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 Noach

By |2022-10-26T15:43:43-05:00October 26, 2022|

If I had to pick my favorite Jewish superhero, it would have to be Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, aka RaMbaM, aka Maimonides. Maimonides was born in the mid-12th Century in Spain. Forced to choose between conversion, exile, or death by the fundamentalist rulers of the time, young Moses fled

Shabbat Chukat

By |2022-06-27T14:29:12-05:00June 27, 2022|

The Torah is filled with bits and stories that our rational sides have trouble coming to terms with. Logically we know a sea could not suddenly split to allow a nation to walk across the bottom sands. Plagues as divine punishment and riches as divine blessing are not easy

Shabbat Nasso

By |2022-06-07T09:46:39-05:00June 2, 2022|

This week in the Torah portion we are introduced to one of the most frequent blessings gifted or received in the Jewish community. At weddings, at b’nai mitzvah, at baby namings, at transitional moments, you name it – we probably use this blessing during that ritual. The blessing is

Parashat Kedoshim

By |2022-04-29T10:26:57-05:00April 27, 2022|

If you were to try to define the word holy, without using Google or a dictionary, where would you start? Would you talk about a time in your life where you experienced holiness? Would you talk about God? Would you use high-level words like “sanctity” and “consecrated?” How would

Parashat Sh’mini

By |2022-03-24T13:19:28-05:00March 24, 2022|

While our tradition may be filled with wonderfully unanswerable questions, our Torah is filled with unasked questions. What happened before God began creating? Why did the citizens of Babel wish to reach heaven with their tower? What was Isaac thinking as his father bound him for sacrifice? What did

Shabbat Yitro

By |2022-01-19T09:21:10-06:00January 19, 2022|

This week, we are reminded that external success and internal struggle can, and do, happen simultaneously and are at the core of who we are as Jews and as individuals. For some of us, this is nothing new – we experience professional and social successes (promotions, marriages, kids, etc.)

Shabbat Vayechi

By |2021-12-15T16:33:26-06:00December 13, 2021|

The story in midrash goes:  As Jacob lay on his deathbed, God came to him and showed him a preview of his end. Knowing that his family worried over him, Jacob called them to his side to share with them his revelation. He said to them: “Please, my children,

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 Re’eh

By |2020-08-12T12:42:22-05:00August 12, 2020|

There is a story frequently told about the differences between Rabbis Hillel and Shammai – two wise and scholarly leaders of the early Jewish community. A potential convert comes to both of them stating "If you can teach me the whole Torah while standing on one foot, then I’ll become

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