About Rabbi Rain Zohav

Being in nature can be incredibly spiritual

World-wise but young at heart, Rabbi Rain’s commitment to equality, social justice, and authentic spirituality make her an excellent choice for officiating life-cycle ceremonies, providing a spiritual grounding for activists, or bringing a well-rounded Jewish perspective to interfaith and academic circles.

Background

 

Rabbi Rain Zohav was born in Chicago and grew up in Kansas and then southern California. After high school she made aliyah to Israel, where she lived and worked on Kibutz Shomrat. Back in the states ten years later, she settled in Charlottesville, Virginia, raising two children and working at both the synagogue and the Peace Center. After moving to the Washington D.C. area to raise her third child, she continued to work in Jewish education in various settings, including serving as education director at both traditional and independent congregations, working with the DC Board of Jewish Education to plan teacher trainings and write curricula, and running various dialogue and support groups for Black and Jewish women.

As her daughter entered high school, she realized the time was ripe to realize her life-long dream of becoming a rabbi, and applied to the ordination program at the Aleph Alliance for Jewish Renewal. Along the way she acquired a Masters degree, earning awards in both Bible Studies and Jewish studies.

Rabbi Rain is currently the Rabbi and Spiritual Adviser at the Interfaith Families Project of Greater Washington. She and Rabbi Lori Shaller are the creators and co-directors of Aleph’s Educating for Spirituality program. Rabbi Rain has taught courses including “Social Action Education as Spiritual Practice” and “How to Reach the Soul of your Students: Renewing the Transmission of Spirituality”.

Rabbi Rain speaking at High Holy Day services at IFFP
Rabbi Rain speaking at High Holy Day services at IFFP
Rabbi Rain receiving smicha from Aleph
Rabbi Rain arrives at Standing Rock camp to deliver supplies and partake in clergy action.
Arriving at Standing Rock camp for clergy action

Social Action

Rabbi Rain will be a facilitator for Montgomery County’s upcoming Faith Community Working Group series of workshops on “Interracial/Interfaith dialogue on Racism: Seeing the Divine in Each Other” and has also helped launch a similar effort in Prince George’s county.

Rabbi Rain currently serves on the Rabbinic Council for Jewish Voices for Peace. She is also chair of the Social Action committee for Aleph’s Jewish Renewal retreat, Kallah.

Check out Rabbi Rain’s blog post about her trip to Standing Rock Reservation to participate in a clergy action, at Tikkun Magazine.

Scholarship

Rabbi Rain has published various divrei torah in the Washington Jewish Week. Her articles have also appeared on the ALEPH website.

You can read a selection of her work here.

Education

Rabbi Rain was ordained by the Aleph Alliance for Jewish Renewal. She also holds a Masters in Jewish Studies with Highest honors from Gratz College, where she received the Graduate prize in Bible studies 2012, and the Bible studies and Jewish studies Graduate prizes in 2013. Her master’s thesis was a reinterpretation of the Book of Job through an activist lens.

Rabbi Rain earned her B.A. in Philosophy and Religion, Summa Cum Laude from Mary Baldwin College, and was the recipient of the Outstanding Adult Degree Student Award. Her thesis centered around Jewish feminist literature.

In addition to her own scholarly pursuits, Rabbi Rain has many years of experience as a Jewish educator, as teacher, education director, and curriculum writer. She now teaches other Jewish educators through her program “Educating for Spirituality” at ALEPH. For information about EfS, professional development, or curricula, please contact Rabbi Rain here.

Rabbi Rain leads the blessing over the wine at an interfaith passover seder.
Rabbi Rain leads the blessing over the wine at an interfaith passover seder.
Rev Julia Jarvis leads the community in welcoming Rabbi Rain at her instalation ceremony
Rev Julia Jarvis leads the community in welcoming Rabbi Rain at her instalation ceremony
Reading a prayer at interfaith peace vigil

Testimonials

Interfaith

Rabbi Rain has years of experience in both interfaith dialogue and activism for peace and justice, and is always looking for more opportunities to offer a progressive Jewish perspective in activist circles.

She has coordinated an interfaith freedom seder for the earth, led interfaith services as part of chaplain duties, and helped coordinate a teen service and learning day while working with the Jewish-Islamic Dialogue Society in DC.

Rabbi Rain firmly supports the Interfaith Family Project and their mission to:

 “[D]evelop our children, ourselves, and our community through opportunities for education about Christianity and Judaism, holiday celebrations, fellowship, spiritual gatherings, community service, and exploration of interfaith identity in an environment that encourages questions and respects different answers.”