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Meet Our Rabbi

Rabbi Chaya Bender

Rabbi Bender joined the Bnai Israel Congregation in 2020. She previously served Temple Sholom in Greenwich, CT as Assistant Rabbi and Youth Director from 2016-2020. She has 15 years’ experience in Jewish education and is passionate about helping individuals chart their unique Jewish path. Through innovative programming, classes, services and one-on-one conversations she emphasizes positive Jewish identity formation for all.

Despite the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic, Rabbi Bender has reinvigorated synagogue offerings for all ages and cultivated intergenerational community building. She introduced tot shabbat programming for young families, rebuilt the religious school, and brought in world-class visiting scholars and musicians for adult education. 

Rabbi Bender is committed to fostering inclusivity and equity. She is part of the inaugural cohort of Rimonim for Rabbis, a collaborative effort of the Rabbinical Assembly and USCJ to examine Interfaith inclusion within Conservative Synagogues. She co-authored the article “As rabbis, we believe a new intermarriage narrative can strengthen Conservative Judaism.” In the greater community, she is a member of multiple Jewish and interfaith round tables, and engaged with the greater community by preaching at local town events and houses of worship.

Rabbi Bender was born and raised in Southern New Jersey. She earned a BA in Anthropology with two minors in Near Eastern, Judaic Studies and Gender Studies from Brandeis University. She received Rabbinic Ordination and an MA in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary.

She, along with her wife, Emily Jaeger, daughter, Shlomtzion, and dog, Isaiah, love being a part of the Bnai Israel Congregation Family.

Contact Rabbi Bender:



Mon, May 20 2024 12 Iyyar 5784