Provided by Andrea Savitch
‘That which is hateful to you, do not do to others’. This fundamental philosophy is the cornerstone of Rabbi Elizabeth ‘Lizz’ Goldstein’s belief.
In a time when bullying and cruelty are so rampant, this belief is a welcome light not just to Congregation Ner Shalom but to Prince William County as well.
That message she believes is one of the most important to teach our youth. As a young woman Rabbi Lizz feels connected to the young people in our community and understands that so many feel ‘left out’. Her own experiences have taught her how to create bonds and a stronger community.
When asked why she became a rabbi, she expressed that very feeling, a sense of not belonging. When she attended the URJ (Union of Reformed Judaism) camp that feeling changed. Rabbi Lizz met others who shared her views yet as she noted during prayer services, each was able to hold onto their own voice while sharing a common concern.
On learning she had a place to be, Rabbi Lizz realized that helping others achieve that sense of community through her faith was her calling.
Her volunteer work as well as her leadership in Hillel in college reveals that building a sense of community is more than words, it is what Rabbi Lizz puts into action.
While the lesson of kindness is important to everyone her advice to adults is ‘its never too late to explore your Jewish roots.’ For those in the Jewish community who are looking for place to practice Judaism their ‘own way’, Rabbi Lizz has created a haven at Congregation Ner Shalom. Her ability to listen and learn is a gift to be appreciated.
When asked if being a female rabbi was a challenge she provided a bit of interesting education. Today there are more female rabbis in the Reformed Jewish movement than males.
Rabbi Lizz’s challenge came in another form. Her father is Jewish, her mother is not. Though she was raised Jewish and both parents supported her in all aspects of her choice, the Jewish elders still insisted she go through a conversion process in the Mikvah before being ordained.
Rising to the challenge, Rabbi Lizz completed her studies, went through the process and became ordained.
Congregation Ner Shalom warmly welcomes Rabbi Lizz Goldstein.
Congregation Ner Shalom is located at 14010 Spriggs Rd Woodbridge VA 22193. Friday night services 7:30 p. m.; Religious School on Sundays and Confirmation classes available.