We lead and connect the JCC Movement, advancing and enriching North American Jewish life.
Guest sermon at Friday night services: “I Heard God’s Call,” Reflections by Rabbi Rebecca L. Dubowe, the first Deaf female rabbi in the world.
A native of Los Angeles, Rabbi Rebecca L. Dubowe was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and has served several synagogues in different cities, including Thousand Oaks, CA, Hollywood, CA, and New Brunswick, NJ. Currently, she is the rabbi at Moses Montefiore Congregation in Bloomington, IL. Since her arrival during the summer of 2015, Rabbi Dubowe has played an active role as the spokesperson of the small but vibrant Jewish community in Bloomington. She serves as the co-chair of the Faith and Outreach committee associated with the Not In Our Town organization, a grassroots movement focused on stopping hate, addressing bullying, and building safe, inclusive communities for all. In addition, Rabbi Dubowe co-founded the McLean County Interfaith Alliance, which promotes interfaith dialogue and fellowship within the greater Bloomington Normal faith communities.
In 2016, Rabbi Dubowe was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Delaware Valley University, PA, and in 2018, she received an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. An avid learner of theology, Rabbi Dubowe’s most recent essay was included in Because My Soul Longs for You: Integrating Theology into our Lives, recently published by CCAR Press.
In addition to serving her congregation fulltime, Rabbi Dubowe also offers her time to the greater Jewish Deaf Community, including teaching the first-ever Introduction to Judaism in ASL in partnership with the Union of Reform Judaism, which she will teach again in January 2022. This community has a special place in Rabbi Dubowe’s life as she is the first female Deaf rabbi ordained in the world. Rabbi Dubowe has spoken at numerous synagogues throughout the country, written various articles, and led webinars on the importance of inclusion within the Jewish community.
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