Rabbi Rebecca W. Sirbu
Rabbi Rebecca W. Sirbu is known for thinking “outside of the box.”
Whether creating a cutting-edge health and healing center, taking a
community center to the next level, or training religious leaders in
pluralism, she turns ideas into reality, building trust along the way.
As the Director of Rabbis Without Borders for CLAL-The National Jewish
Center for Learning and Leadership, Sirbu is undertaking a new initiative to
help rabbis expand their reach and use Jewish wisdom in new ways. The
program is designed to build creative, inclusive communities engaged in the
issues relevant to contemporary American Jewish life, while bringing the
gifts of Jewish wisdom to the wider world.
“The purpose of my work is to help people live more meaningful lives,” says
Sirbu. “By creating a cadre of rabbis who can take the insights of our rich
tradition and make them available to people, not only makes the contribution
of Judaism more accessible, but a greater resource for all.”
The Founding Director of both the NJ MetroWest Jewish Health and Healing
Center and the Center for Jewish Life at the JCC MetroWest, Sirbu has
experience taking an idea from seed and nurturing it to grow. In addition to
her roles as chief administrator and program developer, she coordinated and
facilitated support groups, adult education classes, a women’s group, a
program of congregational nursing for Jewish seniors, and provided pastoral
and bereavement counseling for individuals.
Sirbu has presented on Jewish Healing at several national conferences, and
spoken frequently to synagogues and women’s groups on many topics including:
Jewish Healing, Spirituality and Jewish Women’s History. A trained hospital
chaplain, she has worked at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Beth
Israel Hospital in New York City.
Sirbu is a partner at the Kalsman Institute for Judaism and Health, a
national project of Hebrew Union College. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of
Vassar College, she was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary of
America with a concentration in Jewish Women’s Studies.
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