Shir Hadash welcomes Leiah Moser as visiting student rabbi

Leiah  Moser 

Shir Hadash Reconstruc-tionist Community will welcome Leiah Moser as its visiting student rabbi for 2016-17 during a Shabbat service at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, in the Jewish Community Center’s Arts and Education Building, 2 Millstone Campus Drive. The community is invited to attend. 

Moser will spend one weekend a month with the congregation as it continues its search for a permanent half-time successor to Rabbi Lane Steinger, who recently retired and now serves as rabbi emeritus. She will lead High Holiday services as well as one Shabbat morning service per month and other programs. 

Steinger will have an active role in the congregation, leading first Shabbat of the month Friday night dinner discussions and a monthly Sunday afternoon Bible Study class. He will also oversee the congregation’s pastoral and life cycle needs. The remainder of the congregation’s weekly Shabbat morning services and learning programs will be congregant-led.

“Lane leaves very big shoes to fill,” said Cheryl Whatley, Shir Hadash President. “This interim arrangement affords us the luxury of time as we continue our search for a rabbi who is the best fit for our community.” 

Moser is entering her final year of rabbinic studies at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Wyncote, Pa., and was recently awarded the  2016 Pinkerson Prize in Rabbinics, which is presented to a student who has excelled in the study of rabbinic literature and civilization. She has previously served as a rabbinic intern at Temple Beth El in Newark, Del., and as a student rabbi at Congregation Am Haskalah in Bethlehem, Pa.  Moser has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and Japanese from North Central College and earned a master’s degree in humanities from the University of Chicago. She is fluent in both Hebrew and Japanese.

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Shir Hadash is the only Reconstructionist congregation in St. Louis. One of its founding members and past presidents, David Roberts, currently serves as chair of the Board of Governors of the Reconstruc-tionist Rabbinical College/Jewish Reconstructionist Communities.

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