Rabbi and Education Director

Meet Our Rabbi

Reynolds jfrej headshot 3Rabbi Mackenzie Reynolds serves as the spiritual leader of Mishkan Ha’am. She is currently a student at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she moved to New York City in 2003 to study at Union Theological Seminary. She is especially interested in building a rabbinate that brings together her interests in building strong, open, diverse Jewish communities; racial, economic, and gender justice; healing; multi-religious work; and singing. Since starting rabbinical school, she has had a range of rabbinic internships, including congregational, hospital chaplaincy, youth education, and community organizing. Prior to coming to rabbinic school, Mackenzie worked for over 10 years in direct services and community building, primarily with LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities. 

Rabbi Mackenzie 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. She is thrilled to be joining the wonderful Mishkan Ha’am community as Director of Shearim!

Rabbi Lori can be reached at: mishkanhaam.shearim@gmail.com