Jordana Chernow-Reader joined Fairmount Temple in July, 2015, as Rabbi-Educator. Her creativity, educational depth and passion for building community will guide this synagogue’s educational efforts across the age-spectrum.
Rabbi Chernow-Reader joins Fairmount Temple following a national and local search by a temple search committee. She grew up in the Los Angeles area and was ordained in 2010 from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles. She earned master’s degrees in Jewish education and Hebrew letters from HUC-JIR, a master’s in political science from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and a bachelor’s degree from Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif. in political and environmental studies.
She brings to Fairmount Temple a wealth of experience from a variety of Jewish communities, including Temple Mount Sinai in El Paso, Texas; Temple Beth El in San Pedro, Calif.; and Congregation Or Ami in Calabasas, Calif. She also was a UCLA hospital chaplain, director of education at the URJ Camp Newman in Santa Rosa, Calif., and for the past four years, director of lifelong learning at Temple Beth Torah in Ventura, Calif.
In her role at Temple Beth Torah, she created an inclusive community in which Jewish values were found in encounters with one another and the wider world, transforming a declining school into one where membership was increasing. Students learned and built community through games, cooking, art, dance, holiday projects, biblio-drama, hands-on activities and experiential family education.
At Fairmount Temple, she looks forward to interacting with young families, as well as helping integrate what is happening among adult groups and school students with the wider community. As she says, “I know I will learn from you, and communicating with you about areas we can grow. A community can work most effectively when we mutually learn from one another, reflecting on aspirations, successes, and challenges.”
She and her husband, Luke Reader, are parents of two young children.
Rabbi Chernow-Reader writes on “Why We Need to Raise Up Our Warrior Women” on the Reform Judaism blog.