From the Board of Directors

Over the years the WJC has had the pleasure of working with student rabbis from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. This year we are delighted to welcome Kami Knapp, a final-year student at RRC. Kami will join us for numerous Shabbat weekends throughout the year, as well as for High Holy Days. Her first weekend with us will be September 2-4, Labor Day Weekend. Kami will be working under the guidance of Rabbi Jonathan, and as the year goes on, will occasionally lead our services and classes when Rabbi Jonathan is away. Student rabbis add all of their knowledge and enthusiasm to the life of our community, but the WJC also performs a service to the Jewish world by giving these emerging Jewish leaders safe and loving environments in which to grow and learn.

We hope you will make an effort to welcome Kami to our community.

The WJC Board of Directors

Kami's Letter of Introduction to the Congregation

“Just to be is a blessing. Just to live is holy.” – Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

Shalom! My name is Kami Knapp and I am a senior at the Reconstructionist Rabbinic College. I am thrilled to join you (the Woodstock Jewish Congregation) this year as your student rabbi. I hope this brief introduction is merely that…a brief introduction that will be followed by many in-person introductions, meetings and coffees which will deepen my relationships throughout WJC.

I was born and raised outside Seattle, WA. Following college I worked at the Washington State Holocaust Education Resource Center where I was introduced to and fell in love with Judaism. I immediately started teaching at local synagogues while continuing to work with Holocaust survivors in telling their stories to local groups. In 2007 I decided to pursue a Master’s degree at the University of London in International Studies and Diplomacy and concluded my studies with a Master’s thesis on the political implications of the emigration of Ethiopian Jews to Israel. While living in London for almost two years I worked and taught at a local synagogue, West London Synagogue, and fell in love with British Jewry! Upon returning to Seattle, after receiving my Masters, I spent two years working hard to break into the field of international politics - yet, it was not to be! I continued to teach at local synagogues in the evenings and weekends while working at a local mental health hospital during the day.

Life was not turning out how I had planned…but while working at the mental health hospital I realized that I had a burning love of Judaism that remained consistent in my life regardless of my different day jobs. I also realized through my work that I had a passion for being with people in deep relationship, supporting them in good times and bad, helping them explore the depths of their soul with Judaism as my guide. Therefore I decided after two years of self-exploration that rabbinical school was the right step for me. I wanted to continue to expand my Jewish knowledge while being in close relationship with Jewish community as a confidant, Rabbi, chaplain and support person.

While in rabbinical school I have had the pleasure of serving in many different capacities: education director, teacher, Hillel rabbinic intern, chaplain, Ritualwell intern, and summer day camp counselor. All of my previous positions have contributed to who I am today. I am thrilled to join WJC as this year’s student rabbi and am looking forward to enhancing my skills in the area of congregational life. I am excited to be serving a community that welcomes everyone regardless of Jewish practice, race, sexuality or disability. I am excited to learn from and receive mentorship from Rabbi Jonathan. And I am excited to learn from and get to know the wonderful people who choose to be a part of WJC.

I am eager to meet the many people who make up the WJC. As a rabbinical student my goal is to know you and work with you so that we can all be our best and fullest selves, thus bringing our much needed and unique holiness to our world!

Kami Knapp