Rabbi Amy Small
Rabbi Amy Joy Small was honored to become the Senior Rabbi of Ohavi Zedek Synagogue of Burlington, Vermont at the start of 2016. Her passion is helping others enjoy meaningful spiritual living through the rich heritage of Jewish wisdom. She is devoted to sharing Jewish ideas, values and practices with seekers from all backgrounds, while nurturing a loving, caring community devoted to repairing the world.
Previously, Rabbi Small worked in Jewish innovation by creating and directing Deborah’s Palm Center for Jewish Learning & Experiences in Morristown, New Jersey. Through Deborah’s Palm Center, Rabbi Small taught and facilitated Jewish experiences for adults, emphasizing questions from our everyday lives, explored through Jewish texts and ideas.
Rabbi Small has served congregations in New Jersey, Michigan and Indiana. She is a past president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, where she served on the board for many years. She is a fellow of Rabbis Without Borders and a Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute, a Storahtelling Maven, and was awarded a Doctor of Divinity, Honoris Causa, from RRC in 2012.
She recently served as Board President of The Partnership for Jewish Learning and Life of the Jewish Federation of Greater Metrowest, NJ. Rabbi Small served on the boards of the Jewish Federation of Greater Metrowest NJ, the Gottesman RTW Academy and the Board of Governors of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. She was a Vice Chair for the National JNFA Rabbinic Cabinet, and served on many national and local boards for Jewish and interfaith organizations, often representing the Reconstructionist movement. Rabbi Small was previously Dean of Academic Administration and Director of the Education Program at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. Among her varied interfaith activities, she co-taught Building Abrahamic Partnerships at the Hartford Seminary and recently visited Pakistan with the US-Pakistan Interreligious Consortium.
She was ordained from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 1987 and received an M.A. in Hebrew letters, and an M.A. in Education from Villanova University, following a B.S. in Education from Temple University, summa cum laude. Publications include a chapter in A Women’s Haftarah Commentary (edited by Rabbi Elyse Goldstein), and a story in the collection, Three Times Chai: 54 Rabbis Tell Their Favorite Stories (edited by Laney Katz Becker), and a chapter in the collection, Text Messages (edited by Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin.) Her blog, “Raviva” is found at: https://rabbiamyjoy.wordpress.com.
Kochava is thrilled to be joining Ohavi Zedek as the cantorial intern. Growing up in Freehold, NJ, she is happy to be in Burlington with its gorgeous nature and fresh air. She recently graduated from the University of Hartford with a degree in mathematics and secondary education, but feels that cantorial work is her calling. For the past two years, she has been working part time at OZ as a B’nai Mitzvah tutor, Torah reader, Shabbat service leader, and led High Holiday services in 2016. During college, she gained experience as a Hebrew School music teacher, Jewish Life Intern for Hillel, and as a Student Teacher in an urban high school in Hartford, CT. She has a passion for music, teaching, and life-long learning. As cantorial intern, Kochava will be leading Friday night and Saturday morning services weekly, tutoring B’nai Mitzvah students, teaching in the Hebrew School, leading musical programs, and assisting in pastoral care.