A message from Rabbi Elisa Goldberg

Shalom! As a rabbi, I have the privilege of being with people during some of the most important moments in their lives, as they celebrate new life, welcome a young person into the Jewish community, or mourn the loss of a loved one. For me, the most sacred moments occur in these encounters – teaching Torah, building sacred community, and bringing healing to the world.

It was in college at Cornell University, where I first became interested in becoming a rabbi. I spent time in Israel and studied at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. I was ordained at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College where I currently teach courses in pastoral counseling and ethics. Most recently, I served as the Director of Rabbinic Career Development for the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association supporting colleagues in their career goals. For fourteen years, I directed Chaplaincy Services at Jewish Family and Children’s Service (JFCS) helping to create an inclusive Jewish community that provided for the spiritual needs of the underserved.

For more than two decades, I have accompanied others on their spiritual journeys as a congregational rabbi, professional chaplain, spiritual director, and educator. I was honored to be the first woman to serve as President of the Board of Rabbis of Greater Philadelphia and helped lead the revitalization of that organization. I authored a guidebook on spirituality and recovery with Drexel University and consult on the integration of spiritually informed care.

I am blessed to share my home in Philadelphia with my partner Steve, daughter Jesse, and our feisty cat. When I am not working, I enjoy using my hands to create – whether in the kitchen, garden, or making mosaics in the yard. My favorite line in the Torah is when Jacob wakes up from his dream and realizes that he has just encountered God in the wilderness and says: “Ma Nora Ha Makom Hazeh/How amazing is this place.” As I encounter both the magnificence of creation and the beauty of the human spirit, these words often echo in my heart.

I look forward to meeting you and learning about your journey!