PCS News Release:
Rabbi Julie Hilton Danan Succeeds Rabbi Mark Sameth
Pleasantville Community Synagogue, a trans-denominational synagogue known for Joyful Judaism, was founded 18 years ago and has welcomed congregants from 20 different Westchester towns under the spiritual leadership of Rabbi Mark Sameth. PCS, known for its diversity and inclusiveness has hired Rabbi Julie Hilton Danan, who will be succeeding Rabbi Sameth as of August 1.
Rabbi Danan has impressive credentials. She received rabbinic ordination after five years in the ALEPH Rabbinic Program. She was a student of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi of blessed memory, the founder of the Jewish Renewal movement.
Since then, she successfully led two congregations: Congregation Beth Am (Reconstructionist) in San Antonio, Texas; and Congregation Beth Israel, in Chico, California. She has extensive experience in Jewish Education at all levels, as well as leadership in interfaith work and dialogue, including the Celebration of Abraham in Chico, California, bringing together hundreds of Muslims, Christians, and Jews to learn about one another’s faith and get to know one another as neighbors.
In addition to her rabbinical studies, Rabbi Danan earned a Ph.D. in Hebrew Studies, specializing in Rabbinic Literature and Culture, from the University of Texas at Austin.
Rabbi Danan grew up in Texas, lived for several years in Israel and for twelve years in Northern California. Based on her love of nature and the outdoors, she recently started a creative website: Wellsprings of Wisdom (http://wellspringsofwisdom.com), designed as a virtual retreat center built around Jewish symbols from nature. She is also the author of The Jewish Parents’ Almanac, reflecting her experience as the mother of five children.
Rabbi Danan is married to Avraham Danan, a Moroccan-Israeli who loves and teaches Piyut (traditional Moroccan Jewish liturgical song). They are delighted to be closer to most of their five grown children and two young grandsons on the East Coast and Midwest.
PCS invites all of Westchester’s present, previous, and prospective members to visit its website www.shalomPCS.com for more information about Rabbi Danan, the Hebrew school, Shabbat services and adult programs.