On April 3, the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Washington released a statement on Facebook welcoming Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky as the new director of intergroup relations and JCRC Rabbi in Residence. Starting July 1, 2019, “Abbi will serve as our representative to other faith, ethnic, and minority communities throughout the Greater Washington, D.C., region,” the statement said.
The position was previously held by Rabbi Batya Glazer, who resigned in 2018 to serve as the executive director of the JCRC of Greater Philadelphia.
Rabbi Sharofsky previously served for five years as deputy director of the Jewish Welfare Board Jewish Chaplains Council, where she worked with military chaplains and high-ranking military officials to improve conditions for Jewish personnel and create an atmosphere of understanding for all faiths. She provided professional development training for Jewish chaplains, aided lay leaders in Jewish military communities throughout the world, developed community outreach and awareness programs about Jewish military personnel and veterans, and provided pastoral care to Jewish military families.
Rabbi Sharofsky has also served as a chaplain at the VA New York Harbor Health System, providing pastoral care at hospitals and clinics for veterans of all faiths. She has taught in many settings, including honors level supplementary school programs, Jewish camps and youth movements, and adult education.
Her responsibilities with the JCRC will include strengthening and expanding the institution’s network of relationships with other faith, ethnic, and minority communities throughout the region. Rabbi Sharofsky will develop strategic initiatives to cultivate relationships between synagogues and other houses of worship, and engage with interfaith and social justice organizations, the Washington Board of Rabbis, government bodies, and public school systems.
She will also “offer guidance about Jewish law when issues relevant to the JCRC’s activities arise and provide counseling during times of public crisis,” the statement said.
Rabbi Sharofsky received both her Rabbinic Ordination and Masters in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary and her Bachelor of Arts from Muhlenberg College. She is a Rabbis Without Borders fellow and a recipient of the JPRO Network Young Professional award. She will be relocating to the community with her husband David Weisel, an attorney, and their two children.