Join us in celebrating our 2023 Ordinees and Graduates!

It is with tremendous honor and gratitude that our Board of Directors, Faculty, and Administration congratulate our newest ordinees and graduates: six Rabbis, two Cantors, five Chaplaincy graduates and one Master of Jewish Studies graduate.

Click here to give to AJRCA in honor of member of the Class of 2023.


We are extremely proud of our graduates and ordinees and all that they have accomplished during their years of study at the Academy. If you'd like to share your congratulations for one or more this year's graduating students, please do so at the bottom of the page.

Please see our 2023 Program below and scroll down to read more about this year's graduates and hear from them in their own words.

Our Rabbis


Cantor W. Elizabeth Bat-Sarah

"As a rabbi and cantor, I am committed to creating a sense of Jewish community which is vibrant, challenging, uplifting, and deeply inclusive of LGBTQ+ Jews and Jews of Color."

Thesis: "Queer Theory and the Construction of Jewish Identity: How Does Queer Theory Inform Our Notion of What It Means To Be A Jew?"

Read more about Elizabeth's AJRCA journey here.


Jennie Bunde

"As a rabbi, my hope is to help Jewish communities flourish and grow. People are at the heart of Judaism, and I intend to create spaces where love and acceptance thrive."

Thesis: "L'dor Va Dor: Jewish Intergenerational Dialogue In The 21st Century"

Read more about Jennie's AJRCA journey here.



Emily Katcher Bennett

"As Rabbi, I will continue to serve Congregation Beth Hatikvah in Bremerton, Washington, building and supporting our Jewish community by teaching and learning Torah, Tefillah and Chesed."

Thesis: "In the Concealment of the Most High: The Theurgical Vision Of Ma'avor Yabok"

Read more about Emily's AJRCA journey here.


Chaplain Nina King-Madlem

"As a rabbi, I aspire to serve those wrestling to make meaning of their lives through listening, teaching, and reflecting on Divinity with the same curiosity and humility found in the stories of our people."

Thesis: "Witches Save Judaism: An Exploration Of Jewish Magic and Its Implications For Modern Jewry"

Read more about Nina's AJRCA journey here.


Chaplain Judith Weintraub

"As Rabbi-Chaplain, I will serve by sharing my love of Torah and all that encompasses our rich legacy. I will provide a whole-hearted presence, helping others more deeply connect with their Neshama."

Thesis: "The Karaite and Rabbanite Jews of Fustat 10th to 13th Century: A Meditation on Diversity in Unity"

Read more about Judy's AJRCA journey here.


Alex Gregory Weisz

"As Rabbi, I will serve the Jewish people by sharing the joys of Jewish living and learning, helping congregants and students of all ages unite mind, heart, and soul through Torah and mitzvot."

Thesis: "Opening The Gates: Tefillah Education In Today's Transdenominational Seminaries"

Our Cantors


Joshua Herbert Goldberg

"As a cantor, I will harness the wisdom and beauty of our tradition to unite the Jewish people in prayer, community, and strength, always honoring our rich heritage while innovating for the future."

Thesis: "Kol D’mama Dakah: Highlights of Synagogue Song from the 19th, 20th, and 21st Centuries"

Read more about Josh's AJRCA journey here.


Heather Doris Livingston Hoopes Seid

"With gratitude and humility, centering heart, mind, and soul, I’m blessed to serve as Chazzan using my voice and intuition as a guide for others as they search to share their unique expression of self."

Thesis: "Jewish Hymnals: Origins, Disappearance, and Potential Future"

Read more about Heather's AJRCA journey here.

Our Chaplains


Emma Sofia Bornstein

"As a chaplain, I will commit to the transformative work of non-judgmental spiritual presence. I will honor people where they are and support them to find meaning and connection in life’s difficult times."

Thesis: "Interwoven in the Divine Fabric of Creation: Jewish & Ecological Wisdom As a Roadmap for Addiction Recovery"


Kathy Gooze, PhD

"It is my privilege to offer compassionate presence to others as they explore the resilience of their spirit and tap into their divine inner resources in the search for meaning and purpose."

Thesis: "Transforming the Experience of Suffering: Exploring Ecclesiastes as a Model for Life Review in Spiritual Care"


Leslie Catherine Klipstein

"Compassionate conversations and caring company – the ground on which a chaplain walks. Souls reaching for each other, and toward the Wholeness of Adonai, interrelated, connected. You - we - are not alone."

Thesis: "Nefesh And Neshama: Honoring Our Animal Companions and Each Other: Supporting Pet Loss & Bereavement as a Jewish Chaplain"

Read more about Leslie's AJRCA journey here.


Noa Rakia Levy-Eshman

"As a chaplain, I hope to empower women of all faiths to lessen the burden and pain of sexual trauma. I strive to bring women, and couples, back to healthy sexuality through spiritual care."

Thesis: "Sex & Sin: Religious Freedom from Shame, Stigma and Guilt"

Read more about Noa's AJRCA journey here.


Noah Benjamin Pollock

"As Chaplain, I acknowledge life’s challenges and support those I serve without judgement. I strive to offer meaning and comfort, ensuring that people know they are valued, important, and not alone."

Thesis: "Disability Inclusion: How Inclusion Evolved in the Secular and Religious World"

Read more about Noah's AJRCA journey here.

Our Master of Jewish Studies Graduate


Amanda Nube

"As an educator and ceremonialist, I am passionate about sharing my love of Judaism and embodied spirituality. My belief in lifelong learning, rich in ritual and tradition, will inspire all that I do."

Thesis: "The Art of Prayer"

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