Meet the Student Rabbi
Each academic year, B’nai Israel hosts a student from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. These students visit 1-2 times a month to conduct services and other activities, while gaining experience in serving a congregation.
2019-2020 : Shirah Kraus
Shirah is a second-year rabbinical student at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. She received her first degree from Bryn Mawr College where she majored in Religion and minored in Gender and Sexuality Studies. Her undergraduate senior thesis explored community organizing as a religious practice. In college, Shirah taught religious school, led services in Hillel, and organized with J Street U–starting the chapter at Bryn Mawr and eventually serving as the National Vice President for the Midatlantic region. Shirah also spent one semester studying Hebrew and Arabic at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. This summer, Shirah is working as the Director of Jewish Education at URJ-GUCI, where she grew up and worked four summers previously. Shirah grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio with her parents and three siblings (ages 10, 19, and 25). Some of her hobbies include playing guitar, tossing frisbee, crocheting kippot, reading sci-fi novels, writing parody songs, and cooking shabbat dinners.
2018-2019 : Anna Meyers
Anna Meyers was born and raised in Rhode Island, enjoying every minute of living in the Ocean State. One of Anna’s favorite parts of growing up near Providence was spending time at Temple Beth-El, developing a passion for Reform Judaism and Jewish education. Anna continued her Jewish education at Northeastern University in Boston, earning a B.A. in Jewish Studies in 2015 and participating in Jewish life as an intern for Northeastern Hillel and as a student board member. Anna stayed in Boston following graduation, working for Northeastern Hillel as the Director of Jewish Student Life and as a Grade 3 Religious School Teacher at Temple Israel. Anna greatly enjoyed the Israel travel opportunities working for Hillel, staffing three Birthright trips and two Alternative Spring Break volunteer programs. Greatly due to her Israel travel with Hillel, Anna decided to spend a year in Ashdod through Masa Israel’s Teaching Fellows program. After completing her first year of Rabbinical School at Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem, Anna is excited to continue her studies in Cincinnati and serve as the Madrichim Coordinator at Rockdale Temple, an educator for Kulanu, and a student rabbi at B’nai Israel in Grand Forks, North Dakota.
2017-2018 : Deborah Goldberg
Deborah Goldberg grew up in Deerfield, Illinois, and spent her summers as a camper and staff member at URJ Camp OSRUI in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. Prior to starting rabbinical school at HUC-JIR, Deborah served as the Teen Programs Coordinator at the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs in Chicago, Illinois. In this role, she managed all aspects of JCUA’s teens social justice program, Or Tzedek. Before working for JCUA, Deborah was an Eisendrath Legislative Assistant at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington, D.C. Deborah graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2013 with majors in history and political science. When she’s not working or studying, Deborah can be found hiking through a national park or reading a good book. She is so excited to get to know everyone in the B’nai Israel community throughout this next year!
2016-2017 : Zachary Goodman
Zachary Goodman was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, the alma mater of both his parents and older twin sisters. He received a BA in Judaic Studies as well as a Certificate of Business Administration. Zachary loves watching sports, reading historical fiction, and playing a number of instruments. He also enjoys traveling, playing golf (poorly), and stand-up comedy. Growing up, Zachary found his passion for Jewish Learning and Peoplehood as a member of the youth group, BBYO. He has enjoyed giving back to this organization over the years since graduating high school. After rabbinical school, Zachary plans on taking a congregational position as a pulpit rabbi as well as pursuing a Masters of Business Administration. He is looking forward to getting to know everyone in the B’nai Israel community.