Scholar-in-Residence Rabbi Rachel Barenblat

The Woodstock Jewish Congregation is pleased to welcome Scholar-in-Residence Rabbi Rachel Barenblat

All events are free and open to all.

Friday, November 15
6pm Shabbat Service
Rabbi Rachel will speak about her recent trip visiting the Jewish community of Cuba

Saturday, November 16
10am Shabbat Service: Rabbi Rachel will offer the D’var Torah

12pm: Pot Luck Lunch. Bring a dairy/vegetarian dish to share

1-2:30pm “An Encounter with Psalms” Join Rabbi Rachel for an encounter with psalms, both the psalms of our tradition and the psalms of our own hearts. We’ll learn about psalms, encounter them in new ways, and even write our own — bring a notebook and pen, laptop, or your preferred writing device, and bring your open heart.

4-5:30pm “Texts to the Holy” At our seu’dah shlishit (the ritual third meal of Shabbat) we’ll “dine” on yearning, niggunim, and poetry. Rabbi Rachel will share poems from Texts to the Holy, as well as poems of havdalah, as we open ourselves to a final flow of Shabbat holiness and then bring Shabbat to a close. Light refreshments will be served.

Rabbi Rachel Barenblat, a founding builder at Bayit: Building Jewish, was named in 2016 by the Forward as one of America’s Most Inspiring Rabbis. She holds dual ordination from ALEPH as rabbi and mashpi’ah (spiritual director). Since 2011 Rachel has served as spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Israel (North Adams, MA). She also served as past co-chair of ALEPH and interim Jewish chaplain to Williams College. She holds an MFA in Writing and Literature from the Bennington Writing Seminars, and is author of five volumes of poetry, among them 70 faces: Torah poems (Phoenicia Publishing, 2011), Open My Lips (Ben Yehuda Press, 2016) and Texts to the Holy (Ben Yehuda 2018). Since 2003 she has blogged as The Velveteen Rabbi, and in 2008 TIME named her blog one of the top 25 sites on the internet.

And please join us at SUNY Ulster in Stone Ridge, NY on Sunday, November 17 for the annual Day of Jewish Learning, where Rabbi Rachel will be the keynote speaker. Details at

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