WESTCHESTER, N.Y. - Rabbi Daniel Gropper of Rye and Rabbi Abby Sosland of Greenburgh will join a group of 17 rabbis from across the country in the American Jewish World Service’s (AJWS) rabbinic delegation trip to India.
Rabbis Gropper and Sosland will travel on July 21 with AJWS to Lucknow in northern India on a 10-day trip, during which they will join with other national Jewish leaders and volunteers to reflect on connections between traditional Jewish teachings and human rights.
“We are deeply gratified to have leaders of Rabbi Gropper and Rabbi Sosland’s caliber as part of our rabbinic delegation to India,” said AJWS President Ruth Messinger. “Like the other rabbis traveling with us, (Sosland and Gropper) are tremendous leaders not only in their synagogues and organizations, but also in their local communities."
Gropper is the spiritual leader of Community Synagogue of Rye. Ordained in 1998 from Hebrew Union College, he served congregations in California and Massachusetts. He is a native of Vancouver, British Columbia. He and his wife Tamara and their three children, Elijah, Shai and Noa, live in Harrison.
"It is truly an honor to be part of this delegation," Gropper said. "To travel as part of an multi-denominational group under the banner of AJWS means that we will bring a sense of integrity and intentionally to our trip. I have been so impressed with the high level of thought that has gone into preparing us for this encounter. Being on the ground to busy our hands and to engage our hearts and minds will truly come to teach and inform me what an incredible organization AJWS is. I can't wait to share what I learn and experience with members of my community - both within the synagogue and beyond."
Sosland is the Morah Ruchanit (Spiritual Advisor) of the Solomon Schechter School of Westchester, where for the last 10 years she has been teaching courses in Talmud, Bible, prayer and the philosophy of the Messianic Idea in Judaism to high school students. She has taught courses at the Academy for Jewish Religion, City College of New York, the Bronfman Youth Fellowship in Israel, and the Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Education.
Sosland has also taught aerobics, Israeli dance, hip-hop and yoga, and she has hiked in a variety of places around the world, including summiting Machu Picchu and Mt. Kilimanjaro. Her teaching aims to integrate a wide perspective on sacred text and practice, combining serious study with personal spiritual experience.
"Upon returning from India, we know that they will draw upon their experiences in India to teach their congregants about the importance of the traditional Jewish value of respecting the essential dignity of every human being and how that relates to ensuring human rights for people in the developing world," Messinger said.
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