Three Washington-area rabbis were named by The Forward on its 2016 list of inspiring rabbis.
Included in list of 32 North American rabbis is Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt of Congregation B’nai Tzedek in Potomac, Rabbi Laura Holtzblatt of Adas Israel Congregation in Washington and Maharat Ruth Balinsky Friedman of Ohev Sholom: The National Synagogue, also in Washington.
The rabbis were nominated by members of their communities, who wrote why their nominee was inspiring.
“[Rabbi Weinblatt] is a rare rabbi who is able to blend the Jewish elements of secular life with the spiritual aspects that are crucial to me and my family,” wrote Iris Myles, one of several people who nominated Weinblatt.
Susan Barocas, who nominated Holtzblatt, wrote that her “deep wisdom and loving compassion, so far beyond her years, continue to inspire and connect so many of us to our community and our Judaism.”
“One of the first women to be ordained as a legal, spiritual and talmudic congregational leader, Ruth [Balinsky Friedman] changed what it means to be an Orthodox female in our community,” wrote Ariele Mortkowitz. “She is any girl’s role model and a testament to women’s equality in the beit midrash and in the eyes of God.”