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Religious Leadership Team

Rabbi David Wolkenfeld

Rabbi David Wolkenfeld treasures opportunities to serve as a resource for Jews who are seeking to connect more deeply to Torah and mitzvot in order to become better people and build stronger communities. He has served as the rabbi of Ohev Sholom Congregation since July 2023.

Rabbi Wolkenfeld is a Wexner Graduate Fellow and completed a term as a member of the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America. He served for several years as a vice-president of the International Rabbinic Fellowship and currently chairs its Membership Committee. His writing has been published in Tradition, The Lehrhaus, Milin Havivin, and the Huffington Post. Prior to his move to Washington, Rabbi Wolkenfeld served for ten years as the rabbi of Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel Congregation in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. Rabbi Wolkenfeld began his rabbinic career at Princeton University, where, together with his wife Sara, he directed the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus. 

Rabbi Wolkenfeld grew up in Manhattan where he attended Stuyvesant High School. He has a B.A. in History from Harvard University and has completed graduate coursework in Medieval Jewish History at Yeshiva University. Rabbi Wolkenfeld studied at Yeshivat Hamivtar in Efrat, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah in New York, and at Yeshivat Har Etzion in Alon Shvut. He has semikhah (rabbinic ordination) from Rabbi Zalman Nehemiah Goldberg z’l, and Rabbi She’ar Yashuv Kohen z’l in Israel, and from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School.

In his spare time, Rabbi Wolkenfeld enjoys hiking, making tomato sauce from local ingredients, and writing whimsical poems about synagogue life. The Wolkenfelds are the proud parents of five children: Noam, Akiva, Hillel, Sophie, and Yonatan.

Rabbanit Sara Tillinger Wolkenfeld

Rabbanit Sara Tillinger Wolkenfeld is an experienced educator and speaker. She is passionate about opening up access to  Torah to all learners, and loves teaching rabbinic literature to students of all ages. Rabbanit Sara is a Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the Hartman Institute of North American, an alumna of the David Hartman Center Fellowship, and is a member of Class Six of the Wexner Field Fellowship. She writes about Jewish texts and Jewish law, and her current projects focus on applying Talmudic ideas to questions of advancements in digital technology.  Rabbanit Sara currently serves as Chief Learning Officer at Sefaria, an online database and interface for Jewish texts. 

Her previous experience includes serving as Director of Education at the Center for Jewish Life - Hillel at Princeton University as part of the OU’s Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus and serving on faculty at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education. She studied Talmud and Jewish Law at many institutions of Jewish learning in Israel and America including Midreshet Lindenbaum, Drisha, Nishmat, Pardes, and Beit Morasha and speaks on various Jewish topics at synagogues, schools, and university communities. 

For the past twenty years, Rabbanit Sara has taught the laws of niddah and mikvah to brides and engaged couples, and for the past ten years, she has directed the Adam R. Straus Memorial Mikvah in Chicago, IL.

Rabbanit Sara especially loves learning Torah with her children, Noam, Akiva, Hillel, Sophie, and Yonatan. In her spare time, she enjoys baking, drinking tea, and reading modern Hebrew novels.

 

 

 


 

 

Mon, July 22 2024 16 Tammuz 5784