Rabbi Sari Laufer
Rabbi Sari Laufer was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Los Angeles in May 2006. On the way to HUC, Rabbi Laufer graduated cum laude from Northwestern University (Go ‘Cats), and served as an Eisdendrath Legislative Assistant at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. During her time at HUC in Los Angeles, Rabbi Laufer was awarded several academic prizes in Talmud and rabbinic literature, as well as HUC-LA’s Outstanding Female Student Award. In addition to her classroom studies, Rabbi Laufer learned from her student pulpits (in Bainbridge Island, WA; South Lake Tahoe, CA; and Temple Judea in Tarzana, CA), from her time as an educator at Camp Hess-Kramer in Malibu, CA, and from her summer serving as a chaplain at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. For the past 11 years, she has been an assistant and associate Rabbi at Congregation Rodeph Sholom in New York City.
A Wexner Graduate Fellow, Rabbi Laufer was later selected for the PEER program through Synagogue Transformation and Renewal, for the inaugural year of the Rabbinic Fellowship for Visionary Leadership through UJA-Federation of New York, and was a member of the second cohort of CLAL’s Rabbis Without Borders Fellowship.
At Congregation Rodeph Sholom, Rabbi Laufer has worn many hats, but above all she has been a teacher of those young and young-at-heart, bringing her passion for rabbinic texts, social justice, and Judaism’s wisdom and relevance in the 21st century into the lives of those with whom she is privileged to learn and to share.
Sometimes—those students are under the age of 5; Rabbi Laufer is proud of the work she has done with young families in NYC, from Kabbalat Shabbat at RSS to building the early engagement experience from Tot Shabbat to a comprehensive program of holiday, Shabbat, and family celebrations, all centered around her relationships with kids and their parents. Sometimes—those students are teens; Rabbi Laufer has taught 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grades in the Religious School, served as faculty for conclaves and teen trips, and built lasting one-on-one relationships with students, lasting through college and beyond. And sometimes—those students are adults; Rabbi Laufer is proud of the work she and her lay partners did on rebooting Sisterhood, building a dynamic and intergenerational conversation for the women of Rodeph Sholom. Rabbi Laufer was a popular teacher in the Shabbat Morning Service, and also loved teaching parents and children together in preparation for b’nai mitzvah.
Rabbi Laufer is a sporadic blogger (torahblahnik.blogspot.com), prolific Tweeter (@rabbilaufer), wannabe runner, and aspiring epicure. She is joining the Wise Family along with her husband (and native Angeleno) Ben Cutter, son Jacob (Kobi), born in October 2013, and daughter Orli, who joined the family in October 2016.
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