she has a deep appreciation for innovation and the power of lay leadership in creating strong communities where people take ownership over their Jewish identity and experiences. She is passionate about finding ways to make Judaism relevant and meaningful to our lives and in creating welcoming, participatory communities. Rabbi Swedroe graduated from UC-Santa Barbara with a degree in Religious Studies and received rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York with a concentration in Pastoral Care. From 2012-2014 she was the Assistant Director and Campus Rabbi at the Hillel at the University of Florida, working with lay leaders to bring their vision of Jewish life on campus to fruition.
Rabbi Amy B. Cohen joined Temple Beth Shalom Rabbi Educator in July, 2012, following her ordination at Hebrew Union College in New York. Raised in Sudbury, Massachusetts, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in social work with a double major in Jewish history and civilization and a Master of Arts degree in social work from New York University. Rabbi Cohen also earned a Master of Religious Education and Master in Hebrew Letters degrees from Hebrew Union College. Previously, Rabbi Cohen worked as a Youth Educator at Temple Beth Shalom in Needham, Massachusetts. During her time at Hebrew Union College, Rabbi Cohen worked at Congregation Beth Elohim in Brooklyn as a Family Educator; she spent a year at New York University Hillel teaching an adult B’nai Mitzvah class and advising the Reform students at the Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life; and she spent a year at Jewish Family and Children’s Services leading support groups and offering counseling services.
Rabbi Rebecca Epstein decided to become a rabbi while living in New York, and in the aftermath of the events of September 11th. She found focus in the challenge of providing her Hebrew school students meaning and grounding in Jewish tradition. She gradually determined to apply her energies towards the pursuit of a rabbinical career, and to shift course from the passion for modern dance and choreography that she had pursued since her graduation from Vassar College. Rebecca integrated her interest in movement with Jewish spirituality through the study of yoga; she overcame as well doubts about participating in organized religion. Shortly thereafter, she applied and was accepted to the Hebrew Union College; she departed for Jerusalem in 2004 to begin her studies. Upon her ordination in 2009, she served Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple in New Brunswick, New Jersey. There, she pioneered a teen mentorship program, a women’s spirituality group, a Jewish yoga class, and a comprehensive environmental certification process, in addition to directing the religious school. Rebecca and her family moved to Austin in 2012, where she served the Jewish Community Association of Austin; Congregation Beth Shalom of Bryan, Texas; Austin Jewish Academy; the Association of Reform Zionists of America, and St. Edwards University. She also serves on the board of the Women’s Rabbinic Network as the Convention and National Events Vice President.