The Fauquier Jewish Congregation, a 20-year old religious institution, has welcomed Rabbah Arlene Berger as its new spiritual leader upon the retirement of Rabbi William Rudolph.
Rabbah Berger has nearly 20 years of professional experience working in the Jewish world as a Rabbah, educator, service leader, life cycle officiant and chaplain. Most recently, she worked as the Rabbah of Olney Kehila, Olney, Md., and a chaplain at several senior living facilities.
Rabbah Berger earned a bachelor’s degree in human services from Simmons College in Boston and a master’s in social work, a master’s in business administration and a certificate in gerontology from Boston College. Prior to becoming a rabbi, she worked as a social worker and gerontologist.
Since childhood, however, Rabbah Berger had wanted to be a rabbi. She finally could pursue that path after her children had grown. Fulfilling a life-long dream, she earned her rabbinic ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Wyncote, Pa.
The Fauquier congregation’s board of directors believes that Rabbah Berger is a wonderful match for their community. Much of this is attributed to her theology and particular skill set. She has demonstrated great ability in the areas of forming personal relationships with congregants of all ages, service leading and skill in teaching in the Religious School. Theologically, Rabbah Berger believes that there is no one “right” way to be Jewish, but that all paths to faith include a commitment to social justice, interest in welcoming and understanding interfaith families, and working with other religions and cultures for peace.
During her monthly visits here, Rabbah Berger will work with the FJC board and Religious School, in addition to leading services, celebrations, life cycle events and programming for families, youth and adults. She will also be available to members needing pastoral care.