As the rabbi for NOAM, the Masorti-Conservative Youth Organization in Israel, Claudia Kreiman modeled new ways for children to think about women's participation in religion. The daughter of a Conservative rabbi, Kreiman moved with her family from Chile to Argentina at age eighteen. After her mother died in the 1994 bombing of the AMIA center for Jewish life in Buenos Aires, Kreiman struggled with grief and volunteered at the synagogue where her mother had worked. Eventually, she traveled to study for a master's degree in Jewish education at the Schechter Institute for Jewish Studies in Israel, where she was ordained in 2002. That year she became both the rabbi for NOAM and the Israeli rabbinic fellow for Temple B'nai Jeshurun in New York, bringing the lively, experimental approach of the New York synagogue to Israeli teens. In 2007 she joined the clergy of Temple Beth Zion in Brookline, Massachusetts, where she became the senior rabbi in 2019.
Claudia describes her childhood in Santiago, Chile, and her experience as the daughter of a Conservative rabbi. After moving from Chile to Argentina and living there for four years, Claudia came to Israel when she was twenty-one for a one-year program at Haifa University. In Israel, she connected with the Masorti community, met a lot of rabbinical students, became an Israeli citizen, and earned her master's degree in Jewish Education from the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies. For three years, Claudia served as the Rabbi of NOAM, the youth movement of the Masorti movement in Israel, before moving to Boston with her husband, Ebn Leader. Claudia also discusses the death of her mother, who was killed in the AMIA Center for Jewish Life bombing in 1994, and the impact her mother's death had on her life, Jewish practice, and view of humanity. Claudia shares other personal crises and how her religion provided a framework for overcoming challenges. She talks about the goals and mission of her rabbinate at Temple B'nai Jeshurun. She aims to create "a model of Jewish education for families and children that is exciting, lively, and meaningful." Finally, Claudia reflects on her theology, work-life balance, and lessons she learned from her father.
How to cite this page
Oral History of Claudia Kreiman. Interviewed by Ronda Spinak. 30 March 2014. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on December 11, 2023) <https://jwa.org/oralhistories/kreiman-claudia>.
Oral History of Claudia Kreiman 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.