Rabbi Dan Ain
Rabbi Ain develops meaningful ways to worship in the 21st century – creating experiences that speak to people today, using the language, lessons and music of the past. Rabbi Ain finds holiness through honest conversation and gathers those who are open to being reached. He creates spaces where people can say what they really think and allow others to do the same.
For the past decade, after his ordination from The Jewish Theological Seminary, Rabbi Ain served as the Rabbi at the New Shul and was Director of Tradition and Innovation at the New York City 92nd St. Y. He’s hosted Friday night dinners with comedians and cosmologists, klezmer brunches with composers and analysts, and conversations with friends looking for ways to talk about God on their own terms.
Most recent and prior to joining Congregation Beth Sholom, Rabbi Ain (along with his wife Alana Joblin Ain) co-founded and served as spiritual leaders for the Brooklyn based organization Because Jewish which creates opportunities for our religious perspectives to be in genuine dialogue with our artists, our musicians and our everyday lives. The Times of Israel wrote that “Because Jewish represents the zeitgeist of Jewish Brooklyn, circa 2016. Its raison d’être is to offer community and presence amidst the racing speed and technological isolation of the here and now.”
Rabbi Amanda Russell
Rabbi Amanda Russell was led to the Rabbinate because of the mentors who supported her and the Jewish communities that inspired her along the way. Strengthening community and creating meaningful prayer environments are two areas that are of deep importance to Rabbi Russell and are what drove her decision to become a Rabbi in a congregation.
Rabbi Russell was born and raised in Philadelphia. She took interest in service leading and studying nussach around the time of her Bat Mitzvah, and has further developed her skills by continuing to study ever since.
She attended the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt), where she formed many meaningful personal and professional relationships in the Pittsburgh Jewish community. She served as a student leader and member of The VoKols (Jewish-American a cappella group at Hillel), and Cantorial Soloist at two Pittsburgh congregations. She graduated Pitt with a BA in Communication Sciences and Disorders and a Certificate in Jewish Studies in 2011.
In 2013, Rabbi Russell’s Jewish and musical passions lead her to California, where she began her studies at The Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles. She served as the Rabbinic Intern at CBS for four years, was ordained in May 2019 and accepted her first pulpit position as the Assistant Rabbi at Congregation Beth Sholom. Rabbi Russell lives in the Richmond District with her husband and daughter, David and Reva Katz. They are all excited to be here as full time residents of San Francisco and to be a part of this incredible, warm community.