Rabbi Emily Segal, Co-President
Rabbi Emily Segal is the Rabbi of Aspen Jewish Congregation, serving the Roaring Fork Valley of Colorado. Beginning July 1st, 2022, she will be the Senior Rabbi of Temple Chai in Phoenix, AZ. Previously she served as the Associate Rabbi of Temple Jeremiah in Northfield, Illinois, in the suburbs of Chicago. Rabbi Segal grew up in a small, tight-knit Jewish community in Virginia, nurtured by one of the first women rabbis, and she is the proud product of an interfaith home. After graduating from the University of Virginia (Wahoowa!), her studies continued at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion where she was ordained in Cincinnati in 2010. Rabbi Segal’s rabbinic thesis was entitled “Telling and Retelling: The Women’s Seder and Ritual Innovation.”
During her time in the rabbinate, Rabbi Segal is proud to have been a Balfour Brickner Social Justice Fellow, as well as a Clergy Leadership Incubator Fellow, focusing on leading dynamic change in congregations and organizations. Rabbi Segal is a member of several professional organizations: the Central Conference for American Rabbis, where she currently serves on the Task Force on Convening; the Rocky Mountain Rabbinic Council; and the Roaring Fork Interfaith Clergy Council. The Women’s Rabbinic Network has been an integral and cherished part of her rabbinate since her ordination.
Rabbi Segal’s rabbinic interests include Jewish environmental and food justice, liturgical development, ritual innovation, biblical Hebrew, Jewish feminism, and scriptural and halakhic study. Her non-rabbinic interests include strong coffee, dark chocolate, good books, escapist baking, cross-country skiing, and live music. She is married to Rabbi Scott Segal. You can find them cooking together, dragging their young children on character-building hiking expeditions, and having family dance parties.
Rabbi Beth Klafter, Co-President
Rabbi Beth H. Klafter became the Senior Rabbi of Temple Beth David in Commack, NY in 2013. She brings her passion for Judaism and her knowledge and experiences to the entire congregation. Prior to being named Senior Rabbi, Rabbi Klafter served for seven years as the Director of the Religious School. In that role, she revised and reinvigorated the education curriculum and programming for students in Kindergarten through High School and their families. Rabbi Klafter has helped to develop and lead activities for the youngest children in our Temple family. Prior to her current position, she was the Rabbi Educator at Temple Judea in Manhasset, NY and Associate Rabbi at Temple Sinai in Roslyn, NY.
Rabbi Klafter was ordained at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in New York in 1988, where she received a Masters in Religious Education as well as a Masters in Hebrew Letters. She studied at New York University’s School of Education and Brown University where she earned her B.A. in Religious Studies. She was awarded the title of Reform Jewish Educator by the National Association of Temple Educators (now ARJE) in 1992. In 2013 , Rabbi Klafter received her Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa, from Hebrew Union College honoring her 25 years in the Rabbinate.
Rabbi Klafter is a member of several professional organizations: the Central Conference of American Rabbis, where she has served on its Rabbinic Rapid Response Team, Committee on Women in the Rabbinate, and Committee on the Rabbi’s Family; Association of Reform Jewish Educators. She served on the board of the WRN, as New York regional representative and treasurer over twenty years. During the time she was on the Convention planning committees for the 2001 Convention on Long Island and the 2003 Convention in London. She returned to the Board as co-VP of National Events to co-lead the Convention planning for our “Journey to 50” Convention and welcomes the honor to become co-President during this historic time.
Rabbi Glynis Conyer, Treasurer
Rabbi Glynis Conyer is the Executive Director at Community Synagogue of Rye, NY. Previously, she has held roles such as chief operating officer of a leading provider of international staffing, director of staff development, rabbinic intern, hospice pastoral caregiver and career counselor in the United States and South Africa.
Rabbi Conyer brings to the WRN her experiences as a managing owner of a camp and travel program for kids with special needs, where she recruited, led and managed 180+ international staff members across a range of functional areas, from programming and administration to facilities and IT department. She was also instrumental in developing a $25M budgeting process across 13 URJ camps and transformed a camp with low registration, operating at a significant deficit, into a leadership and training center of excellence with sound financial controls.
Rabbi Conyer received her ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and is proud to be the first South African woman to receive ordination. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Communications at the University of South Africa.
Rabbi Rachel Schmelkin, Secretary
Rabbi Rachel Schmelkin currently serves as the Sr. Manager for Jewish Programs at the One America Movement and as a rabbinic fellow at Temple Micah in Washington D.C. She served as associate rabbi at Charlottesville’s Congregation Beth Israel from 2016-2020. During her time in Charlottesville Rabbi Schmelkin was active in Charlottesville’s interfaith and social justice community. She was an involved member of the Charlottesville Clergy Collective, Congregate C’ville, The Women’s Clergy Circle, and the One America Movement. She received Truah’s “Action Under Fire Award,” for her leadership during and after the 2017 Unite the Right Rally.
Rabbi Schmelkin received her bachelor of arts in psychology and Jewish studies from Indiana University at Bloomington with minors in Hebrew and history. She was ordained through Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and was a recipient of the Tisch Rabbinical Fellowship. Rachel is married and has a son and a dog.
Rabbi Heather Miller, Membership and Outreach VP
An award-winning spiritual leader and social justice advocate, Rabbi Heather Miller was named the 2018 Giant of Justice by CLUE-LA (Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice), appointed Commissioner on the first-ever Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Civilian Oversight Commission in 2016, selected as a Jewish Federation Edah Community Leadership Fellow in 2016, and identified as a Leader to Watch by the Liberty Hill Foundation in 2013.
In 2019, Rabbi Miller released her first book, ReSOULutions: A Practical Guide for Self-Repair. Her actions and ideas have been featured in more than 25 publications and media outlets including the Los Angeles Times, the Jewish Journal, SoCal Jewish News, The Orange County Register, Orange County Jewish Life Magazine, The New York Times, Sh'ma, Journal, ReformJudaism.org, InterfaithFamily.com, The Christian Science Monitor, the Episcopal News Service, Women Rabbis Talk, Sacred Stories, and The Talk.
She has served as spiritual leader of several congregations across the United States including the world’s first LGBT-founded Jewish synagogue. And, she has designed dynamic and accessible learning programs for four religious schools, the largest pluralistic Jewish Day School in the United States, and the American Jewish University Graduate School of Education.
Born and raised in an interfaith family in Los Angeles, California, Rabbi Miller received her B.A. from Wellesley College (2001) and her M.A. in Hebrew Literature (2007) and Rabbinic Ordination from Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion (2008). She is a proud to serve on the board of the Women’s Rabbinic Network as VP of Membership, and as president of the Interfaith Council of Greater Rancho Santa Margarita, as well as member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis, and the World Congress of LGBT Jews.
Rabbi Rachel Bearman, Communications and Marketing VP
Rabbi Bearman is the Associate Rabbi of Congregation Shaare Emeth in St. Louis, MO. Before that, she served as the rabbi of Temple B'nai Chaim in Georgetown, Connecticut for six years. Rabbi Bearman is passionate about helping individuals and families with diverse backgrounds find meaningful and authentic connections to the Jewish tradition. She has been enthusiastic about her membership in the WRN since her ordination, and she very much values the resources, camaraderie, and support that come from belonging to and leading this important organization.
Rabbi Bearman is a native of Memphis, Tennessee- where her family has lived for eight generations-and graduated with honors from Middlebury College. Her hobbies include creating modern midrashim, reading anything and everything, exploring her family's history, and spending time with her fabulous corgi, Vashti.
Rabbi Elisa Koppel, Networking VP
Rabbi Elisa Koppel is a rabbi and educator in Wilmington, DE.
During her career, she has had diverse experience, including both synagogue and organizational work, with much of that time spent in the world of informal and experiential education. She has spent many summers at Reform Jewish summer camp in a variety of capacities, most recently at URJ 6 Points Creative Arts Academy.
Rabbi Koppel's passion is education, seeing her role as a rabbi, and as a teacher, to help others of all ages to experience Judaism and to give them the tools they need to create and define their own Judaism.
Rabbi Koppel graduated from Brandeis University and earned her ordination, as well as 2 Masters Degrees, from Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion.
Rabbi Koppel enjoys using the world outside of the synagogue in her Jewish teaching and uses social media as a platform for Jewish expression. She can be found on most social media platforms at @rabbiisa. In her “free” time, she enjoys the New York Times Crossword Puzzle, good story telling, and games with friends.
Rabbi Lisa Delson, Social Action and Advocacy VP
Rabbi Lisa Delson currently serves as Associate Rabbi of Peninsula Temple Sholom in Burlingame, California. She is a graduate of University of Cincinnati and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion's Cincinnati campus in 2009. During her time in rabbinical school, she served as the Religious Action Center’s Commission on Social Action rabbinical student representative. Rabbi Delson also participated in the American Jewish World Service’s Rabbinical Student Delegation to Ghana in 2009. Rabbi Delson has a passion for social justice and believes it is an avenue into Jewish practice and creates meaning in one’s life.
Rabbi Delson previously served as Assistant Rabbi and Program Director at Temple Beth Emeth in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Rabbi Delson is an alumna of the Brickner Social Justice Rabbinic Fellowship and is currently on the leadership team for California’s Religious Action Center. She participates in the Peninsula Multifaith Coalition and is on the board of Shalom Bayit: A Jewish Response to Domestic Violence in the Bay Area. In addition to organizing her own congregation in social justice work, she also serves as the clergy liaison to the PTS preschool and loves teaching Torah to people of all ages. Throughout her rabbinate, the Women’s Rabbinic Network has been a cornerstone of her experience.
She also loves spending time with her family, husband, Brent Pliskow, and three children. They love hiking, playing in the sand in Northern California beaches (wearing sweatshirts of course), playing tennis, golf, and reading all kinds of books.
Rabbi Ellen Greenspan, Convention and National Events Co-VP
Rabbi Ellen Greenspan is a rabbi at Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom in Montreal, Quebec.
Before arriving in Montreal, Rabbi Greenspan worked for 19 months as the interim director of Mountain Top Preschool at Temple Har Shalom in Warren, NJ. Prior to that, she served as the rabbi of Temple Micah in Lawrenceville, NJ for 20 years. It was a part-time pulpit, but Rabbi Greenspan did it all – from running the religious school to leading High Holy Day services and everything in-between. While at Temple Micah, she always had another part-time job. She served for seven years as Assistant Director of Admissions and Marketing at the Solomon Schechter Day School of Essex and Union, (now called Golda Och Academy), in West Orange, NJ, and prior to that, she was the Israel Experience Director at the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ.
Rabbi Greenspan was ordained at the Hebrew Union College, (HUC), in New York. She received two Masters Degrees from HUC in Los Angeles: a Masters of Hebrew Letters and a Masters in Jewish Education. She did her undergraduate work at Smith College in Northampton, MA where she graduated with honors in Religion.
Rabbi Greenspan lived with her daughter, Adina, in Randolph, NJ from 1998 until her move to Montreal. Adina is currently living in New York City, working backstage in theater.
Rabbi Rebecca L. Dubowe, Convention and National Events Co-VP
A native of Los Angeles, California, Rabbi Rebecca L. Dubowe was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Rabbi Dubowe has served several synagogues including Thousand Oaks, CA, Hollywood, CA and New Brunswick, New Jersey.
Currently, she is the rabbi for Moses Montefiore Congregation in Bloomington, Illinois. Since Rabbi Dubowe’s arrival during the summer of 2015, she has played an active role as the spokesperson on behalf of the small but vibrant Jewish community in Bloomington.
Rabbi Dubowe serves as the co-chair of the Faith and Outreach committee associated with the Not In Our Town organization. Not In Our Town is a grassroots movement about stopping hate, addressing bullying, and building safe, inclusive communities for all. In addition, Rabbi Dubowe co-founded the McLean County Interfaith Alliance which promotes interfaith dialogue and fellowship within the greater Bloomington Normal faith communities.
In 2016, Rabbi Dubowe was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the Delaware Valley University, PA and received an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from the Hebrew Union College, Jewish Institute of Religion in 2018.
Besides serving the rabbinate full-time, Rabbi Dubowe offers her time to the greater Jewish Deaf Community. This community has a special place in Rabbi Dubowe’s life as she is the first female deaf Rabbi ordained in the world. Rabbi Dubowe has spoken at numerous synagogues throughout the country, written various articles, and led webinars about the importance of inclusion within the Jewish community.
Rabbi Alysa Mendelson Graf, CCAR Representative
Rabbi Alysa Mendelson Graf received Ordination from HUC-JIR (NY) in 2004. She has been the rabbi of Port Jewish Center, a small, haimish synagogue in Port Washington, NY, since July of 2014. Prior to coming to PJC, Rabbi Mendelson served Temple Israel in Westport, CT as its Assistant Rabbi, then Associate Rabbi for almost a decade. Rabbi Mendelson grew up in Scarsdale, NY. She is a 1993 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. After graduating Fordham University Law School in 1997, Rabbi Mendelson worked as a matrimonial attorney in Manhattan before deciding to pursue the rabbinate. Rabbi Mendelson has been an active member of the CCAR and of the Women’s Rabbinic Network. She previously served on the WRN board for 12 years, including four years as co-president. She is the co-editor of The Sacred Calling: Forty Years of Women in the Rabbinate, published by CCAR Press and winner of the 2016 Jewish Book Award in Women's Studies, and wrote a chapter called “Getting to the Gold Standard in Maternity Leave Clauses.” Rabbi Mendelson is married to Adam Graf. They have three sons, Gideon, Solomon and Rafi and reside in Port Washington, New York.
Rabbi Leah Berkowitz, Immediate Past President
Rabbi Leah Berkowitz currently serves as the spiritual leader of Congregation Kol Ami in Elkins Park, PA. Rabbi Berkowitz is a graduate of Brandeis University and Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. She was ordained in 2008 and also earned a Masters Degree in Religious Education. Rabbi Berkowitz previously served as the rabbi of Vassar Temple in Poughkeepsie, NY, and as the associate rabbi at Judea Reform Congregation in Durham, NC. She also taught Judaic Studies on the faculty of Gann Academy in Waltham, MA. Rabbi Berkowitz served on the editorial board of the CCAR Journal: The Reform Jewish Quarterly and collaborated on the creation of The Torah: A Women’s Commentary, Mishkan Ha-Nefesh, the Reform movement’s new High Holy Day prayer book, and Mishkan Ha-Nefesh for Youth. She is the author of two books for children, The World Needs Beautiful Things (KarBen 2018) and Queen Vashti’s Comfy Pants (Apples and Honey 2021). Her writing also appears in The Sacred Calling: Four Decades of Women in the Rabbinate.
Rabbi Mary Zamore, Executive Director
Rabbi Zamore brings a great deal of experience and depth of commitment to the WRN, having been a member as a student and since her ordination in 1997 and then serving as a co-president from 2007–2009.
Rabbi Zamore is the editor of The Sacred Exchange: Creating a Jewish Money Ethic, (2019, CCAR Press) and The Sacred Table: Creating a Jewish Food Ethic, (2011, CCAR Press), finalist National Jewish Book Awards, and she continues to teach at synagogues and JCCs across the country. Before joining WRN professionally in 2015, Rabbi Zamore served congregations in Westfield, Morristown and Washington, New Jersey. As part of her work with WRN, Rabbi Zamore is the co-leader of the Reform Pay Equity Initiative, which addresses the wage gap within the Reform Movement, and founded our Safe Clergy: Employees and Employers program, which focuses on safety at Jewish Seminaries. Participating in many national #metoo conversations, Rabbi Zamore is able to share WRN's decades of experience and wisdom on creating safe, just, and equitable communities.