Michal Woll, a candidate for ordination at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, brings to the rabbinate years of experience dealing with medical care and quality-of-life issues. Woll, 43, began her career in the sciences, earning undergraduate degrees in chemical and biomedical engineering before completing a Master of Science in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She started out in the medical device industry, developing and evaluating dialysis and burn-care products. After earning yet another master’s degree — this one in physical therapy — Woll went on to work in both acute-care and geriatric facilities. While in school, she put her health care experience to work in Media, Pa., as a rabbinic intern at Martins Run Life Care Community, a residential community for seniors. In 2005, she received the Reconstructionist Student Association Tikkun Olam award for service.
Shalom Kantor, set to graduate from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies of the American Jewish University in Los Angeles, may be the only future rabbi to have served as chief wine steward of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. He held the post for a year, just after graduating from Salem, Ore.’s Willamette University, and just before beginning his pre-rabbinic training at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. While at Pardes, Kantor met his future wife, Shana. When Kantor was growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, his parents presented him with the full range of Jewish experiences, bringing him to both Reform and Orthodox services. In the end, he was ordained in the tradition of Conservative Judaism — which, many would argue, falls somewhere in the middle.
Moshe Schwartz, a candidate for ordination at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, is not the first member of his family to attend Conservative Judaism’s flagship institution. In fact, his legacy at the school extends back through four generations on his mother’s side.
In addition to becoming a rabbi, Schwartz will also receive his master’s degree in Jewish education from the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education. Upon graduation, Schwartz will become the SREL rabbinic fellow, an award granted to a JTS rabbinic student pursuing Jewish education, and director of Jewish life at the Solomon Schechter Day School of Nassau County and Solomon Schechter High School of Long Island in Glen Cove, where he is currently a rabbinic intern and a Judaic studies teacher.
Michael Satz and Janice Elster were both single when they entered the rabbinic program at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. But on the first day of class in Jerusalem, that all changed. Satz and Elster, both 27, met while having breakfast with Ehud Olmert, who was then mayor of Jerusalem. They became engaged between their second and third years at the Reform movement school, and they married in July 2006. Elster, a native of Vancouver, British Columbia, studied at the University of Toronto, where she majored in Jewish studies and women’s studies. Satz, who comes from St. Louis, attended Tulane University, where he majored in Jewish studies and international relations. Both Satz and Elster will be ordained at HUC’s Cincinnati campus.
Daniel Price, set to be ordained by the Academy for Jewish Religion, left a 20-year career in television production to follow his passion for Jewish education and the rabbinate. In 2000, he directed his last show for CNBC and began studying privately with a rabbi in order to prepare for his years at the seminary. While still working in television — directing “Biography” for A&E, among other projects — Price, 49, worked as a scout leader in Wilton, Conn. His facility for teaching children, combined with his rekindled love of Judaism led him to choose a second career as a rabbi-educator. Price’s love for guitar playing and for singing also entered the mix, resulting in his blossoming role as a song leader and storyteller. For the past several years, Price has designed curricula and served as the religious school principal at Temple B’nai Chaim in Georgetown, Conn., and at Temple Sinai in Stamford, Conn. While in rabbinical school, Price also earned his master’s in Jewish education at Boston’s Hebrew College.
After Sorin Rosen receives his ordination from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, he will return to his native Bucharest, Romania, to assume the post of chief rabbi of Romania. Rosen, 28, has been active in the Romanian Jewish community since his teenage years, when he began working part time for the Jewish Agency for Israel. He later taught at the Ronald S. Lauder School in Bucharest, before becoming the national coordinator for the Talmud Torah Hebrew school program at the Federation of Jewish Communities in Romania.