by the Forward

Kaya Stern-Kaufman

Rimon Resource Center for Jewish Spirituality | Great Barrington, Massachusetts | 50 years old
Post-denominational | The Academy for Jewish Religion

Rabba Kaya Stern-Kaufman has brought inclusive, creative Jewish spirituality to a rural area in New England. The organization that she founded, Rimon Resource Center for Jewish Spirituality, has attracted many people who have never been affiliated with a synagogue, including non-Jews. She has offered classes in Talmud and Jewish mysticism. Rimon brings people together for musical Kabbalat Shabbat services and eco-tefillah hikes in the warm weather. Rabba Stern-Kaufman has collaborated with other clergy to present forums on death and dying and to gather people to chant for peace. Rimon has been instrumental in forming a hevrah kadisha, or Jewish burial society, and has offered Jewish burial rituals in an area where no such services had previously been available. Through Rabba Stern-Kaufman’s learning and embrace of diversity, many people who would not otherwise have a way to connect to Judaism are now exploring the richness of the tradition.

— Susie Kaufman + 4 other nominations

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