Rav Gavrielle Pescador was raised in Windsor, Ontario and attended Congregation Shaar Hashomayim, a synagogue co-founded by her maternal great grandfather. Jewish tradition and religious practice were central to her upbringing, and that grounding has continued to inform her perspective on community, ethics and spiritual life to this day.
After the passing of her beloved mother and father, Rav Gavrielle became particularly drawn to deepening her connection to Jewish community, as she was no longer able to celebrate holidays, rituals and lifecycle events with them. She responded to her grief by immersing herself in Jewish studies and its ancestral wisdom, which eventually led her to enroll in rabbinic school at the ALEPH Ordination Program.
In the middle of her rabbinic studies, she became re-acquainted with Ashkenazi hazzanut, which called up beautiful memories of the soundscape of her childhood synagogue. But it was only after having the life-changing experience of serving as cantorial soloist for AARC in 2019, that she decided to enter ALEPH’s cantorial program and become a double track rabbinic-cantorial student.
Around the time Rav Gavrielle began her rabbinic training she also started playing the harp and gradually included the instrument in her service leading. She considers the harp an instrument of healing because of its soothing sound quality and biblical resonance, and uses it as a tool for heart opening and easing the pathway to religious experience.
Before becoming the rabbi of AARC, Rav Gavrielle served as Interim Spiritual Leader of Temple B’nai Israel of Petoskey MI and as guest cantor in synagogues throughout the country. She founded Pardes Hannah’s Rosh Chodesh minyan in 2018, which she led every month for four and a half years. She hopes to start a Rosh Chodesh minyan at AARC in the coming months.
Rav Gavrielle is committed to helping people find meaning through engaging in Jewish life. She sees many pathways to meaning-making in Jewish tradition – through prayer and celebration of Shabbat and holidays, through the study of Torah, Jewish thought and Jewish history, through Jewish art and creative ritual, and through the many expressions of tikkun olam.