Since she was 8, Aviva knew she wanted to be a rabbi. An invitation from the new rabbi in her home shul to participate in services made her feel, even as a third grader, that her presence mattered and that she was valued.
Born in Boston, she grew up in a Philadelphia suburb, where she attended Jewish day schools. After completing her bachelor’s in Religious Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, she earned a master’s in Talmud and Jewish Law from Machon Schechter in Jerusalem and was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) in NYC in 2012.
While at JTS, Aviva taught Hebrew School at The Society for the Advancement of Judaism, completed a chaplaincy unit in Seattle, worked at Camp Ramah in the Poconos and led High Holiday services at Anshei Chesed on Cape Cod for three years. She also found time to be an EMT and ambulance driver for the Park Slope (Brooklyn) Volunteer Ambulance Corps, and to become a certified scuba diver. Aviva is proud to have been half of the first simultaneous daughter-father rabbinical student duo at JTS.
While studying for two years in Israel and interning in Masorti communities, Aviva met and married her husband, Ari. Before coming to Worcester, she served as Associate Rabbi and Director of Congregational and Jewish Learning at the Oceanside Jewish Center on Long Island. Aviva, Ari and their children, Hadar Ori and Idan Shalev, are delighted to have joined the Beth Israel family in 2014. Their third child, Maayan Nogah, arrived in 2015, to the delight of all.
Email Rabbi Aviva Fellman at email@example.com