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.

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,

Shabbat Tol’dot

By |2021-11-04T13:09:47-05:00November 1, 2021|

The phrase “standing on the shoulders of giants” has a long religious history. First documented in the church (though likely much older than the church itself) as describing the foundation of scholarship each generation has, it depicts the individual as a “dwarf” – small and individually limited,

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

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