Sue Shankman

What people call you: Rabbi Susan

Congregation: Washington Hebrew Congregation

Location: 3935 Macomb Street NW Washington DC 20016

Denomination: Reform

Ordained from: Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion

What do you love most about your work? On a daily basis I experience the blessing of creating and strengthening personal relationships to God and Judaism. I love that I am blessed to be able to share meaningful spiritual moments and have the opportunity to connect with people at pivotal moments in their lives. It is a sacred privilege to share in their spiritual, personal experiences, whether those moments happen to be a life cycle event, or tefillah at Hebrew School, or conversation over coffee.  Each moment is an opportunity to connect to tradition and faith, to learn and to teach, to celebrate and praise.

How is Judaism valuable in your life? Judaism is the foundational structure that supports what I do on a daily basis—how I live my life. It provides the framework for how our family interacts with each other and how we view the world. Judaism provides the answers to our basic and big questions, and through ritual and observance elevates the mundane aspects of our life to a level of holiness and celebration. Becoming a rabbi is something I felt called to from a very early age. I was raised in a rabbinic family, with a family history that traces rabbis in each generation (with the exception of my parents’) dating back to the 13th century. It is the “family business” so to speak. I grew up in my grandfather’s congregation, and experienced Judaism through the lens of devotion and service to God and the Jewish people.

Programs/Services you run/offerWeddings and other Lifecycle Events, Group Learning, One on one Learning Opportunities, Conversions, Shabbat Services, Holiday Services, Couples Classes, Young Family opportunities, Adult B’nai Mitzvah, Counseling