Rabbi Elisa Goldberg, M.A.H.L., currently serves as the Director of Rabbinic Career Development for the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association. Previously, she directed Chaplaincy Services at Jewish Family and Children’s Service (JFCS) for fourteen years where she dedicated herself to creating an inclusive Jewish community that provided for the spiritual needs of the underserved. She led all aspects of the chaplaincy program, including finances and operations, supervision of the many professional, volunteer, and para-chaplains, spiritual counseling of individuals and groups, and the creation of a unique rabbinic internship in community-based chaplaincy. In addition, Rabbi Elisa conceptualized and developed JFCS’ LGBTQ Initiative and chaired several community-wide conferences on Jewish Women.
Rabbi Elisa was the first woman to serve as President of the Board of Rabbis of Greater Philadelphia and led the revitalization of the organization. Rabbi Elisa has led several congregations in a part-time capacity and has served as a Spiritual Director for many years. She authored a guidebook on spirituality and recovery with Drexel University and consults with the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disabilities on the integration of spiritually informed care.
For Rabbi Elisa, the most sacred moments occur in the encounter with another person – teaching Torah, building sacred community, and bringing healing to the world. She has honed the art of pastoral presence through almost two decades of chaplaincy, fourteen years as a Spiritual Director and hundreds of holy moments at the side of another.
Rabbi Elisa shares her home with her partner Steve and daughter Jesse. She has been a student of meditation since high school, an occasional artist, a passionate cook and a lover of beauty. As she moves through the world encountering both the magnificence of creation and the human ability to emerge from darkness, Rabbi Elisa often finds herself echoing the words of the Torah: “Ma Nora Ha Makom Hazeh (How wondrous is this place).”