Rabbi Barry Dolinger
Our Rabbi, Barry Dolinger, received his ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University and has served as spiritual leader of CBS for the last decade. Passionate about spiritual practice and community building, he’s helped our dynamic modern orthodox synagogue grow into a transformational hub in the local community. He currently serves as President of the Board of Rabbis of Greater RI, Vice President of Governance at the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island, and on the rabbinic advisory board of Torat Chayim. Rabbi Dolinger is a proud member of the Rabbinical Council of America, the International Rabbinic Fellowship, and Torat Chayyim. He also serves as a member of AIPAC’s National Council and on the Clergy Council of Roots/Shorashim/Judur. Rabbi Dolinger has been deeply influenced by serving as a Rabbis Without Borders Fellow and a graduate of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality’s Clergy Leadership Program.
Rabbi Dolinger is the co-founder of Mitzvah Matzos, a non-profit Passover matzo bakery that donates all profits to fight human trafficking, and founded Lighthouse Kosher, a non-profit Kosher supervisory agency, by the people for the people. Outside of rabbinic activities, Rabbi Dolinger is a practicing attorney. He lives in Pawtucket with his wife Naomi and daughter Netzach.
Rabba Amalia hAAs, director of spiritual engagement
Rabba Amalia is an experiential educator, writer, and organic beekeeper, who designs and teaches Judaism-informed honeybee education programs, sells raw honey and is “Rabba of the Bees” at the Shalom Institute in Malibu, CA. Previous education includes Michlalah, Machon Pardes, MaTaN, Yeshiva University, and Oberlin Conservatory. She is also a chaplaincy resident at the Center for Spiritual Care at the Cleveland Clinic, and serves as a Holding Space Consultant at the Institute for the Study of Birth, Breath and Death, a program created in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Rabba Amalia lives in Beachwood, Ohio with her husband Adam and six children ages 9 - 23.
At CBS, she'll visit us in-person for Shabbat approximately once a month plus holidays, while also offering pastoral meetings, shiurim, and digital learning. She can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com
As we've witnessed firsthand, the ability to facilitate and model high-level female Torah leadership has facilitated increased religious engagement, learning, and growth in our community. We're confident this will allow CBS to better meet members' thirst for more, relevant, high-quality Torah learning and spiritual engagement.
Jessica Berndt, office manager
Jessica worked in the fashion industry for over twenty years as a makeup artist, and creative director. After choosing to retire from the industry in pursuit of a quieter path, she became the manager of a busy veterinary practice. Five years later, she has chosen to join us here at Congregation Beth Sholom.
Jessica is happily married to her husband of twenty years, Jason. They share their home with their dogs, who share their home with one very saucy cat. In her spare time, she is a passionate baker, runner, and gardener.
You can contact Jessica by email at Office@BethSholom-RI.org.
Sarah Cheses, Yoetzet Halacha
Sarah is a graduate of the Keren Ariel Yoetzet Halacha Program at Nishmat: The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women in Jerusalem She spent two years of intensive study of the laws relating to taharat hamishpacha in depth, and is equipped to guide couples through their observance of these mitzvot. In addition she received training from experts in the field of modern medicine and psychology on topics such as gynecology, infertility, sexuality, and family dynamics. Sarah also holds both a Master's degree in Public Health from Columbia University and a B.A. in Biology with Honors from Yeshiva University's Stern College for Women. Sarah has previously taught at Ulpanot Orot High School in Toronto and at Ma'ayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls in Teaneck, NJ. She has been involved with informal Jewish education through her role as Co-Director of the Seif Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (JLIC) at Yale University and as a part-time JLIC educator in Toronto-area universities.
A Yoetzet Halacha is a woman certified after extensive training by Nishmat’s Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women to serve as a resource for couples regarding Taharat HaMishpacha and its intersection with women’s health, including fertility issues, pregnancy loss, and marital intimacy. She has spent two years of intensive study of the laws relating to these halachot and received training from experts in the field of medicine and psychology on related topics. She is equipped to guide couples through their observance of these mitzvot. Yoetzet Halacha Sarah Cheses will serve as this advisor to couples in the Greater Boston Area. A Yoetzet Halacha is an advisor, and does not offer psak. She answers questions that have clear answers and consults with the inquiring couple’s Rabbi when the question is novel and requires a psak.
Yoetzet Halacha Sarah Cheses can be reached for consultations via phone or text at (339) 364-2848 or via email at NE.firstname.lastname@example.org. The best hours to contact Sarah are 9AM to 3PM and 8PM to 10PM. Sarah will also give lectures each year in Brookline/Brighton, Newton, Providence and Sharon. For more information and to stay connected, please visit www.NEyoetzet.org and sign up for the mailing list.
Tara Watkins, Kesher Social Worker
Kesher is the congregational outreach program of Jewish Collaborative Services, funded by the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island and private donors. Kesher is currently active at Temple Sinai, Temple Torat Yisrael, Congregation Beth Sholom, and Temple Emanu-El. (She also serves as the Kesher social worker for Temple Emanu-El.)
The Kesher program provides a synagogue-based social worker to assist members of the congregation periods of life transitions and struggle. Kesher also serves as a gateway to additional supportive services provided both within the Jewish and broader community. As the Kesher social worker for Beth Sholom, she is available to meet with congregants, families, and individuals for consultation, short-term counseling (with referral help for long term counseling as needed), information and referral, resource guidance, and just to talk. These services are all provided free of charge to congregants and on a confidential basis.
Tara looks forward to meeting many of you and supporting you on your personal life journeys.
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Congregation Beth Sholom
55 Cromwell St
Providence, RI 02907
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