Rabbi Susan Shankman has been a Rabbi at Washington Hebrew Congregation for more than 20 years, she was elected senior rabbi in August 2022. Her vision is a commitment to creating a caring, compassionate, inclusive community that provides opportunities to pursue deep Jewish learning as well as joyful worship and holiday observances. At the heart of her rabbinate is a focus on social justice, outreach to interfaith families, and a dedication to ongoing dialogue with the interfaith community. Rabbi Shankman was ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2001.

The first female President of the Washington Board of Rabbis, Rabbi Shankman has also served on the boards of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) and the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. She is currently a board member of Jewish Women International, serves on JWI’s National Clergy Task Force on Domestic Abuse, and is chair of the CCAR’s Admissions Committee, among other areas of community involvement. In 2006, Rabbi Shankman was honored with JWI’s Women to Watch Community Leadership Award, and in 2014, she received the Matthew H. Simon Rabbinical Award from the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.

As a rabbinical student at HUC-JIR in Cincinnati, Rabbi Shankman served student pulpits in Valparaiso, Indiana, and Columbus, Mississippi, providing their sole rabbinic support. She worked as an intern in the Youth Programs Department of HUC-JIR and was also an intern in the Outreach Department of HUC-JIR. Upon ordination, Rabbi Shankman received the Ferdinand M. Isserman Prize, an award recognizing her contributions toward the development of community relations. Rabbi Shankman received a Master’s Degree in Religion from the University of Chicago Divinity School in 1992. She graduated from Dartmouth College in 1991, having majored in History and Religion. Prior to rabbinical school, Rabbi Shankman was Regional Director of NFTY-Long Island and Assistant Director of URJ Eisner Camp. She has served as regional rabbinic advisor to NFTY-MAR and spends time each summer on the faculty at URJ Camp Harlam.