Conservative Judaism Around the World


February 25, 2024    
9:30 am - 11:00 am

Join Rabbi Dror Chankin-Gould for breakfast and a discussion as he explores Judaism around the world with four rabbis representing Jewish life in four different countries.   Together we will zoom with our friends and learn about their communities as well as the opportunities and challenges they face.  Each session will begin with a light breakfast from the country represented that morning, so we encourage folks to join in person.

Register Here

2/4: Rabbi Fernanda Tomchinsky Galanternik & Leandro Galanternik: Brazil
**This session begins at noon***

2/11: Rabbi Gesa Ederberg: Germany at 9:30AM
Rabbi Gesa Ederberg’s status as the first woman rabbi to serve in Berlin since the Holocaust has helped her reinvigorate the German community that once represented the cutting edge of liberal Judaism. Born a Lutheran, Ederberg first visited Israel at age thirteen and slowly fell in love with Judaism. She studied religion in Germany and Israel before converting to Judaism at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York in 1995. After returning to Berlin, she taught Hebrew school and organized an alternative minyan at the prestigious Oranienburger Strasse Synagogue, slowly taking on more of a leadership role in the community that has been the center of Berlin’s liberal Jewish community for 150 years. Ederberg entered rabbinical school at the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, earning her ordination in 2003, and in 2007 she returned to the Oranienburger Strasse Synagogue as their new rabbi. She was a founding member of the General Rabbinic Conference of the Central Council of Jews in Germany and in 2006 helped found the European Rabbinical Assembly of Masorti/Conservative Rabbis. As of 2016, she continues to serve as their executive vice president and treasurer. The art exhibit “Holy Sparks”, which opened in February 2022 at the Heller Museum and the Skirball Museum, featured 24 Jewish women artists, who had each created an artwork about a female rabbi who was a first in some way. Yona Verwer created the artwork about Ederberg.

2/18: Rabbi Gershom Sizomu: Uganda at 9:30AM
Rabbi Gershom Sizomu (born 1972) is a Ugandan rabbi serving the Abayudaua, a Baganda community in eastern Uganda of almost 2,000 Jews who practice Judaism. As a spiritual leader, Sizomu is the first native-born Black rabbi in Sub-Saharan Africa and is presently the first chief rabbi of Uganda.  He is the grandson of community elder “Rabbi” Samson and lives near the Moses Synagogue in the village of Nabagogye, which he and others from the community’s early 1980s “Kibbutz movement” built with their own hands. As a member of the Be’chol Lashon Speakers Bureau, Gershom travels to the United States every year as an ambassador for the Abayudaya and other emerging communities in Africa. In 2007, Gershom published a CD with music from Abayudaya’s tradition, called Sing For Joy: Abayudaya Jews~Uganda.

2/25: Rabbi Chaya Baker Rowan: Israel at 9:30AM
Ordained in 2007 by the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary, Rabbi Rowen Baker has served, since her ordination, as the rabbi of Kehillat Ramot-Zion in French Hill, Jerusalem.  Ramot Zion, a flagship Masorti congregation, is home to many Israelis in search of a meaningful connection to Jewish tradition in a rapidly changing world. For the past eight years, she has served as Coordinator of Practical Rabbinics at SRS.

Much of Rabbi Rowen Baker’s work is done outside the synagogue space, with those not accustomed to synagogue life, so as to make accessible a vibrant Jewish approach and practice which is part of all walks of life.  In 2015 she was the first Masorti rabbi – and the first ever female rabbi – to be invited to teach Torah at the Israeli President’s residence.

Rabbi Rowen Baker holds an MA with Distinction in Talmud and Jewish Thought from The Schechter Institute, and a BA in Jewish History and Archeology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is a fellow at the Honey Foundation for Israel and a member of the Rabbinical Assembly Executive Council.

Rabbi Rowen Baker lives in French Hill, Jerusalem with her husband Etai, their four children and their dog Hummus.