Join us in celebrating our 2021 Graduates!
It is with tremendous honor and gratitude that our Board of Directors, Faculty, and Administration congratulate our newest ordinees and graduates: four Rabbis, three Cantors, one Chaplaincy graduate and two Master of Jewish Studies graduates.
We are deeply proud of our graduates and ordinees and all that they have accomplished during their years of study at the Academy.
Please see our Program below and scroll down to read more about this year's graduates and hear from them in their own words.
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Jamie Hackel Hyams
"To be a rabbi is to guide people toward lives filled with awe, gratitude and community; to provide a lens of Jewish ethics and ideas, through which each moment is filled with meaning and purpose."
Thesis: "Towards Understanding: A Journey in Search of God"
Deborah Lynn Lewis
"As a rabbi, I will work to create inclusive spaces for all who seek Jewish thought and tradition. Encouraging curiosity, creativity, and critical thought while inspiring and facilitating Jewish and human journeys, with the hope of a more compassionate, equitable world."
Thesis: "The Intersection of Wealth, Religiosity and the Strength of Religion Identity"
Amiel Tuvia Monson
"As a rabbi, role model and educator, I will be a compassionate, empathic listener, always encouraging and helping others to navigate their life’s journey. I hope to both connect and inspire with my passion for teaching and love of Judaism."
Thesis: "Gray Hair is a Crown of Splendor: An American Jewish Perspective on Today's Aging Population"
Cantor Samuel B. Radwine
"The words recited daily -- lilmod ul’lamed, to learn and to teach -- have guided my many years in the cantorate, and will continue to inspire me as I find new ways to serve our people as a rabbi."
Thesis: "Revolution or Evolution: 4 Case Studies of Challenges to the Jewish Establishment from Within"
"As a cantor, I will work to create sacred community and connection to the traditions of the Jewish people and to God through musical prayer, pastoral support and lifelong learning experiences."
Thesis: "Creating a Singing Congregation"
Jacqueline Shoshana Rafii, JD
"As a cantor and composer with Persian heritage, I aim to create, share, and engage others in sacred, multi-cultural music and initiatives, invigorating and increasing connection and belonging within Jewish communities."
Thesis: "Music of an Ancient Jewish Family: Recovering, Preserving, and Disseminating the Prayer Music of Persian Jews"
Alyssa Helaine Rosenbaum
"As a cantor and composer, I aim to facilitate meaningful Jewish experiences. Using my love of music, language, history, and learning, I hope to illuminate pathways for my community to connect to Judaism, the Divine, and each other."
Thesis: "The Evolution of Niggunim: Exploring the World of Wordless Jewish Music and the Scope of Its Influence"
Adam Robin Kinsey
"Becoming a chaplain for me has always meant being a hospice chaplain. It is a privilege to walk the path with people at these tender moments in their lives, and to support my coworkers in knowing their work is holy."
Thesis: "Listening as Revelation: The Presence and Practice of Listening in the Torah and at the Bedside, as Heard by a Chaplain"
Our Master of Jewish Studies Graduates
Linda Rose Bernstein, PharmD
"My journey begins with a Master of Jewish Studies emphasizing music in Jewish life and continues with rabbinical and cantorial studies. I will creatively merge my Jewish scholarly and musical passions to offer the world spirituality, strength and hope."
Thesis: "COVID-19 Pandemic National Synagogue Survey of Ritual Activities and Programming"
Jonah Herbert Sanderson
"As a proud graduate of the Academy, I aim to create spaces for outreach that uplift both communities and individuals. By bringing a sense of purpose and meaning to all who crave hope, I look forward to serving."
Thesis: "Together We Are Stronger: A Multi Faith Approach to Mental Wellness"