Rabbi Jennifer Jaech became our Senior Rabbi in 2006. She is an insightful leader and gifted educator who interprets the complexity of contemporary American life through the prism of our Jewish history and traditions. Her warm, compassionate and down-to-earth character is evident in how she comforts an ill or elderly person about end of life concerns, sits on the floor to converse with an inquisitive five-year old at eye level, or counsels a family through the trauma of divorce. She enjoys teaching children and adults, both within our synagogue and in the broader community.
Rabbi Jaech is Co-Chair of Reform Jewish Voice of New York State and serves on the Union for Reform Judaism’s Commission on Social Action and the Central Conference of American Rabbis’ Committee on Justice, Peace and Civil Liberties. She is also active in interfaith work in the community.
Rabbi Jaech previously served as Assistant Rabbi, Temple Educator, and Rabbinic Intern at Temple Israel. She received her MA in Hebrew Literature from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and was ordained in 2003. While at HUC-JIR, she earned thirteen academic prizes in several disciplines, including history, liturgy, human relations and Hebrew. She completed her undergraduate education at The Evergreen State College, earning a BA with a concentration in American Studies in 1985. Prior to coming to Temple Israel, Rabbi Jaech worked in higher education administration, government relations, and politics.
Rabbi Jaech lives with her husband, S. David Sperling in Peekskill, NY. Her grown son, Isaac Meyer, lives in Seattle, WA. Rabbi Jaech’s interests outside the Jewish community include horses, hiking, and cross-country skiing.