Rabbi Lisa Vinikoor
Rabbi Vinikoor is thrilled to join Beth Israel Congregation at its spiritual leader. Rabbi Vinikoor decided to pursue rabbinic work after a 14-year career as a public-school educator and social justice community organizer in Massachusetts. As an organizer, she was privileged to organize alongside hundreds of clergy and lay leaders from churches and synagogues to carry out meaningful social justice campaigns. Together they engaged thousands of volunteers from faith institutions to fight for and win successful passage of the 2006 Massachusetts Healthcare Reform law, ensuring healthcare access to nearly half a million previously uninsured low-income residents. Her teaching and justice work inspired her to seek a career as a rabbi, where she continues to teach and to act for social justice change from a Jewish lens. A lifelong learner, Rabbi Vinikoor enjoys studying and teaching the texts of our sacred Jewish tradition.
Born and raised in a small Jewish community in Vermont, Rabbi Vinikoor attended Smith College, where she earned her undergraduate degree in History, and the University of Massachusetts, Boston, where she earned her master's degree in Education. She received rabbinic ordination from the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City. In addition to serving the Beth Israel Congregation, Rabbi Vinikoor also serves as the rabbi for Jewish students at Bowdoin College. Rabbi Vinikoor and her wife Alyssa live in Bath.