by Haya Luftig
March 5, 2018
Rabbi Rachel Ain is the recipient of the 2018 JCPA Chair’s Tikkun Olam Award.
Rabbi Ain became the Rabbi of Sutton Place Synagogue in the Summer of 2012.
Before joining SPS, Rabbi Ain was the Senior Director for National Young Leadership of the Jewish Federations of North America, where she worked closely with lay leaders and professionals to engage the next generation of leaders for the Jewish community. Prior to that, she was the Senior Rabbi of Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas, a Conservative Synagogue in Syracuse, NY, from her ordination in 2004 until 2011.
She sits on the Chancellor’s Rabbinic Cabinet of JTS, is on the Clergy Task Force for Jewish Women International, is on the Rabbinic Cabinet for the Masorti Foundation, and is the chair of the Rabbinic Advisory committee (and board member) at the Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan. Rabbi Ain was one of the NY Board of Rabbis Honorees at the annual Sukkah in the Sky event in 2013 and was selected to be a part of the inaugural cohort of the Rabbinic Fellowship for Visionary Leaders at the UJA Federation of NY. Rabbi Ain actively works with people of all ages and backgrounds, including those seeking to convert to Judaism. She has sponsored numerous Jews by Choice both in Syracuse and NYC and is happy to speak with people interested in learning more about this endeavor.
Rabbi Ain’s other experience includes serving as a commissioned Lieutenant (JG) for the US Navy Chaplains Corps, and participating in a fellowship at CLAL, called Rabbis Without Borders, where she trained to bring the wisdom of Jewish tradition into the larger public sphere. While in Syracuse, she immersed herself in a variety of local and national endeavors such as sitting on the roundtable of Faith Leaders for Interfaith Works and serving as the local chair for the Central New York PJ Library Advisory Committee. She was awarded a “40 Under 40” award in Syracuse by the Central New York Business Journal for her work in the community in 2007.
She has written and taught in a variety of venues including The New York Jewish Week, Jewish Values Online, E-JewishPhilanthropy, Kolot: The magazine of the Conservative movement, and is a guest lecturer in the Rabbinical School at the Jewish Theological Seminary in the area of practical rabbinics and a presenter at the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism Centennial gathering.
Rabbi Ain holds a BA in American History from Barnard College and a BA in Midrash from JTS. She received her Rabbinic Ordination from JTS in 2004, where she concurrently received her MA in Jewish Education.
Rabbi Ain is married to Rabbi David Levy, the Director of Teen Learning and the International Director of USY, for the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. They are the proud parents of two sons.
Keep up with Rabbi Ain on Twitter @RabbiRachelAin and in real life, every Shabbat at the Sutton Place Synagogue.