Rabbi-Educator Ari Moffic 'meant to be' New Director of Congregational Learning at Temple Beth-El
The well-known Jewish phrase, "It was 'Beshert'," is defined as an event or experience that is inevitable or meant to be.
It happens to best describe the arrival of Rabbi-Educator Arielle Poster Moffic as the new Director of Congregational Learning at Temple Beth-El in Northbrook, starting July 1, 2020.
Rabbi Ari (or 'Ari' as she prefers) is a rabbi-educator who prides herself on creatively working as a partner with families to inspire learners of all ages and backgrounds to incorporate Judaism into their lives in meaningful and grounding ways.
She is known throughout the Chicago area for having served as Founder of CoHere Chicago as well as rabbi-educator positions at Interfaith Family/Chicago, Congregation Sukkat Shalom, Wilmette, and Beth Tikvah Congregation, Hoffman Estates.
"I am passionate about having Jewish learning be fun, relevant, easy to access and challenging in a good way to our minds," Rabbi Ari said.
"I like to think of creative ways for people of all ages to learn more about Judaism and love to see their excitement at realizing how amazing, deep and layered Judaism is."
"I aim for us to use Jewish teachings to inspire us to be better people and to make our world a better place," she emphasized.
Rabbi Sidney Helbraun of Temple Beth-El, who knows Rabbi Ari as a colleague and through her work at previous congregations, describes her as a "bright, thoughtful, forward thinking and moving person.
"She has spent much of the last decade fostering deep relationships with Jews and their significant others who are on the fringes of our community, who for a variety of reasons are not sure if they are welcome or want to come in," Rabbi Helbraun added.
Working Proactively: Religious School Plans Underway for Fall Session
As Rabbi Ari begins prepares for the opening of religious school, Rabbi Helbraun envisions that she will "incorporate her proven educational experiences, her love of learning, her creativity and her passion for finding a way to bring ideas of deep meaning and beauty to fruition."
"Ari will help us re-imagine what Hebrew and Religious School can be, making it accessible for every learner and actively support diversity, inclusion and the needs of inter-faith members consistent with our congregation's culture and mission."
As to her vision of congregational learning for both students and adults, Rabbi Ari has been working proactively on a variety of scenarios for the Fall.
She is exploring religious school that may include multiple, smaller group sessions combined with online learning.
"Every student and parent will have a chance to meet me this summer as I reach out to evaluate each student's Hebrew abilities to help prepare for the Fall," Rabbi Ari said.
Temple Beth-El is also planning additional opportunities for more members to meet Ari even if this requires virtual connections via Zoom video/chat sessions.
"Whether they will be checking in with a teacher they have bonded with, or meeting in-person with friends, we'll make sure our students are feeling supported, with a Fall program that you'll love.
"We'll do this in partnership with the parents and students, seeking their feedback and suggestions," Rabbi Ari emphasized.
It does feel 'Beshert'
"Ari brings this care for the individual, young and old alike, helping them find an entry point, and helping to create a sense of community," Helbraun points out. "It is incredibly exciting to have her as part of our Temple Beth-El family.
"It feels as if it was inevitable, perhaps even meant to be, that Ari would be part of our Temple Beth El family as if she has prepared for years to join us."
For additional information about membership and the religious school, contact: Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook. Reach out to: Janice Hadesman, executive director via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (847) 205-9982 ext. 211 or visit: https://templebeth-el.org.
Rabbi Ari can be reached directly through her email: