Rabbi and Education Director

Meet Our Rabbi

Reynolds jfrej headshot 3Solomon Hoffman is excited to be stepping into the rabbinic leader role at Mishkan Ha’am! He is currently a rabbinical student at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, where he received the Mehlman Jewish Music Award and Socolow Writing Prize. He grew up in Port Washington, NY attending the Reconstructionist Synagogue of the North Shore (RSNS). Since 2014, he has been an educator there, pioneering new curriculum on social justice, Jewish values, prayer and Torah for learners 2-90+. He has also served as their musical director, arranging for congregant musicians, leading the choir and composing new prayer settings. Solomon has composed and arranged music for a variety of theater, cabaret and dance projects and is the founder of The Songwriter’s Orchestra, an innovative 12-piece chamber orchestra that accompanies award-winning songwriters and Broadway performers. He served on the volunteer leadership team for the NY chapter of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice for three years, and seeks to create projects that fuse the arts and activism. Solomon graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University with majors in music and psychology, and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. He is currently completing a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) through Mount Sinai Hospital.

Rabbi Solomon can be reached at: rabbiatmishkanhaam@gmail.com

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Meet Our Education Director

Lori Feldstein-GardnerRabbi Lori Feldstein-Gardner was born and raised in New York. She was very active in her home congregation, Riverdale Temple. It was there at age 16 that she decided that she wanted to be a rabbi. She found Reconstructionist Judaism at age 18 while attending Mount Holyoke College. She was a member of Reconstructionist congregation Jewish Community of Amherst (Amherst, MA). Rabbi Lori studied Theatre Arts and History with a concentration in Russian history and the Cold War in college. It was at that time that she was trained in the Eastern European art of clowning as well as in stand-up comedy. While in her first year of college, Rabbi Lori heard about the formation of Reconstructionist Congregation Mishkan Ha’am in Riverdale and wished it had been founded just a few years earlier!

After college, Rabbi Lori attended the Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Sciences where she became a School Library Media Specialist. Rabbi Lori loved working with the lower school children at The Hewitt School in Manhattan. While living in New York, Rabbi Lori was a member of Reconstructionist congregation West End Synagogue. Rabbi Lori has a deep love for the beauty and art of picture books and loves nothing more than working with children. However, as a secular teacher she was unable to explore spirituality with children and she returned to her childhood dream of becoming a rabbi.

Rabbi Lori studied at Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (RRC) as well as the Conservative Yeshivah (Jerusalem). While she was a student at RRC, Rabbi Lori served as the Education Director at Reconstructionist Congregation Kol Tzedek in West Philadelphia and as Rabbinic Intern at the Hillel at West Chester University in West Chester, PA. After she graduated from RRC, Rabbi Lori was blessed to serve as the Rabbi/Educator at Temple Beth Rishon in Wyckoff, NJ (an unaffiliated congregation) and as Rabbi Educator at Reconstructionist Congregation Society for the Advancement of Judaism.

Rabbi Lori lives in Riverdale with her wife, Tracy, their daughter, Josie, and their two cats, Willow and Cedar. Rabbi Lori can be reached at: mishkanhaam.shearim@gmail.com