Clergy

Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb, D.Min.

Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb has served Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation--a thriving serious progressive community of nearly 500 households rabbi fred
in Bethesda, Maryland--for a decade, ever since his ordination from Philadelphia's Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. A Magna Cum Laude graduate of Brandeis University (1991) with a Doctorate of Ministry from Wesley Theological Seminary (2009), he has previously worked at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Conservative Camp Ramah in New England, CLAL (the Center for Learning and Leadership) in New York, and a student pulpit in St. Croix, USVI.

Now a Past President of the Washington Board of Rabbis, Fred is also active in interfaith, social justice, environmental, and Reconstructionist movement leadership. He currently serves as Chair of the national board of the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life and as Immediate Past Chair of Greater Washington Interfaith Power & Light and on the board of the Shalom Center. He has written adult education curricula about Israel; and contributes regularly to Moment Magazine among other publications. He lives in Washington DC with his wife Minna Scherlinder Morse and their glorious children, Sara and Gilad Scherlinder.

Wedding (and other Life Cycle) Officiation

Rabbi Fred's Sermons, 360s and Scroll Articles

 

Hazzan/Rabbi Rachel Anne Hersh

HazzanRabbiRachel2017Hazzan/Rabbi Rachel has served Adat Shalom since 1996, delighting in the growth and evolution of a community she first encountered in her own search for a spiritual home. She takes great pride in the community’s blossoming from a church basement to our own beautiful home and full, expansive program of maximal, progressive Jewish life, learning and service. In addition to her leadership from the bimah, she is active in the community as a teacher for adults and young people and as a pastor and life cycle leader.

An enthusiastic student of Jewish text, thought and practice, her academic and professional training includes Bachelor of Arts in Music and Master of Social Work degrees, both from the University of Maryland and a Master of Judaic Studies degree from Baltimore Hebrew University as well as years of private cantorial training. In 2002, she was invested as hazzan by the Cantors Assembly, the cantorial arm of the Conservative movement. In 2017, she graduated from the seminary program of ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal and was ordained as a rabbi. She is a devoted student, practitioner and certified teacher of hatha yoga and a curious explorer of full-bodied Jewish practice. Rachel and her husband, Jonathan Epstein, are the proud parents of three sons Gabriel, Gideon and Koby.

 Hazzan/Rabbi Rachel's Article - Receiving Torah in a Time of Growing Anti-Semitism

Hazzan/Rabbi Rachel's Article - Using Our Voices to Express, Comfort and Focus Ourselves

Rabbi George Driesen, Senior Scholar

Rabbi George Driesen is a founding Board Member of Adat Shalom. George George graduated from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in June 1999. He previously served as the Adjunct Rabbi of Temple Isaiah (Reform) in Columbia, Maryland (2000-2003) and as Interim Rabbi of the Columbia Jewish Congregation (Reconstructionist) in Columbia, Maryland (1999-2000). 

In addition to his work in the Jewish community, Rabbi George is an Adjunct Professor at the Washington Theological Union, a Catholic institution that trains aspiring priests and nuns. The Union also offers advanced degrees to Catholic laymen who intend to serve the Church in administrative, teaching and para-clergy roles. At the Union, George teaches "Judaism In New Testament Times," a survey of Jewish civilization from the Return from Babylonian Exile until the closing of the Mishnah.

George is pioneering a new initiative to bring science into Jewish religious life, a venture he has written about and began while serving as Adat Shalom's Interim Rabbi. He is the Director of Adat Shalom's Institute for Science and Judaism.

Rabbi George entered rabbinical school after more than 30 years' teaching and practicing law for the U.S. Government, unions, and individual employers. He was a member of the Board of Governors of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College from 1985 through 1999.

Rabbi George's Sermons and Scroll Articles

Founding Rabbi Sidney Schwarz

Rabbi Sid Schwarz is Adat Shalom's founding rabbi, serving the congregation for Rabbi Sid
its first eight years, from 1988-1996. He continues to provide spiritual leadership for Adat Shalom in a variety of ways including leading services, teaching and giving a sermon on the High Holydays.

Sid founded and led PANIM: The Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values for 21 years, an organization that is dedicated to inspiring, training and empowering the next generation of Jews to a life of leadership, activism and service.

Sid holds a Ph.D. in Jewish history and is the author of two groundbreaking books--Finding a Spiritual Home: How a New Generation of Jews Can Transform the American Synagogue and Judaism and Justice: The Jewish Passion to Repair the World. His newest book is Jewish Megatrends: Charting the Course of the American Jewish Future. In 2002 Sid was awarded the prestigious Covenant Award for his pioneering work in the field of Jewish education and in 2007 was named by Newsweek as one of the 50 most influential rabbis in North America. Sid is currently a senior fellow at Clal: The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership where he does trans-denominational training for rabbis.

He is also the director of the Rene Cassin Fellowship Program, a year-long fellowship program on Judaism and human rights for young professionals with hubs in New York, London and Jerusalem. Sid is married to Sandy Perlstein and they are the proud parents of Danny, Joel and Jennifer.

Rabbi Sid's Sermons and Scroll Articles

Adat Shalom Remembers Rabbi Ira Eisenstein, z"l
On July 1, 2001, funeral services were held for Rabbi Ira Eisenstein at Adat Shalom. It was ironic, painful, and yet somehow appropriate that the first funeral to be held in our new home was for Ira.

Eulogy delivered by Rabbi George Driesen
Eulogy delivered by Rabbi Richard Hirsh
Eulogy delivered by Rabbi David Teutsch