Pioneering woman rabbi part of weekend honoring retiring Adler

It’s not often that one sees the words “Orthodox rabbi” and “woman” in the same sentence. June 16–18, Beth El-The Heights Synagogue (BETHS) will host Rabba Rahel Berkovits, who was recently ordained—along with three other women—at the Jerusalem Orthodox center Har’el.

Berkovits will be participating in a celebratory weekend in honor of Rabbi Moshe Adler, who is retiring as rabbi of BETHS after 17 years. Berkovits is the granddaughter of Rabbi Eliezer Berkovits z”l, who was Adler’s teacher and mentor.

The weekend will kick off with a lecture and dessert reception on Thursday June 16, 7 p.m., at the Siegal Lifelong Learning facility, 26500 Shaker Blvd., where Berkovits will speak on “Darkhei Shalom: The Path to Building Community.” For more information, and to register, visit, or call 216-368-2091.

The weekend will continue on Friday, June 17, with a kabbalat Shabbat dinner and lecture at BETHS, 3246 Desota Ave., in Cleveland Heights, starting at 6:30 p.m.

Berkovits will speak about “Torat Hayyim/A Living Torah: The Status of Women in the Thought of Rabbi Professor Eliezer Berkovits z"l,” exploring the interplay of Torah and daily life situations, and the question of how Jewish law adjusted and adapted throughout history and can do so today.

On Saturday afternoon, after lunch at about 1:15 p.m., Berkovits will speak on “Sexuality and Sanctity: Physical Connection vs. Emotional Connection.”

For more information about the Shabbaton, or to register, call 216-329-9667.

Rabbi Adler, the weekend’s honoree, taught at many local schools, including Siegal College of Jewish Studies, following a successful career as a Hillel Rabbi and branch director in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

With his late wife Nili (z’l), Adler moved to the Cleveland area about 25 years ago.

Carol Bruml

Carol Bruml is the communications chair and newsletter editor for Beth El-The Heights Synagogue.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 4:25 PM, 06.12.2016