Joint Jewish Education Program Announces New Director: Rabbi Larry Freedman
June 26, 2019 (PITTSBURGH, Pa.) -- Congregation Beth Shalom and Rodef Shalom Congregation are pleased and excited to announce the recent hiring of Rabbi Larry Freedman, who is returning to Pittsburgh to lead the Joint Jewish Education Program (J-JEP), a collaborative, community-wide effort provided by the two congregations.
Rabbi Freedman steps into the role on July 15 and will work closely with the senior rabbis and staff from both congregations. J-JEP provides K-7 students with a religious and Hebrew education program and is open to the Pittsburgh community.
Rabbi Freedman is delighted to return home to Pittsburgh, where he and his wife, Deborah, raised their sons Ethan and Lev for 10 years when he previously served as Rabbi-Educator at Temple Sinai in Squirrel Hill.
"I am thrilled that we are able to welcome Rabbi Larry Freedman back to Pittsburgh,” said Rabbi Aaron Bisno, Frances F. & David R. Levin Senior Rabbinic Pulpit, Rodef Shalom. “His previous successes and vast experience in various congregational and educational settings augurs well for J-JEP.”
Rabbi Freedman majored in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies before attending Hebrew Union College for rabbinical school. He spent two years at the Los Angeles campus of HUC, where he was the student rabbi for Chaverim, a group of developmentally delayed adults. He then returned to New York City to finish his studies. While in New York, he served two congregations of Jewish people with hearing impairments.
“We at Beth Shalom are very optimistic about the future of J-JEP, led by the experienced and capable Rabbi Larry Freedman,” said Rabbi Seth Adelson, Senior Rabbi, Congregation Beth Shalom. “As we embrace that future with Rabbi Freedman, we will continue to inspire, lead, and pass the knowledge of our ancient-yet-modern tradition on to our children through the lens of experiential learning that J-JEP offers.”
Rabbi Freedman looks forward to focusing all of his rabbinic and educator skills on the J-JEP population, including faculty, staff, parents, and of course, the students.
The Mission of the Joint Jewish Education Program (J-JEP) is to develop a vibrant community of Jewish learners by providing an exemplary K-7 religious education program, J-JEP builds upon the established collaboration between congregations Beth Shalom and Rodef Shalom, increases vitality in the classrooms, encourages interaction among students and families of different Jewish backgrounds, respects diverse approaches to Jewish practice and thought, delivers a nurturing, experiential Judaic curriculum, and engages our community’s best teaching talent, all while utilizing resources more effectively.
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