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Rabbi Rachel Schmelkin is an Associate Rabbi at Washington Hebrew Congregation. Prior to joining the clergy team at WHC in July 2023, she was the Director of Jewish Programs at the One America Movement and a rabbinic fellow at Temple Micah in Washington D.C. where her primary role was as a worship music leader.
Rabbi Schmelkin served as Associate Rabbi at Charlottesville’s Congregation Beth Israel from 2016-2020. During her time in Charlottesville, she was active in Charlottesville’s interfaith and social justice community. She was an involved member of the Charlottesville Clergy Collective, Congregate C’ville, The Women’s Clergy Circle, and the One America Movement. She received Truah’s “Action Under Fire Award,” for her work during and after the 2017 Unite the Right Rally. In September 2022 she was honored as a Uniter at the inaugural United We Stand Summit at the White House for her work crossing divides.
She received her bachelor of arts in psychology and Jewish studies from Indiana University at Bloomington with minors in Hebrew and history. She was ordained through Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and was a recipient of the Tisch Rabbinical Fellowship. Rachel is married and has a son, a daughter, and a sweet rescue dog.
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