Rabbi Leora Abelson
Rabbi Leora Abelson (she/they) grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and lived in Middletown, CT; Nairobi, Kenya; and Chicago, IL before moving to Boston to attend Hebrew College Rabbinical School. She was ordained as a rabbi in 2017. Prior to serving at Nehar Shalom, she was the rabbi of Congregation Agudas Achim in Attleboro, MA. She has completed four units of chaplaincy training (Clinical Pastoral Education) at Hebrew SeniorLife and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and worked as an Interfaith Chaplain at Hebrew SeniorLife Hospice Care from January 2020 through May 2022. She has been active in movements for social justice for many years, including fighting against racism and classism in the queer community in Chicago and supporting the Palestinian- and Israeli-led struggle for justice, safety, dignity, and freedom for all Israelis and Palestinians. She was led towards the rabbinate by her longing for a Jewish communal home that is aligned with her commitment to building a more just world and with her anti-oppression values (and with good singing of course!). She is passionate about making Jewish tradition and practice – from Talmud study to embodied theology to deeply rooted ritual – accessible to those longing for it. She is equally passionate about celebrating historically silenced voices and bringing diverse experiences into conversation with our tradition, believing that we know the Divine and understand and live Torah more fully only when our full collective wisdom is expressed. Leora lives with her partner Ray-ray in Jamaica Plain. She is a proud auntie and grammar nerd, shyly plays the violin, and loves the ocean.
To reach Rabbi Leora email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hindy Finman (she/her) is a fourth-year rabbinical student at Hebrew College. As a Chassidic feminist Hindy loves fusing her passion for Torah, niggunim (wordless melodies), nature, and mental health into experiential educational experiences. Her goal as a rabbi is to normalize the human experience be it from the Bima, or while leading backpacking trips in the mountains. She enjoys playing with clay and dreams of operating a rustic ceramic space that also serves really good soup and bread. Hindy is excited to join the Nehar Shalom community and is eager to learn from and with you this year. To reach Hindy, email her at: Hinda.Finman@hebrewcollege.edu
Family Education Staff
Teacher -Director, Nehar Shalom Family Program
Yardena Prawer (she/her) grew up in a tight-knit community in Melbourne, Australia. She graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2014 with majors in psychology, Arabic, and International Relations. For seven years she was the Gabbait and Director of Children's Programming at Shira Hadasha, a lay-led community at the forefront of women's inclusion and leadership in Melbourne. In 2015 she moved to Jerusalem. During her eight years in Jerusalem Yardena worked as a public school teacher, a non-profit director of a youth peace organization, and most recently in peacebuilding education for the City of Jerusalem. Her passions are social justice and the pedagogy of language learning. She loves finding the ways that education can open doors for the children she teaches - to future opportunities, to connection with others, to curiosity and to joy through exploration of the world around them. Yardena enjoys spending her free time hiking, reading, and cooking. She recently relocated to Jamaica Plain with her partner, Sam. To reach Yardena, email her at: email@example.com.
Cynthia Bell (she/her) is excited to be at Nehar Shalom. She has worked with a number of non-profit organizations, both professionally and as a volunteer, including schools, synagogues, and after school arts programs. She enjoys helping to support the missions of non-profits by creating and maintaining systems and programs, fundraising, communication, and being part of the creative team to enhance the organizations’ overall efficiency. Cynthia is a commission artist, creating Ketubot, art, and design. Both as an artist, and in all areas of her life, she is passionate about always looking for new ways to improve, trying new techniques, and pushing her creative limits. Her creative endeavors include calligraphy, painting, sewing, knitting, cooking, baking, ceramics, costume and set design, and graphic design. Check out her ketubah art here! Cynthia is a longtime JP resident living with her husband, a professional pianist and music educator. They have a daughter in college who is an advanced competitive figure skater and studying public health. To reach Cynthia, email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org