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Rabbi Zelony moved to Texas to become the first female rabbi in the Conservative Movement to lead a synagogue in the entire state. Rabbi Zelony is a participant of Leadership Richardson for the 2016/2017 year. This program builds leaders in the Richardson Community. She serves on both the Steering Committee of the Richardson Interfaith Alliance as well as the Rabbinical Assembly’s Rabbinic Education Committee, a group dedicated to providing opportunities for Conservative rabbis in the field to continue learning and growing.
Prior to moving to Texas, she worked as an Assistant Rabbi at Shearith Israel in Atlanta where she advocated for ending domestic abuse by working with the Faith Advisory Team of the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence. She also served as the Director of Congregational Learning at Congregation Beth Sholom in San Francisco. Rabbi Zelony began her path to the rabbinate at the Pardes Institute in Jerusalem, where she first engaged in serious Jewish text study. She received ordination from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in 2009. She also holds a Master’s Degree from American Jewish University’s Graduate Center for Jewish Education. She is also an alumna of Rabbis Without Borders.
Rabbi Elana Zelony fell in love with Conservative Judaism because of the relationship it weaves between tradition and change. She feels rooted in rituals and Jewish law even as they constantly evolve to reflect the modern world. She finds the low level of American Jewry’s engagement in traditional Judaism fascinating and sees it as an opportunity for new innovations much like those that lead to the beginning of the Conservative Movement. As the founder of Conservative Judaism Solomon Schechter said, “The norm as well as the sanction of Judaism is the practice actually in vogue.” In order to better serve the Jewish people during this transitional time, she has completed certificates in grant writing, non-profit management, and a fellowship with Rabbi’s Without Borders; a pluralistic organization dedicated to addressing the issues of 21st Judaism.
Rabbi Zelony was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She makes her home with her husband Adiv and their two children, Nesya and Magen. She is an avid reader of poetry and enjoys keeping healthy by running, practicing yoga, and creating vegetarian cuisine for her family and friends.