Rabbi Ayelet S. Cohen, Part-time Senior Rabbi Sabbatical Replacement (October 1, 2021-March 31, 2022)

Rabbi Ayelet Cohen is the Senior Director at the New Israel Fund, NY/Tri-State Region. She became a full-time rabbi at CBST in August, 2002, three months after she was ‎ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Passionately committed to ‎progressive and feminist Judaism, she is an activist and an advocate for full inclusion and ‎celebration of LGBT Jews in the Conservative movement and the larger Jewish world.‎  She is also an advocate for LBGT civil rights.

Rabbi Cohen lectures and facilitates university, synagogue and other Jewish and interfaith ‎groups on Jewish, feminist, and gay and lesbian issues. She worked as a volunteer chaplain ‎at the Family Assistance Center for families of victims and survivors of September 11 and ‎participated in an interfaith panel for Women's History Month at the Riker's Island Correctional ‎Facility.‎

Rabbi Cohen has been profiled in The New York ‎Times (subscription required), and was named one of the Heeb Magazine’s “hundred people you ‎need to know about.” She was honored at the 2005 Ma’yan Seder as a leading young Jewish ‎feminist activist.‎ Rabbi Cohen has received numerous awards for her scholarship and leadership. At her ‎ordination, she received the Albert Pappenheim Prize for Practical Rabbinics and the Israel H. ‎Levinthal Prize in Homiletics. Rabbi Cohen was also a recipient of the Dorot Fellowship in Israel. ‎She graduated with honors from Brown University in Comparative Literature and Judaic ‎Studies in 1996.‎

Andy Cohen interviewing Rabbi Cohen at the book launch of Changing Lives, Making History: CBST the First Forty Years, October 7, 2014

Andy Cohen interviewing Rabbi Cohen 
at the book launch, October 7, 2014

As a previous Cooperberg-Rittmaster Rabbinical Intern and rabbi at CBST for a total of 10 years, Rabbi Cohen is well known to CBST members. She ‘wrote the book,’ CBST: Changing Lives, Making History: The First Forty Years, and co-edited the CBST Friday night prayerbook, Siddur B'chol L'vav'cha (With All Your Heart), with Rabbi Kleinbaum. Rabbi Cohen has been helping to supervise and mentor CBST rabbinical interns for the last two years as well. She wrote the Prayer for Our Country that we have recited every Friday night since January 20, 2017, among many, many other contributions to CBST.

Rabbi Cohen will be working closely with Rabbi Rapport in leading the congregation during Rabbi Kleinbaum's sabbatical. Deep gratitude to CBST members Bill Fern and Lou Rittmaster for underwriting this position.