Copyright © 2019, Derekh
As we conclude our celebration of Shabbat and our time together, we will learn with and be entertained by Rabbi Debbie Zecher, Rabbi emerita of Hevreh Of Southern Berkshire.
Rabbi Deborah Zecher
After 35 wonderful and fulfilling years as a congregational rabbi, Deborah Zecher is pursuing her passion for music with a career as a cabaret singer. She presented her debut solo show at Don’t Tell Mama in NYC in May 2018 and has participated in group shows there and at other cabaret venues since 2012. In August 2017, she was one of six singers selected as a Senior Cabaret Fellow at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center where she studied with such cabaret luminaries as Barb Jungr, Judy Kuhn and Tonya Pinkins. In 2006, she was part of the National Cabaret Convention at Yale University where she studied with Julie Wilson and Amanda McBroom, among others.
During her tenure as a rabbi, Rabbi Zecher developed a series of 10 programs that focus on Jewish songwriters of the Golden Age of the Great American Songbook as well as other programs that connect Jewish learning to Broadway tunes. Her program on Jewish women songwriters was presented in Berlin, Germany in 2014 for the Jewish community there. Over the past four years, she has presented her programs throughout the country as an Artist-in-Residence at various synagogues. She is part of the speakers/entertainer’s bureau administered by the Institute for Southern Jewish Life. She also was the producer and performer of Warm Up the Winter, a community-wide concert that in its seven year history, raised over $25,000 for fuel assistance.
She is a graduate of Brandeis University and was ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in New York in 1982 where she also received her Doctor of Divinity degree in 2007. Rabbi Zecher has also served congregations in Scarsdale, NY, Washington, DC and Germantown, MD in addition to working as a chaplain at American University and Williams College.
Rabbi Zecher feels honored to have served on the national boards of every organization in the Reform movement, having completed two terms on the Board of Governors of HUC-JIR and as well as serving as president of the Rabbinic Alumni Association of HUC-JIR. She served as Recording Secretary of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and was also a member of the Board of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (now the Union for Reform Judaism). In 2003, Rabbi Zecher was honored to be chosen as one of the sh’lichei tzibor (leader of worship) for the URJ Biennial Shabbat morning service, the first time a rabbi was chosen to share musical responsibilities for this service and in 2007, served as cantor for the CCAR convention service at the historic Plum Street Temple, a service which formally introduced Mishkan Tefillah to the members of the CCAR. She is a past national co-coordinator of the Women’s Rabbinic Network and served several terms on the board of the Women’s Interfaith Institute of the Berkshires. Rabbi Zecher is a past president of the Southern Berkshire Interfaith Clergy Association. For several years she was one of the moderators of Religious Roundtable, a radio program on WSBS sponsored by the South Berkshire Interfaith Clergy Association. She especially enjoys her work as a mentor to several rabbis and rabbinic students in programs sponsored by the Central Conference of American Rabbis and the Hebrew Union College.
She is married to Rabbi Dennis Ross and they are the proud parents of three adult children, Joshua, Adam and Miriam.
Copyright © 2019, Derekh