About Rabbi Rachel Heaps

Rabbi Rachel Lynn Heaps joins us from the East Coast. While growing up in New Rochelle, NY, she was very active in her temple’s youth group and attended URJ Eisner Camp in Great Barrington, MA. She attended The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. where she studied Psychology and Judaic studies. While studying in D.C., she worked at Temple Micah as a teacher and tutor. After graduation, Rabbi Heaps took on the role of administrator at Temple Micah, adding to her synagogue portfolio. In June 2012, Rabbi Heaps left D.C. to begin her studies at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, first in Jerusalem, and then in New York City. During her time as a rabbinical student, she served a variety of roles including school teacher for Temple Shaaray Tefila of Manhattan and HUC-JIR’s Miller High School; student rabbi for Temple Beth Ha-Shalom of Williamsport, PA; intern for both Sarah Neuman nursing home in Mamaroneck, NY and HUC-JIR’s Business and Development Department; and co-director of HIC-JIR’s Founders’ Fellowship. Rabbi Heaps also spent her summers as Director of Jewish life at URJ Henry S. Jacobs Camp in Utica, MI (2013) and URJ 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy in Byfield, MA (2015-2016). Rabbi Heaps was ordained in May 2017. She now lives in Northbrook, IL and is very excited to be a part of the Temple Jeremiah family.

Shabbat B’reishit

By |2021-09-30T10:53:29-05:00September 29, 2021|

We all know how the Torah begins, right?  “B’reishit bara Eloheim et ha-Shamayim v’et Ha-aretz.”  Ok, you might know it better as “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Gen 1:1)  It’s become a famous line. It is the source of thousands of years of inspiration and theology, as well as

Shabbat Ki Tavo

By |2021-08-26T10:54:17-05:00August 23, 2021|

I am a big fan of oxford commas. Really, I’m a fan of commas in general, but oxford commas are great. In case you’re not a punctuation-nerd like me: oxford commas are used when listing items, which is one reason they can also be called a serial comma. It

Shabbat Chukat

By |2021-06-17T15:03:13-05:00June 16, 2021|

Dear Friends, This week, we are confronted with another difficult Torah portion. Chukat opens with laws regarding a ritual no longer performed, Miriam the Prophetess dies, Moses strikes the rock, the Israelites complain, Moses and Aaron are told that they will not enter the Promised Land, Aaron the Priest

Shabbat Sh’mini

By |2021-04-08T17:05:02-05:00April 7, 2021|

Leviticus is a hard book for many modern Jews to read. Not because it deals with uncomfortable subjects, which it definitely does, but because it can be difficult to apply the details to our lives and lifestyles. As Rabbi Cohen likes to summarize, Leviticus in its broadest understanding declares

Parshat Ki Tisa

By |2021-03-04T14:50:24-06:00March 4, 2021|

How much is a dollar really worth? Or an ounce of gold? Or an acre of land?  All of us, together, have inherited and become an active part of a system of values. Nearly everything in our world has some sort of value, for better or for worse. But what is value and valuable,

Shabbat B’shalach

By |2021-01-26T13:37:58-06:00January 26, 2021|

I love superhero movies. Marvel, DC, even Disney and Pixar – if it’s a superhero movie, I’ll watch it. I’ll watch the sequels, prequels, remakes, and I’ll read all of the articles online analyzing, hypothesizing, and adding to the storylines. I’ll rewatch my favorite movies, I’ll spend hours binging an

Shabbat Vayigash

By |2020-12-24T09:58:40-06:00December 24, 2020|

When quarantine is over, what is the first thing you plan to do?  Over the past months, I’ve heard a lot of comments about things people miss: restaurants, sports, movies, even a work commute. But the most common comment is the people we miss. Family, friends, annual trips to

Shabbat Vayetzei

By |2020-11-26T00:36:08-06:00November 24, 2020|

A moment of rabbi-behind-the-scenes: There are some parts of Judaism and Torah that are easier to find meaning in and connection with than others. Sometimes, I open up a Torah commentary and don’t need to read much past the first word to think of all the important connections it

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