With our 2023 Ordination-Graduation ceremony approaching, we are highlighting members of the graduating class. Click here to see all of the posts in this series.
Today we’re talking with Rabbinical Graduate Chaplain Judy Weintraub.
1) With the ceremony approaching, what emotions are you feeling?
I am tremendously excited for the opportunities that lay before me as a “free-lance” Rabbi, partnering with synagogues in the L.A. area to offer series of teachings on a great variety of subjects. I will also be facilitating groups, combining spiritual growth with Torah study. Another goal that I am passionate about is working with elders in the community, particularly Survivors. I am also super-excited to continue my work as a Community Chaplain, facilitating groups designed to uplift spirits, for those with dementia and their spouses and adult children. In addition to that, I am filled with awe at all that I have learned during my years at AJRCA. While I feel a little sad to be leaving, I am consoled by my plans to continue by auditing classes! Perhaps more than excitement, I am feeling a sense of gratitude beyond measure for all that my experience at AJRCA has given me for the rest of my days.
2) What is one learning from your Academy experience that you will take with you after graduation?
I have been exposed to an abundance of riches in terms of ideas and teachings from our great legacy. What I carry forward is a commitment to continue the learning, and with that commitment, comes an additional commitment to share what I am passionate about with others. Both in my Chaplaincy work and Rabbinic work, I feel I have experienced further spiritual growth and gained additional insights and tools to serve others. I also now know that I can turn to a number of faculty members and colleagues for support and continued mentorship.
3) Is there anything you learned at AJRCA that truly surprised you?
By the time I applied to AJRCA, I had already been taking a range of classes, regularly offering the d’var Torah on Shabbat, and leading Torah study groups for elders. I knew I wanted what ARCA offered in terms of a structured program of study, but I did not foresee that AJRCA would become a cherished spiritual community, as well. I have developed friendships here that I know will be lifelong.
4) If you could go back in time and tell your pre-AJRCA self one thing, what would that be?
These years will fly by so fast. During times of pressure (and there will be a lot of those), work hard to maintain a sense of balance to counteract all the times of stress, and know that you will delight in things large and small along the way.