Our Rabbi

Rabbi Heath and Choir

Rabbi/Cantor Heath solos at an interfaith service of healing with the choir of the Stone Church in Raynham, MA

Rabbi/Cantor Anne Heath was ordained rabbi by The Academy for Jewish Religion in New York (Riverdale -The Bronx) in 2007. She received Cantorial Certification from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion School of Sacred Music, under the auspices of the American Conference of Cantors, in 2000 and from the Cantors Assembly in 1998. She began serving our congregation in June 2003 while still in rabbinical school. She serves as rabbi, cantor, school principal, and program director.

Rabbi Heath may be reached at jewishtaunton@gmail.com

Vision for Education

Rabbi Heath believes that each person who enters the synagogue, for any reason, will be educated regardless of whether or not they are aware of being educated.  After leaving, that person might be surveyed and asked

  • What kind of personal welcome did you receive?
  • Describe the physical space you entered.  Did you have a sense that you could start to feel at home?
  • Were things clear? Did people bandy about terms that you didn’t understand so you felt left out?
  • Were you given a chance to do just as much as you were comfortable with and no more?
  • Was your own schedule included in a group planning of the next educational step in a particular program?

These and similar questions might seem more relevant for adult education than for Religious School, but Rabbi Heath believes that each student at any age should be welcomed and evaluated, however quietly or overtly as necessary, to determine just who they are at this point in time.

Especially Regarding Religious School

If there is Hebrew school or Religious School in you or your family’s background, our Religious School is not your or their experiences, this is your child’s and it will be different.  Culture is different. Children are different. Families are different.

It’s still education, but it’s more. It’s working in partnership with others to help forge a Jewish identity – forge, not force.

From our sacred Jewish textual tradition, Mishnah, Tractate Sanhedrin (4:5) teaches:

Humanity was created single [in the person of Adam] to teach you that anyone who eliminates one person in Israel, the Torah considers it as though an entire world has been eliminated; and anyone that sustains one person in Israel, the Torah considers it as though an entire world has been sustained…. And [humanity was created single], to tell you the greatness of the Holy One, a person can mint many coins with one mold, and they will all be identical in appearance; and the King of Kings…made all of humantiy from the mold of Adam the first, and no one person is identical to the other. Thus, each individual person must say “for me was the world created.”

Among Judaism’s many gifts to the world, this teaching of the infinite value of each human life dominates.

As head of our Religious School and spiritual leader of our congregation, these ancient words provide Rabbi Heath the guidance needed for the recognition of the unique worth of each of our students.

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