Seminary awards grant to local rabbi

by | Jun 10, 2016 | Mazel Tov

WYNCOTE, PA—Reconstructionist Rabbinical College awarded one of the first five grants of the Auerbach Entrepreneurial Grant Program to Rabbi Ellen Jaffe-Gill, spiritual leader of Tidewater Chavurah.

Rabbi Jaffe-Gill, a 2014 graduate of the seminary, will use her $1,000 grant to fund an ongoing course, Torah Study for Skeptics. The course will begin on Sunday, July 31.

Torah Study for Skeptics is geared to Jewish adults and teens with minimal background in Judaism, as well as those who are skeptical of the relevance of Jewish texts. The program aims to offer unaffiliated Jews the chance to study the Hebrew Bible outside of a synagogue setting, to engage Jews who may be alienated from Torah because of youthful experiences, and to expose Jews and spiritual seekers in Tidewater to foundational Jewish texts in a relaxed atmosphere.

Texts will be studied in English, and continuing students will receive a copy of the Jewish Publication Society’s Hebrew-English Tanakh.

The grant initiative is funded by the Auerbach Foundation Fund, which is under the auspices of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford. The program funds innovative pilot projects for Jewish living and engagement in the 21st century that have the potential to grow and be replicated.

Reconstructionist Judaism is the fourth denomination of American Judaism and teaches that Judaism is the continuously evolving civilization of the Jewish people encompassing culture, art, music, food, belief, ritual and everyday living.

For more information about Torah Study for Skeptics, contact Rabbi Jaffe-Gill at