RABBI ELYSE GOLDSTEIN
Rabbi Goldstein was the Director and founding Rabbi of Kolel: The Adult Centre for Liberal Jewish Learning, the first liberal adult education centre in Canada and only one of a few in North America, from 1991 until 2012.
She recently retired to start a new Reform congregation in downtown Toronto. From 1986 to 1991, she served as Rabbi of Temple Beth David in Canton, Massachusetts. Her first position after ordination was assistant Rabbi at Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto. She was graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Brandeis University in 1978. She took a year off during that university period to pursue full time Jewish textual study at Machon Pardes in Jerusalem, a traditional yeshiva.
In 1981 she earned her Masters Degree from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and was ordained there in 1983. While in Rabbinical School, Rabbi Goldstein served at Temple Beth Or of the Deaf, where she became proficient in sign language and specialized in serving the Jewish deaf, an area in which she remains deeply committed. She is highly sought after as a public speaker and consultant on adult education.
She is one of seven women featured in the Canadian National Film Board documentary, “Half the Kingdom.” Her articles have appeared in both scholarly and popular journals. She is the author of ReVisions: Seeing Torah through a Feminist Lens, and Seek Her Out; and editor ofThe Women’s Torah Commentary, and The Women’s Haftarah Commentary. She is the 2005 recipient of the most prestigious award in Jewish education, the internationally recognized Covenant Award for Exceptional Jewish Educators.
In 2004 she received the UJA Federation’s Rabbinic Achievement Award, in 2001 ORT Canada chose her as their Woman of the Year, and in 1996 the YWCA Toronto honored her with The Woman of Distinction Award.