Maharat Rachel Kohl Finegold is the Director of Education and Spiritual Enrichment at Congregation Shaar Hashomayim in Montreal, one of Canada’s largest synagogues. The first Orthodox woman to serve as synagogue clergy in Canada, Rachel has been the driving force behind many new initiatives to engage young families in synagogue life, and has spearheaded new offerings for young professionals in their 20s and 30s. She previously served as a member of the clergy of Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel Congregation in Chicago, is a graduate of the Drisha Scholars Circle in New York, and received her B.A. in Religion from Boston University. Rachel participated in the Clergy Leadership Incubator (CLI), a two-year fellowship to help rabbis become transformative change agents in the communities that they serve. Rachel is a board member of BJEC (Bronfman Jewish Education Centre) and serves on the editorial board of the JOFA Journal. In 2018, she received the Brenda and Samuel Gewurz Award for Jewish Educational Leadership. Rachel lives in Montreal with her husband, Rabbi Avi Finegold, and their three daughters.
Maharat Ruth Balinsky Friedman is a member of the inaugural class of Yeshivat Maharat. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband Yoni and their sons Ezra and Joebear, where she serves as Maharat at Ohev Sholom - The National Synagogue. Maharat Ruth’s responsibilities include overseeing the conversion program, directing the mikvah, providing pastoral counseling, teaching in the community, and more.
Maharat Ruth is deeply committed to working to ensure that Jewish communal structures provide sensitivity and support to individuals and couples struggling with fertility challenges, and she is honored to serve on The Red Stone Advisory Committee.
She is a proud member of both the Chicago and Washington Boards of Rabbis, and she sits on the Executive Committee of the board of the International Rabbinic Fellowship, of which she is also a member. Maharat Ruth is also a founding member of the Beltway VAAD.
Rabba Abby Brown Scheier is an educator, school administrator, and Jewish community volunteer in Montreal. Abby holds a degree in Religious Studies from York University; and pursued an M.A. in Bible at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is a popular Torah teacher in the Montreal community, she works as a private tutor of Biblical Studies, and she runs a program for students of bat mitzvah age. Abby established a supplementary education high school of which she serves as principal, and is active in multiple capacities at Congregation Shaar Hashomayim, the synagogue of which her husband is the Senior Rabbi. Abby is married to Rabbi Adam Scheier, and together they have five daughters.