Fellowship Program

Claudia Kraimen

Claudia was ordained by the Shechter Institute in December 2002. She currently serves as the Rabbi of NOAM (the Masorti youth movement) co-ordinating the spiritual and educational Jewish content of its programs. Her role includes writing educational programs for all the members of NOAM, from the youngest, aged 9, through to 22 year olds who have recently finished their army service. In her role as NOAM rabbi she has adapted the NOAM hadracha course throughout the country so that once every two weeks Jewish texts on the topic of Hadracha are introduced into the meetings. Claudia is also in the process of establishing an open beit hamidrash in Jerusalem for high school students, madrichim (leaders) and bogrei NOAM. For the AIDS awareness week in November, Claudia organized a meeting between NOAM madrichim and the Aids Task Force. This was followed by a fundraising event the profits of which were dedicated to the war against HIV/AIDS. Increasing awareness of the disease and helping HIV/AIDS sufferers in Israel has been an area of focus and concern for Claudia for many years now.

Since September 2002 Claudia has also been the Israeli Rabbinic Intern for the B'nai Jeshurun community synagogue in Manhattan, New York. She spent the high holy days with the congregation and delivered the Shabbat Shuvah address to over 1,000 community members. She will be spending one month each year at Pesach time with BJ as scholar-in-residence; teaching, leading tefillot and learning from this hugely successful congregation. Claudia is responsible for an ongoing chavura between B'nai Jeshurun rabbinic interns and RIKMA fellows via video conferencing. This will take place once a month with fellows preparing the texts individually and then learning them together. The video conferencing will also allow a precious opportunity for RIKMA fellows and Bnei Jeshurun Rabbinic interns to learn from each other, talk about the situation in Israel and gain a better understanding of Israel-Diaspora relations.

In addition to these projects, Claudia has recently undergone training to accompany women who are refused a divorce by their husbands. This training will provide Claudia with the psychological and social skills needed to help women in this extremely difficult and sensitive place, and will no doubt enrich her understanding of the problems facing contemporary Jewish communities today.

Born and raised in Chile, Claudia studied education and rabbinics in Buenos Aires before she moved to Israel in 1996. She holds a BA from Haifa university and a teaching certificate from Seminario Rabbinico Latino Americano. Next year she will also receive a MA from Shechter in Jewish Leadership and education. Claudia currently lives in the Nachlaot neighborhood of Jerusalem.