Our Rabbi and Staff

Rabbi Leora Abelson – Rabbi

Rabbi Leora Abelson (she/her/hers) grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and lived in Middletown, CT; Nairobi, Kenya; and Chicago, IL before moving to Boston to attend Hebrew College Rabbinical School. She was ordained as a rabbi in 2017. Prior to serving at Nehar Shalom, she was the rabbi of Congregation Agudas Achim in Attleboro, MA. She has completed four units of chaplaincy training (Clinical Pastoral Education) at Hebrew SeniorLife and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and in addition to serving as Nehar Shalom’s rabbi, she works as an Interfaith Chaplain at Hebrew SeniorLife Hospice Care. She has been active in movements for social justice for many years, including fighting against racism and classism in the queer community in Chicago and supporting the Palestinian- and Israeli-led struggle for justice, safety, dignity, and freedom for all Israelis and Palestinians. She was led towards the rabbinate by her longing for a Jewish communal home that is aligned with her commitment to building a more just world and with her anti-oppression values (and with good singing of course!). She is passionate about making Jewish tradition and practice – from Talmud study to embodied theology to deeply rooted ritual –  accessible to those longing for it. She is equally passionate about celebrating historically silenced voices and bringing diverse experiences into conversation with our tradition, believing that we know the Divine and understand and live Torah more fully only when our full collective wisdom is expressed. Leora lives with her partner Ray-ray in Jamaica Plain. She is a proud auntie and grammar nerd, shyly plays the violin, and loves the ocean.   

To reach Rabbi Leora Abelson email:  rabbileora@neharshalom.org

 

Rabbi Victor Reinstein – Founding Rabbi

Rabbi Victor Hillel Reinstein (he/him) has been a congregational rabbi for over twenty years and was also the rabbi of a Jewish day school for six years before founding Nehar Shalom with his wife, Mieke, in 2005. As a teacher, learner and seeker, he loves to engage in and share Torah with people of all ages. He especially loves to teach Chassidic texts. Committed to interfaith dialogue, he is particularly involved in building bridges between Jews and Muslims and speaks widely in interfaith contexts throughout the Boston area. A long time social activist, Rabbi Victor draws from Torah and Jewish life the inspiration and the guidance, the “vision and the way,” to help fulfill God’s hope for a world of justice and wholeness in which peace shall flow like a river.

 

 

Rabbi Shahar Colt – Family Programs Director/Teacher

Since 2015, Rabbi Shahar Colt (she/her) served Dorshei Tzedek as the Rabbi for Congregational Learning.  Rabbi Shahar graduated from Hebrew College Rabbinical School in Newton, MA in 2016. During her time in rabbinical school, she served in a range of rabbinic capacities- including leading services, teaching, writing, organizing and providing apastoral presence- at Hampshire College, Bethlehem Hebrew Congregation (Bethlehem, NH), Temple Shir Tikvah (Winchester, MA), Jews United for Justice (Washington, DC), Interfaith Power & Light of Greater Washington, and the Boston-Area Jewish Education Project (Waltham, MA). She also completed a unit of clinical pastoral education at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and founded the Teen Beit Midrash, a supplementary education program for post b’nai mitzvah students.

Before rabbinical school, Rabbi Shahar earned her Masters in Education at Tufts University (2008), with a focus on secondary level humanities, and her Bachelors from Barnard College (2006) in American Studies, with a concentration in Education. She has taught secular academic subjects in public and private schools, general and special education classrooms, as well as swimming, dance, cooking and woodworking in after school programs, youth group and summer camps.  She lives in Watertown MA with her partner and baby.

 

Jess Green (she/hers)– FLC and High Holiday Children’s Program Leader

As a long-time community member and Jewish educator, Jess is thrilled to be working with our incredible Neh

ar Shalom families! Her teaching experiences include teaching a variety of ages and supporting inclusion at Temple Beth Shalom, teaching fourth grade at Boston Worker’s Circle, and overseeing the nature department at Camp Tel Noar.

Jess highly values teaching with a focus on inclusion and social emotional learning. She is personally drawn to nature, cooking, creativity, community, and books and the power and joy of these experiences are deeply reflected in my classroom and work with students. Jess holds a Master’s Degree in Jewish Education with a concentration in special education from Hebrew College.

Jess currently lives in Roslindale.  Having lived in Boston for fifteen years, she is deeply connected to herJewish communities and chosen family here.

 

 

 

 


Robson Govine – Operations Assistant

Robson (he/they) assists with day-to-day communications, operations, and general support of Nehar Shalom Community Synagogue.  They bring with them 6+ years of nonprofit finance and operations experience and is currently a Social Impact MBA candidate at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.

For questions or information regarding Nehar Shalom’s communications or operations, you can reach Robson at communications@neharshalom.org