Rabbinic Leadership

Rabbi Alana Alpert

Rabbi Alana, our visiting rabbi through August, 2017, leads many of our Shabbat services, and is also  available as a resource for congregants in other ways.

Alpert_photoRabbi Alpert graduated from Hebrew College in 2014, and is also a graduate of Avodah: The Jewish Service Corps and Activate! The Community Organizing Fellowship of Social Justice Leadership. Rabbi Alpert has worked as an organizer at NY Jobs with Justice and Jews for Racial and Economic Justice. She is the part-time rabbi at our neighbor Reconstructionist congregation, Congregation T’Chiyah, in the Detroit area. She has a passionate and well-lived commitment to community organizing and other social justice work, and is focusing at present on racial and economic justice in Detroit.

Rabbi Alpert received her BA in Community Studies from UC Santa Cruz, where she studied resistance and social movements and first learned about faith-based community organizing. Her 2014 rabbinic degree is from Hebrew College, where she co-founded the Liberatory Minyan, a place for rabbinical students to explore the nexus between prayer and activism. The burnout epidemic, which has led to increasing demand from social change-workers for spiritual counseling, inspired her capstone project “Like a Burning Bush: Jewish Practice for Activists.”  She also co-founded and directed Project Hayei Sarah, a community of emerging Jewish leaders speaking out about human rights abuses in Hebron, for five years.  You can read some of Rabbi Alpert’s writing here.

Rabbi Ora Nitkin-Kaner

Ann Arbor Reconstructionist Congregation rabbi Ora Nitkin-Kaner

Rabbi Ora Nitkin-Kaner

The Board of AARC is thrilled to announce that Rabbi Ora Nitkin-Kaner (RRC ’16) will begin her tenure as our congregation’s rabbi on September 1, 2017.

Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Rabbi Ora began her rabbinic studies in Philadelphia at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 2011.

Rabbi Ora is spending 2016-17 in New Orleans in an intensive chaplaincy program. During her first time living in New Orleans, Rabbi Ora was a fellow of the Jewish service corps organization, Avodah, where she blogged on the intersections of Judaism and social justice organizing and worked with the organization Resurrection after Exoneration which was founded by death row exoneree  John “JT” Thompson.

Rabbi Ora uses her life experience as the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors to learn and teach about living with fear, loss and grief by practicing gratitude and taking action. Her dvar on Bechukotai is a beautiful contemplation on these themes.

Read more from Rabbi Ora here.