The Interfaith community at large is invited to celebrate with Kehillath Shalom Synagogue as we install our new spiritual leader, Rabbi Lina Zerbarini, on Sunday, November 4 at 2 pm.
The public is invited to welcome Rabbi Lina to the community and to enjoy an inspiring program. Community clergy will offer blessings, the synagogue choir will sing, and Burt Siegel, known as the “dean of Jewish community relations” will speak.
Rabbi Lina’s hiring marks a time of new energy for the community as Kehillath Shalom Synagogue prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary. In the words of one member: “I am excited to participate in the traditional activities as well as the new and creative innovations that our rabbi brings.”
Previously, she served as Associate Rabbi at Yale Hillel where she created domestic and international service learning programs and as Director for Domestic Affairs and Rabbinic Consultant at the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Philadelphia, where she led the Jewish community's public policy advocacy initiatives and facilitated inter-group and inter-faith relationships.
Rabbi Lina is dedicated to learning and teaching. A student and teacher of Torah, yoga and meditation, she builds relationships and communities of mindfulness, connection and caring. A graduate of Barnard College and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, she has continued her professional development and education through the Institute for Jewish Spirituality’s rabbinic training program and Jewish Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training. To strengthen communal ties and support rabbinic development, she has served on the leadership of Boards of Rabbis in each community she has lived and is currently President of the Long Island Board of Rabbis. She also serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Governors of Reconstructing Judaism.
Burt also served as the Vice Chair of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations. He is the past president of the National Association of Jewish Community Relations Professionals and the Community Relations Executive Directors Association. He has been honored by the NAACP, the Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, B'nai B'rith Educators, Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity, the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations and the Japanese American Citizens League. Burt also served as the Faith-Based Coordinator for CeaseFire PA, an anti-gun-violence organization.
Burt has been a leader in the Reconstructionist movement. He was a founding member and second president of Or Hadash, a Reconstructionist congregation in suburban Philadelphia. He served on the Board of the Federation of Reconstructionist Congregations and Havurot (now Reconstructing Judaism) as well as on several committees for the Movement.
Representative of the community in which it is based, Kehillath Shalom prides itself on integrating a mix of people - young families, mature couples, singles, interfaith couples, gay people, individuals with diverse backgrounds of religious observance and Jewish knowledge, people from many walks of life - into an active, warm, spiritually invigorating, Reconstructionist community. Kehillath Shalom offers the warm intimacy of a small congregation with the diversity of educational, social, and ritual activities associated with a much larger synagogue.