Join JCRC for a discussion featuring Jewish perspectives from clergy of our local Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform communities.
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Rabbi Stephanie Bernstein received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, an MA in Guidance and Counseling from Eastern Michigan University, and an MSW from Catholic University. Rabbi Bernstein was a clinical social worker in outpatient mental health clinics in the DC area as well as in private practice for over twenty years. She was a lay leader at Temple Sinai in Washington, DC , board member of the Midand served as president of the congregation. She was a Atlantic Council of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ).
During rabbinical school Rabbi Bernstein served as student rabbi at Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation in Reston and held High Holy Day pulpits at Boston University Hillel . Rabbi Bernstein’s rabbinical thesis is entitled: “Holocaust Responsa: Questions and Answers from a Time of Despair.” She received her rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College Rabbi Bernstein served on the Jewish Institute of Religion in May 2009.
Rabbi Bernstein served on the staff of the Union for Reform Judaism, as teacher and coordinator for Introduction to Judaism program in the greater Washington, DC area. She was a Study Guide writer for The Torah: A Women’s Commentary and worked as a chaplain with Jewish Social Services. Bernstein has served on the boards of directors of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, Jews United for Justice, and was the Board Chair of Equality Maryland. She is on the executive council of the Washington Board of Rabbis .
Rabbi Bernstein lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland with her husband Henry Winokur. She has two adult children, Sara and Joseph, and is the proud grandmother of Michael, Kian, and Adlai.
Maharat Friedman is a member of the inaugural class of Yeshivat Maharat, which is the first institution to ordain Orthodox women as spiritual leaders and halakhic (legal) authorities. She and her husband Yoni moved to Washington, DC in July 2013 to begin her position as Maharat at Ohev Sholom - The National Synagogue®.
Maharat Friedman’s responsibilities include overseeing the conversion program, supervising the operation of the community mikvah, directing adult education, providing pastoral counseling, teaching in the community, and more.
Maharat Friedman is deeply committed to working to ensure that Jewish communal structures provide sensitivity and support to individuals and couples struggling with fertility challenges, and she is honored to serve on The Red Stone Advisory Committee.
She is a proud member of both the Chicago and Washington Boards of Rabbis, and sits on the Executive Committee of the board of the International Rabbinic Fellowship, of which she is also a member. Maharat Ruth is also a founding member of the Beltway VAAD. She and Yoni are the proud parents of two boys, Ezra and Joe "Bear", and their rambunctious shiu tzu, Cocoa.
Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt, ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary, is celebrated by the Forward as one of the 32 most inspiring rabbis in the country. Recently, she was named one of Jewish Women’s International’s (JWI) “Women to Watch,” and is a proud senior fellow of the coveted Schusterman Fellowship, a leadership development program for individuals who are committed to growing their leadership in the Jewish community (an honor rarely bestowed on rabbis). Rabbi Holtzblatt also gratefully serves on the national board of Avodah and on the joint steering committee of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ).
Among Rabbi Holtzblatt’s many achievements here at Adas, she has completely revitalized our caretaking (Hesed) and bereavement efforts, co-created the acclaimed MakomDC adult learning curriculum, launched and leads our wildly successful “Return Again” worship services, and directs the Jewish Mindfulness Center of Washington, which has twice been recognized as one of America's top innovative Jewish projects by the annual Slingshot Guide for Jewish Innovation.
Previously, Rabbi Holtzblatt served as the Hillel Foundation Director of Campus Initiatives and as Associate Rabbi at the Yale University Hillel. Rabbi Holtzblatt was also a rabbinic fellow at B’nai Jeshurun in New York. She is married to Ari Holtzblatt, they have two children, Noa and Elijah.
Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky (firstname.lastname@example.org) Director, Intergroup Relations/ Rabbi in Residence
Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky is the JCRC's Director of Intergroup Relations/JCRC Rabbi in Residence. She studied at the Jewish Theological Seminary and was ordained in 2012. Abbi also holds a master’s degree from the Davidson School of Jewish Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary, specializing in experiential Jewish education. Abbi was the deputy director of the Jewish Welfare Board Jewish Chaplains Council, where she worked with Jewish military personnel and veterans.
Rabbi Sharofsky is the recipient of the 2016 JPRO Network Young Professional Award for her dedication to the Jewish community through her work in the Jewish not for profit field. She is a Rabbis Without Borders fellow, 2018 cohort. She currently serves on the Executive Council of the Rabbinical Assembly.
Abbi and her husband, David live in Silver Spring with their two children.