Rabbis and Staff
Rabbi Linda Holtzman is the Senior Rabbi at Mishkan Shalom. Click here to contact Rabbi Linda Holtzman. Click here to read Rabbi Linda's blog. Rabbi Holtzman received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Temple University, her bachelor of arts in Hebrew letters from Gratz College, and her rabbinic ordination from RRC. She has served as rabbi of Beth Israel Congregation in Coatesville, PA, and Beth Ahava in Philadelphia, as well as interim rabbi at Congregation Mishkan Shalom in Philadelphia. She also served as education director of Mishkan Shalom from 1994 to 1999. She has served as the Director, Department of Practical Rabbinics and as an Associate Professor of Practical Rabbinics at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. She is the founder of the Reconstructionist Hevrah Kadishah. Rabbi Holtzman is the author of a chapter in Twice Blessed (Beacon Press, 1989), as well as the article Struggle, Change and Celebration: My Life as a Lesbian Rabbi in Lesbian Rabbis: The First Generation, edited by Rebecca T. Alpert, Sue Levi Elwell and Shirley Idelson (Rutgers University Press, 2000).
Rabbi Yael Levy is Mishkan Shalom’s Rabbinic Director of Spiritual Development. She joined Mishkan Shalom in 1994 while still a student rabbi at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, from which she graduation in 1995. Rabbi Levy grew up in Yonkers, New York, and Berkeley, California. She graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a BA in English Literature and Anthropology and a graduate degree in secondary education from the University's Bay Area Writing Project. She has co-led retreats in Alaska for Jewish professionals through the Institute for Jewish Spirituality and has facilitated all–day and overnight Mindfulness retreats in Philadelphia. Last spring, she created “Journey through the Wilderness,” a guide to Counting the Omer. She is a spiritual director to rabbinical students and members of the congregation. Rabbi Levy runs a program at Mishkan on Jewish mindfulness called Ruach HaMidbar.
Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer is the Coordinator of Spiritual Life for Children and Youth at Mishkan Shalom and also serves as Communications Manager. Click here to contact Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer. Gabrielle is an accomplished writer, performer and educator. She is author of two books of plays for young people including Extraordinary Jews: Their Lives on Stage and her nonfiction books include The Creative Jewish Book and The Bar/Bat Mitzvah Planner. Her latest book, The Kitchen Classroom, a cookbook for young children, will be published in November by Woodbine House. She is a graduate of Emerson College with a master's degree from RRC, and has performed in one-woman shows in Boston and Chicago. Gabrielle and her partner, Fred, the Executive Director of the Hiway Theatre in Jenkintown, have two children, George and June.
Click here to contact Rivka Jarosh. Rivka has been the head of the school since 2008. She has been teaching at Mishkan since 1990. She has always loved teaching and the Jewish part of herself. Rivka started teaching religious school in 1969 while in college. Except for a few years, she has been teaching ever since. She retired from the Philadelphia Public Schools in 2008 after teaching there for 36 years. She has her Bachelors in Elementary Ed. She also has a Bachelors of Hebrew Letters from Gratz College. She has a Masters Degree in Counseling and a Reading Certificate. She has become very involved with the synagogue here, reading from the Torah regularly and coordinating the readers. Rivka also coordinates our participation in once a month providing a full meal to hungry people at a Center on 63rd and Market Sts. She and her partner, Craig Cohen, have two grown up sons. She is now a grandmother of a little girl. Besides what Rivka does here, she does puzzles and gets involved in most political campaigns both locally and nationally. This past year she worked with the Green Jobs committee at Mishkan to bring a successful Green Interfaith Fair to Mishkan in May of 2010.