Rabbi Julie Hilton Danan
Photo credit: Emma Reisman
Rabbi Julie Danan (pronounced Dah-NAHN) is a spiritual leader who synthesizes the best of mind, heart, and soul. She offers our community outstanding teaching for all ages and levels of learning, compassionate pastoral caregiving, and spiritually gifted ritual and worship.
Rabbi Julie likes to call herself “Reconservadox” because she has life experience in many Jewish movements as well as service in many transdenominational roles. Her heart is in Jewish Renewal and she was ordained in 2000 through the ALEPH Rabbinic Program, where she studied with Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, of blessed memory.
Rabbi Danan also holds a Ph.D. in Hebrew Studies from the University of Texas at Austin, specializing in Rabbinic Literature and Culture. She completed a program as Pastoral Care Specialist with the American Association of Pastoral Counselors at the Ecumenical Center for Religion and Health in San Antonio. Prior to coming to Pleasantville Community Synagogue, she led Congregation Beth Israel, a nondenominational congregation in Chico, California, for 12 years; and Congregation Beth Am, a Reconstructionist congregation in San Antonio, Texas, for 13 years.
Rabbi Danan teaches Rabbinic Literature to rabbinic students at the Academy for Jewish Religion and the ALEPH Rabbinic Program. She has also been adjunct faculty at California State University, Chico, and Texas Lutheran University. She is author of The Jewish Parents’ Almanac (Jason Aronson) and has a personal web site, Wellsprings of Wisdom.com, a virtual retreat center flowing with the Torah of mother earth. She has spoken and taught in many academic, Jewish and interfaith settings and written for many Jewish and general publications.
In 2017-18, Rabbi Danan was a fellow in the LEAP program, a partnership between the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at The University of Pennsylvania and Clal, the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership LEAP stands for leverage, expand and popularize. It brings together outstanding academics and rabbis in order to bridge the worlds of the academy and the broader Jewish community with cutting edge ideas in Jewish Studies. The theme for the year's fellowship is "Nature Between Science and Religion: Jewish Culture and the Natural World."
In 2018, Rabbi Julie became a fellow in the 2018 Rabbi Without Borders cohort. Rabbis Without Borders "envisions a world where Jewish wisdom is a source for wellbeing for anyone anywhere. [The] rabbis ... are committed to serving people wherever they may be: affiliated or not, educated or not, with Jewish connections or not. These rabbis share their Torah in pluralistic, innovative ways grounded by a sense of service to all."
Rabbi Julie was twice awarded fellowships by the advocacy organization "Synagogues: Transformation and Renewal" (STAR) that was founded in 2000 by Edgar Bronfman, Charles Schusterman and Michael Steinhardt. She was one of 17 rabbis around the country selected for STAR’s Professional Education for Excellence in Rabbis (PEER) program for 2004. From June 2009 through June 2010, she was one of 16 rabbis nationwide chosen to participate in STAR’s “Good to Great” Program, which was designed for rabbis more advanced in their careers.
Rabbi Julie’s extensive experience and leadership in interfaith work includes serving as president of the Chico Area Interfaith Council and founding the Celebration of Abraham, a group that brought together hundreds of Jews, Christians and Muslims to learn about one another’s religions and get to know one another as neighbors.
Julie is married to Avraham Danan, who grew up in Morocco and Israel and has served as an avocational Hazzan and teacher of Moroccan Piyyut (liturgical poetry). They are the parents of five grown children.
Rabbi Julie can be reached at PCS at 914-769-2672 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click on the links below to learn online from our Rabbi:
Her website: wellspringsofwisdom.com
“Be Happy. Yom Kippur” in Kerem: Creative Explorations in Judaism
“A Simple Devar Torah” in memory of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi
A ceremony for graduating High School
Video of Rabbi Danan teaching at Shabbaton in Ashland, Oregon
To read Rabbi's Julie's High Holiday sermons, please click on the links below:
5778 / 2017
"Where is God in a Hurricane?" Erev Rosh Hashana 5778
"If I Am Not for Myself, Who Will Be for Me?" Rosh Hashana Day 1, 5778
"If Not Now, When?" Erev Yom Kippur/Kol Nidrei 5778
"If I am Only for Myself, What Am I?" Yom Kippur morning 5778
5777 / 2016
"To Be a Jew is to Be a Dreamer" Erev Rosh Hashana 5777
"Stamped in the Image" Rosh Hashana Day 1, 5777
"Keeping the Faith" Erev Yom Kippur/Kol Nidrei 5777
"For You Were Strangers" Yom Kippur Morning 5777
5776 / 2015
“Hineni – Here I Am” Erev Rosh Hashana 5776
"Do You Read From Right to Left?" Rosh Hashana, Day I, 5776
"Yom Kippur in July" Erev Yom Kippur / Kol Nidrei 5776
“The Jewish Way to Disagree” Yom Kippur Morning 5776
Photo credit: Carla Resnick