Being in Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld’s presence is like a gift…the way she holds space, the way she listens, the way she’s open, the way she’s fun and caring. She’s brilliant and kind and doesn’t take herself too seriously in a way that is so inviting and open.– Rebecca Weintraub, Rabbinical Student
Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld became President of Hebrew College in July 2018, after being appointed President-Elect in fall 2017 and serving as Acting President from January-June 2018.
Rabbi Anisfeld first came to Hebrew College in 2003 as an adjunct faculty member of the Rabbinical School and then served as Dean of Students from 2005-2006. She went on to serve as Dean of the Rabbinical School for eleven years, from 2006-2017.
Rabbi Anisfeld graduated from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 1990, and subsequently spent 15 years working in pluralistic settings as a Hillel rabbi at Tufts, Yale and Harvard universities. She has been a regular summer faculty member for the Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel since 1993 and is co-editor of two volumes of women’s writings on Passover, “The Women’s Seder Sourcebook: Rituals and Readings for Use at the Passover Seder” (Jewish Lights Publishing, 2002) and “The Women’s Passover Companion: Women’s Reflections on the Festival of Freedom” (Jewish Lights Publishing, 2002). From 2011 to 2013, she was named to Newsweek’s list of Top 50 Influential Rabbis in America. In 2015, Rabbi Anisfeld was named one of the 50 most influential Jews in the world by The Jerusalem Post.
She writes and teaches widely, weaving together Torah, rabbinic commentary, and contemporary poetry and literature in her wise and compassionate approach to the complexities of the human experience and the search for healing and hope in a beautiful but fractured world.
As we are buffeted daily by news of violence, cruelty, ignorance, and intolerance in our nation and around the world – I am grateful to be part of an institution where love of teaching and learning – love of Torah – is at our core, and where we strive to make our study an act of sacred service to a world in need of healing and hope.Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld