Rabbi Rachel Bearman
"True service to God is service to one
another." - Lily Montagu
(To learn more about Lily Montagu, please click here.)
Click on the photos below for more information about me, my family, and my rabbinate.
I am extremely lucky to have the love and friendship of my family members. My parents are two of my most cherished Jewish role models. I have always been inspired by how much they do as members and leaders of their Jewish community. My siblings are my friends and my teachers, and my nieces are absolutely my favorite people in the entire world.
(Pictured: My father, grandfather, grandmother, and uncle) My family has been in Memphis, TN for 7 generations. My great-great-great-great grandfather was one of the founding members of Temple Israel (the only Reform congregation in Memphis), and in each generation since, members of my family have been leaders in the community.
(Pictured: My grandparents) My mother's side of the family is centered in Minnesota, and my "northern connection" has always been a big part of my identity. My grandfather was the son of immigrants and my grandmother was a second-generation American. Neither was afraid of hard work, and both valued family above all else.
Vashti is my sassy, lazy, and wonderful corgi. She has a big heart, too many toys, and lots of personality!
Sometimes you're lucky enough to know what you love from a very early age. And, for as long as I can remember, I have loved being Jewish.
Writing midrash has been one of the most important experiences of my rabbinate. It has transformed the way I envision the future of Judaism! Click on the link below to visit Midrashic Monologues (a joint project with Rabbi Paul Kipnes) and go to the "Writing" tab of this site to read some of my original midrashim!
On July 1st 2018, I began my term as the Communications & Marketing VP of the Women's Rabbinic Network. It has been so rewarding to work with my colleagues as we support and advocate for female rabbis!
I will never forget how honored I felt when I was asked to serve on the editorial committee of the Central Conference of American Rabbis' new prayer book, "Mishkan HaNefesh For Youth." I am so grateful for the chance to help shape Mishkan HaNefesh For Youth, and I am very proud of the original prayers that I contributed to this mahzor.
I have a deep love for Reform Judaism, and I am delighted to work for our movement in any way that I can.
I was ordained by the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion on May 3rd 2014. I am a proud alumna of the historic Cincinnati campus of HUC-JIR. While at HUC, I seized opportunities to serve my classmates, school community, and student pulpits. My studies culminated in the completion of my rabbinical thesis: "Building A Home For the Children of Israel: The Jewish Foster Home and Orphan Asylum of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania."
Vermont was a very big adventure for this Southern girl! I loved my time at Middlebury and continue to be grateful for the opportunities the college gave me to expand my mind and hone my leadership skills.
I am a St. Mary's "lifer" (I attended from JK through 12th grade), and I wear that badge with pride. As a student at St. Mary's Episcopal School, I made long-lasting friendships with people of different faiths and learned that interfaith dialogue should always begin and end with respect. Recently, I had the opportunity to express my deep love of my school when I was invited to speak in a chapel service for 5th-12th graders. Please use the link below to read a copy of that speech.