Rabbi Cheryl Jacobs - One of the Most Inspiring Rabbis in North America

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Rabbi Cheryl Jacobs named “One Of The Most Inspiring Rabbis in North America”

Three years ago, Rabbi Cheryl Jacobs left her job as a pulpit rabbi in order to follow her passion. As the Rabbi and CEO of ISH, a new way for Jews and other spiritual seekers to connect with all things Jewish, Jacobs’ is focused on innovative and courageous work. Her vision to create an engaging, relevant and financially accessible Judaism has attracted a great deal of attention and won her a place on The Jewish Daily Forward’s 2016 list of “North America’s Most Inspiring Rabbis.” From hundreds of nominations, the staff of The Forward, a historic and premier Jewish newspaper with an international audience – compiled the list of the “most inspiring Men and Women from North America who are defining and redefining what it means to be a rabbi in the 21st century.”

The honor took Rabbi Jacobs by surprise. “I was in complete shock. When I received the phone call from the New York offices of The Forward, it took me a few minutes to process the conversation. I have to admit, my children and I may have jumped up and down a little,” said Jacobs.

“Honestly, my goal has never been to win awards. My goal is to create a warm, welcoming, non-denominational resource and service grounded in Jewish wisdom.”

Jacobs was nominated for the award by “over a dozen people,” said The Forward staff. One such nominator was Claudia Welsh who wrote, in part:

Through her work with ISH, she is looking ahead at the next generation and working tirelessly to impart the best in us as Jews.  Her forward thinking allows our young people and the unaffiliated of all ages to connect and learn. She meets people where they are and gently brings them along to a greater understanding of what it is to embrace all aspects of their Judaism.     In an increasingly material aspirational world, Rabbi Jacobs inspires us to incorporate the best part of ourselves and illuminates a path of compassion, care and continuous learning.

One other nomination came from Rabbi Andrew Jacobs, spiritual leader of Ramat Shalom in Plantation, and Cheryl’s husband of seventeen years:

 Today, Rabbi Cheryl spends much of her time visiting the prisons of South Florida, helping inmates connect spiritually and getting back on the right path. At the same time, she is a police chaplain supporting our officers during incredibly trying times. Rabbi Cheryl is the Rabbi for Jews many of us forget about.

The Forward’s “Most Inspiring Rabbis” will be published in Friday’s (May 13, 2016) edition of the paper and will be available online on Sunday, May 15th.

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