Rabba Kaya Stern-Kaufman
Rabba Kaya Stern Kaufman served as our interim rabbi from October 2017 through June 2019. She is dedicated to the development of meaningful Jewish community rooted in our Jewish wisdom traditions and focused on the contemporary needs for Tikkun Olam- repairing the world. Prior to her position with RJC, Rabba Kaya was the spiritual leader of Congregation Agudat Achim in Leominster, Massachusetts where she served as their Interim Rabbi. She is the founder of Rimon: Resource Center for Jewish Spirituality, where she served as Executive Director and Spiritual Leader from 2012–2016. Rimon was an outreach organization that attracted unaffiliated Jews and non-Jews. At Rimon, Rabba Kaya taught popular classes in Torah, Talmud, Hassidut (Hassidic philosophy) and Jewish Spirituality, offered interfaith programs and soulful, contemplative Shabbat and holiday programs. Through Rimon, Rabba Kaya established and led the South Berkshire Community Jewish Burial Society. She is also one of the co-founders and served as co-leader of The Berkshire Minyan in Great Barrington, MA from 2006–2016. In 2015 Rabba Kaya was recognized by The Forward as one of America’s Most Inspiring Rabbis.
As an experienced and sought-after educator, Rabba Kaya has taught all ages at synagogues throughout the Northeast, Simon’s Rock College of Bard, Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, Limmud UK and Limmud Boston. Her central focus is the reclaiming of ancient Jewish spiritual wisdom and its transmission for contemporary sensibilities and practical application.
Prior to work in the Jewish community, Rabba Kaya worked as a clinical social worker with families and children and as a professionalfeng shui consultant, having received training and certification from several feng shui masters.
Rabba Kaya Stern-Kaufman was ordained at the Academy for Jewish Religion, a non-denominational, pluralistic seminary in Yonkers, in 2011. She holds a BA in Psychology and a Masters in Social Work from New York University. She is a Fellow of Rabbis Without Borders–CLAL. Her professional associations include the Association of Rabbis and Cantors, Ohalah-The Association of Rabbis for Jewish Renewaland Aleph: Alliance for Jewish Renewal.