Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
About the Speaker
Rabbi Dr. Laura Novak Winer has a rabbinate that focuses on Jewish education, mentoring, teaching and helping youth and families develop deep and meaningful connections to progressive Judaism. Laura is the Director of Clinical Education for the Rhea Hirsch School of Education at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles, CA where she mentors students, coordinates fieldwork internships and teaches graduate level courses in pedagogy and organizational change to students studying to become Jewish educational leaders and rabbis.
Laura moved to Fresno, CA in 2011 when her husband, Rabbi Rick Winer became the rabbi at Temple Beth Israel. Since moving to the Central Valley, Laura has become an active member of Faith in the Valley, which organizes the faith community (over 120 congregations – 100,000 people – from Kern, Merced, Fresno, Stanislaus & San Joaquin counties) to create a different and better future in the Valley for its families and communities.
Laura has been published in a variety of academic and online journals and was the editor of several curricula, including Sacred Choices: Adolescent Relationships and Sexual Ethics (2005 and 2007). She is a regular contributor to Moment Magazine’s “Ask the Rabbis” column, and a past president of the Association of Reform Jewish Educators, a national organization which advocates for Jewish educators and Jewish education.
Laura earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, a Master of Arts in Jewish Education from the Rhea Hirsch School of Education and rabbinic ordination at HUC-JIR, and a doctorate in Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary Davidson School of Graduate Education.
Laura and Rick have two adult sons who have successfully launched themselves out of the nest and live their authentic selves.
Rhea Hirsch School of Education, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
As a Reform Jew I live according to the belief that I have responsibility in fixing injustices in the world. That work must take place in all circles of my life, including in my local community. In order for us to truly find and create justice we must seek to understand the lived experiences of our neighbors, build sincere relationships, and find ways to journey forth together in creating change. The ISW program will enable us to do that.
My interfaith work extends back more than 25 years when I was in seminary and engaged in interfaith seminary exchange programs. Currently, I am involved in the Clergy Caucus of Faith in the Valley, Fresno as well as participate in some of the programs of the Interfaith Alliance of the Central Valley.
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I truly value and treasure the relationships that I have in the Fresno interfaith community. Our community holds each other up in times of pain and celebrates together in times of joy. Together, we strive for understanding, justice and wholeness in Fresno and beyond.
As a frequent respondent in Moment Magazine’s “Ask the Rabbis” column, I have had occasion to write on topics related to the theme of the ISW. A list of these topics and links to my responses can be found on the “Ask the Rabbis” column website
Of particular note are the columns on Reparations and Racism.