Elizabeth Bolton

Or Haneshamah | Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | 59 years old

Rabbi Liz Bolton is the most inspirational and beloved rabbi I have ever met. In the three years since she arrived in Ottawa, she has transformed our congregation, grown relationships both to the entire Jewish community and with a broad array of other faiths and sparked a new enthusiasm for both Judaism and social justice in our city. Rabbi Liz shines with creativity, delight and wisdom. She serves joyfully as both our rabbi and cantor (having been a professional opera singer and choir leader in her past life). As Ottawa’s first woman and lesbian rabbi and as a member of T’ruah, she brings a fresh spirit to all our Jewish congregations and to interfaith relations. She has spearheaded a range of social justice initiatives: sponsoring a Syrian refugee, promoting social housing and gently opening discussion about Israel-Palestine. In just her first two years here, she introduced exciting innovations such as a Jewish meditation and yoga group. She turns every moment into a participatory teaching opportunity. Taking her classes has transformed my understanding and appreciation of Judaism. She challenges and inspires us to take on new challenges; in my case, to read Torah, to create a stained glass ner tamid, and to study to create a chevra kadisha.

— Diana Ralph

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