Wellesley Appoints Rabbi Audrey Marcus Berkman as Rabbi and Director of Wellesley College Hillel
President H. Kim Bottomly today announced the appointment of Rabbi Audrey Marcus Berkman as the new Rabbi and Director of Wellesley College Hillel, beginning in the 2015-2016 academic year.
“I am delighted that Rabbi Audrey Berkman will be joining us at Wellesley,” said President H. Kim Bottomly. “Wellesley is committed to fostering a thriving Jewish community on campus and an inclusive and respectful community for all our students. Her leadership and full-time presence on campus will enable us to continue building the strong and vibrant environment we envision.”
Rabbi Berkman will support and guide Wellesley’s Jewish students as they integrate Jewish wisdom and learning into their daily lives. She comes to Wellesley following a national search that yielded a strong pool of applicants. The search committee, which consisted of students, faculty, staff, and alumnae, concluded its work in early spring with a unanimous endorsement of Rabbi Berkman.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to create and nurture, in partnership with students, faculty, staff, and alumnae, a vibrant and pluralistic Jewish community at Wellesley, rooted in intellectual and spiritual curiosity and depth and in the core Jewish values of respect, dialogue, and learning,” said Rabbi Berkman. She added, “I am excited to facilitate partnerships within the broader Wellesley College community, as well as between Wellesley Hillel and the many strong and innovative Jewish organizations and institutions in the greater Boston area and beyond.”
Hillel International advised the College during the search. “Rabbi Berkman brings an accomplished background in Jewish education and engagement that will lead her to serve the Jewish student community at Wellesley College very well,” said Eric Fingerhut, President and CEO of Hillel International. “We commend Wellesley for their hard work throughout the entire hiring process, and for making Jewish student life a clear priority. I look forward to seeing the continued growth and success of the Jewish student community at Wellesley.”
Wellesley’s partnership with Hillel International connects the College to a national network of Jewish communities at academic institutions, providing resources to help strengthen and enrich Jewish life on campus.
Rabbi Berkman is a graduate of Oberlin College. She received a Masters of Theological Studies degree (with a concentration in Jewish Studies) from Harvard Divinity School, and she continued her immersion in Jewish text and thought at The Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She received her rabbinical ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, supported by a prestigious Wexner Graduate Fellowship.
Rabbi Berkman lives in Newton with her husband, Rabbi Jethro Berkman, and their three young sons. Rabbi Berkman will begin her work at the College in August.