An unaffiliated group involved in Jewish fellowship, Tidewater Chavurah has engaged its first ordained rabbi as spiritual leader, Rabbi Ellen Jaffe-Gill.
Rabbi Jaffe-Gill will lead Shabbat and High Holidays services using prayer books of the Reform movement. She will also lead holiday celebrations and facilitate learning experiences for the Chavurah.
“I look forward to many shared celebrations and opportunities to daven and learn together,” she says.
Jaffe-Gill graduated from Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia in 2014 and moved to Tidewater, reaching out as an independent rabbi to unaffiliated Jews and spiritual seekers. A former teacher in the Los Angeles, Calif. public schools, she is the author of three books and is certified as a cantor by the Reform movement. She lives in Virginia Beach with her husband, Spencer Gill, a Norfolk native.
Formed in 1996, Tidewater Chavurah has been a nondenominational alternative to the formality of religious institutions since its inception. While its activities have been layled for most of its existence, Tidewater Chavurah’s leadership decided to enter a growth phase and welcome new members who are not involved with established synagogues, while remaining a small, vibrant and friendly group. The Hebrew term chavurah means “fellowship” and generally denotes a group of like-minded people who interact within a Jewish context.