Wellesley College Appoints Rabbi Audrey Marcus Berkman as Rabbi and Director of Wellesley College Hillel

March 30, 2015

WELLESLEY, Mass.— H. Kim Bottomly, President of Wellesley College, today announced the appointment of 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.”

“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.”

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.

Hillel International advised the College during the search for this important position. “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 has worked with members of the Jewish community at every stage in the life cycle. In the Boston Jewish community Rabbi Berkman served for six years as Rabbi of Shir Hadash Reconstructionist Havurah in Newton and has been a guest Cantor at Congregation Mishkan Tefila in Chestnut Hill. She also has served as the Jewish Chaplain at Center Communities of Brookline (Hebrew Senior-Life) and Newton Wellesley Hospital, and as a faculty member of Parenting Through a Jewish Lens at Temple Emmanuel in Andover.  She was a faculty member for the Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel.

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. Her rabbinical studies were supported by a prestigious Wexner Graduate Fellowship.

Rabbi Berkman lives in Newton with her husband, Rabbi Jethro Berkman, and their three young sons.

About Wellesley College

Since 1875, Wellesley College has been the preeminent liberal arts college for women. Known for its intellectual rigor and its remarkable track record for the cultivation of women leaders in every arena, Wellesley—only 12 miles from Boston—is home to some 2400 undergraduates from every state and 75 countries.

Press Contacts

Sofiya Cabalquinto, Director of Media Relations, Wellesley College, 781.283.3321, scabalqu@wellesley.edu

Anne Yu, Associate Director of Media Relations, Wellesley College, 781.283.3201, ayu@wellesley.edu