Margie Klein Ronkin

Rabbi Margie Klein Ronkin used her experience in Jewish political activism to become a social justice rabbi.  She graduated cum laude from Yale and received rabbinical ordination and a master's from Hebrew College in Newton, Massachusetts.  Klein Ronkin is the founder of the Moishe Kavod House in Boston, a community of over 600 Jews in their twenties and thirties dedicated to Tikkun Olam.  She strives to use art, social justice, and spirituality to enhance the Jewish community and help those around her create progressive change that ensures collective happiness.  Klein Ronkin serves as a rabbi for the Congregation Sha'arei Shalom in Ashland, Massachusetts.  She is the clergy and leadership development director for the Essex County Community Organization. 

Scope and Content Note

Klein Ronkin describes her Jewish upbringing and experience at a Jewish day school in New York City.  She recounts her parents' work establishing the school and their active involvement with the local Jewish community.  Margie details her path to the rabbinate and says she knew her Jewish social justice and activism would be most effective as a rabbi.  Rabbi Klein Ronkin explains the dilemma between working on the political side or the clergy side after organizing a JERICO, Jews for Equal Rights in Immigrant Communities.  A vivid prophetic dream, where God encouraged her to help the immigrant community, ultimately encouraged her to become a rabbi.  She explains how she combines her passions for Judaism and activism and what being a social justice Rabbi looks like.  Margie founded Moishe Kavod House to support social justice initiatives in the Jewish community.  Through Moishe Kavod House, she created and oversaw a healing group for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.  These conversations shaped Rabbi Klein Ronkin's efforts to spread awareness in hopes of changing the culture around sex and sex education in the Jewish community.  Finally, Klein Ronkin reflects on her understanding of God and when she feels God's presence.  

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How to cite this page

Oral History of Margie Klein Ronkin. Interviewed by Lynne Himelstein. 11 March 2014. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on February 29, 2024) <http://jwa.org/oralhistories/klein-ronkin-margie>.

Oral History of Margie Klein Ronkin by the Jewish Women's Archive is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://jwa.org/contact/OralHistory.