Fellowship Program

Elisha Wolfin

Since receiving his ordination from the Shechter Institute in Dec 2001, Elisha has taken on the post of Conservative Rabbi for the Lower Galilee region between Chadera and Zichron Yaakov. He has continued to develop both the Holistic Beit Hamidrash and the Chavura that he helped establish in Zichron Ya'akov. Over 100 people attended the Yom Kippur chavura prayers this year. Once a month the chavura holds a Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma'ariv followed by a 'pot-luck' dinner attended by over 40 people. All other Friday nights attract fewer, yet increasingly larger numbers of members. Once a month, on Shabbat Mevarchim (the Shabbat that ushers in the new month), there are also Shacharit prayers.

Now in its second semester the Beit Midrash offers three classes: Judaism from Breishit, a kind of Judaism 101 which introduces participants to the Jewish bookshelf, a weekly Parshat Hashavua class according to the book of the Zohar, and a Bar/Bat mitzvah class. Each course meets for two hours each week in 'Ha'ogen', an alternative healing center that is not merely a space to rent but is dynamically involved in the Beit Midrash activities, dedicating the center spread of their monthly newspaper to Elisha's program. In addition, the Beit Midrash is starting a monthly Kiddush Levana program for adults and kids, which will include workshops, the Kiddush Levanah ceremony (renewal style), and a pot- luck dinner.

Aside from these important projects, Elisha is acting as the Rabbi to the TALI schools in the Northern region of Israel.

The Partnership 2000 leadership project is another area of focus for Elisha. In this role Elisha facilitates three groups whom he meets with regularly to discuss leadership and volunteer work in the community. The emphasis in this particular project is on Jewish identity and building a connection between Israel and the Diaspora.

In the same area of Diaspora- Israel relations, Elisha has also been working on the 'How to teach Israel' in congregational school in North America. This is being run by Project Oren at the Oranim Teacher Training College, and is supported by JAFI. Elisha has considerable experience in this kind of work after spending five years in the Bay Area community in California, first as a Shaliach for Hillel at Berkeley and San Francisco State and then as a Jewish educator in the region. Elisha went on to spend an additional two years in Los Angeles where he started his Rabbinical training at the University of Judaism.

Elisha was born and raised in the secular Kibbutz Kfar Hanassi in the Galilee. He served as an officer in the Intelligence and Education Corps, earned his BA in Haifa University and his MA and Rabbinical Ordination at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles and Machon Schechter in Jerusalem. Elisha and his wife Ronit live in Zichron Ya'akov.