Rabbi Michelle Dardashti

by JWA Staff
Our work to expand the Encyclopedia is ongoing. We are providing this brief biography for Rabbi Michelle Dardashti until we are able to commission a full entry.

Rabbi Michelle Dardashti

Rabbi Michelle Dardashti is the first non-Orthodox Iranian rabbi in the United States. She comes from a complex, global Jewish background: her father is a traditional Iranian hazzan (cantor), while her mother is a secular American Jew and her husband is an Australian Jew. She grew up in Los Angeles, Baltimore, and New York and has also lived in Jerusalem and Uruguay. Rabbi Dardashti was ordained and received a Masters in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS). After ordination, she served as Marshall T. Meyer Rabbinic Fellow at Congregation B'nai Jeshurun in Manhattan and Director of Community Engagement at Temple Beth El in Stamford, CT, from 2011 to 2013. She has also worked as a hospital chaplain and studied community organizing, giving her access to some of the often-overlooked aspects of Jewish community. Dardashti served as the Rabbi of Brown RISD Hillel and Associate University Chaplain for the Jewish Community at Brown from 2013 to 2022. During her time at Brown RISD Hillel, Dardashti and her students collaborated on several social justice initiatives, including the Hillel Awareness for Racial Justice and the Narrow Bridge Project, a student discussion group focused on antisemitism and Zionism. In 2022 Rabbi Dardashti became the senior rabbi at Kane Street Synagogue in Brooklyn, NY, moving to New York with her husband, Nathan Sher, daughters Eden and Miya, and son Lavi. She was named to “NY Jewish Week’s 36 to Watch in 2023.” 


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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Rabbi Michelle Dardashti." (Viewed on May 19, 2024) <http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/dardashti-michelle>.