As leader of one of the largest Reconstructionist synagogues in the country, Rabbi Amy Bernstein has worked to create the welcoming community for others that she had longed for at an earlier age. Raised Orthodox, Bernstein left yeshiva at age sixteen to join a performing arts high school with a touring company. After earning a BA from Northwestern University in 1987 with a double major in literature and anthropology, she worked as a clinical supervisor at the Feminist Women’s Health Center in Atlanta for four years. Struggling to find her place in the Jewish community as an observant Jew and a lesbian, she began attending an LGBT synagogue and eventually began studying at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. After her ordination in 1997, she served as rabbi of Temple Israel in Duluth, Minnesota for fourteen years, during which time she also served two terms as president of the Arrowhead Interfaith Council. In 2010 she became associate rabbi of Kehillat Israel in Los Angeles, one of the largest Reconstructionist synagogues in the country, and was promoted to senior rabbi in 2014. Alongside her work as a rabbi, Bernstein performs as a member of the vocal group Three Altos.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Amy Bernstein." (Viewed on February 19, 2018) <https://jwa.org/people/bernstein-amy>.