Rabbi Deborah Bravo received her rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and has led communities across the country for the past 19 years. Dynamic, accessible, visionary and deeply knowledgeable, Rabbi Bravo believes in collaborative partnership between clergy and community.
Throughout her rabbinate, she has embraced fully the idea of relational Judaism, and just as she discussed in her rabbinic thesis many years ago, she continually acknowledges the significance of building relationships, one person at a time. As she has opened her home throughout the past several years, welcoming hundreds of individuals of all ages to share Shabbat, holidays, meals and more around her dining room table, in her family sukkah and under the stars for havdalah, she has come to realize how important it is for her to model and share the excitement of Judaism and Jewish life.
On her ever-changing journey, she has clarified many aspects of Judaism for herself, and she has come to realize the importance of three essential aspects of Judaism: a true Jewish home and family; the influence of prayer and worship; the power of community. Much of her time in recent years has been devoted to worship, music and the importance of making prayer accessible for all those who seek its support, and even for those who do not. As she continues to grow as a rabbi and as a woman, it is through relationship building and community engagement that she sees her greatest challenges and most sacred moments.
One of the many lessons Rabbi Bravo has learned as a 'Rabbi Without Border' Fellow, sponsored by CLAL, is that Jews are found everywhere, from every background, with every possible story. We need to listen to everyone's stories, so we can create an even better and stronger Jewish community.
Perhaps the greatest gifts Rabbi Bravo gives to those around her are the joy and enthusiasm she brings to connect individuals with Judaism, Torah and God. In Rabbi Bravo's own words: "On my journey, I have made thousands of connections with people, and each one has made me a better Jew, a better rabbi, and most importantly, a better person. As I look to the future with Makom NY, I strive to create and enhance relationships within the community."