Rachel Gartner is a rabbi, dialogue facilitator, educator, and activist with deep roots in the work of performance for social transformation. She joined the core teaching team of In Your Shoes in 2019. Years prior, she served as Interim Artistic Director of TOVA: Theater of Witness for Social Change, through which she created and produced performances by members of Martin’s Run Life Care Center, PA and by teens of Yes! Theater, Media, PA. She is a dialogue facilitator and facilitation trainer for Resetting The Table, and holds certificates in dialogue facilitation from Sustained Dialogue Institute, DC and the Richmond Center for Conflict Resolution, IN. Rachel served as the Director for Jewish Life at Georgetown for 11 years, and is now the rabbi at congregation Shirat HaNefesh, Montgomery, MD. She is a past co-chair of T’ruah: Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, and works in various contexts in education and chaplaincy for those impacted by the US carceral system. In her rabbinic capacity, she has made multiple appearances on NPR’s A1 as well as one on CNN.
Rachel is a graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, an alumni of the Marshal T. Meyer Rabbinic fellowship of B’nai Jeshurun, NYC, and of the CRR rabbinic internship of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, NYC. She holds BA magna cum laude from Barnard College, where she focused her work and theses on gender, race, and class in post-modern and contemporary American dance.
Rachel’s performance, dialogic and rabbinic work are all powered by her trust that each love-inspired, mindfully approached, and artfully taken step in the journey towards justice and wholeness brings us closer to both, to our best selves, and to each other.