Rabbi Alyson Solomon is proud to serve as Rabbi Educator at Temple Beth Israel in Eugene, Oregon, Directing our Talmud Torah experience and cultivating Community Education at TBI. A native of Portland, Oregon, Rabbi Solomon was influenced by her grandparents’ love of Israel and her parents’ sense of awe. She is a traveler, lover of text, swimming and soulful living.
Rabbi Solomon is passionate about Judaism as a vibrant wisdom tradition and technology of meaning-making. To her, spirituality consists of asking questions that matter, then living courageously in line with what we hear.
As Phi Beta Kappa from Occidental College with an advanced degree in International Human Rights, Rabbi Solomon worked at Amnesty International’s UN Office. She is passionate about the intersection of Jewish texts and action and served as Executive Assistant to past President, Ruth Messinger, of American Jewish World Service in New York.
Rabbi Solomon was ordained by Hebrew College Rabbinical School in Boston and has served Jewish communities and congregations in Santa Barbara, Venice Beach, Cape Town and San Diego. Most recently, Rabbi Solomon served as the Rabbi of Beit Chayim Chadashim in Los Angeles, the world’s first LGBTQIA+ synagogue.
Rabbi Solomon is a global thinker and wrote her thesis on Argentine journalist Jacobo Timerman, studied the Jews of Bombay as a Richter International Fellow and consulted on HIV/AIDS education while living in rural Zimbabwe. She shares her Salty-Torah vlogs, skills as a change-management consultant, sacred-maker, yoga instructor and Courage Coach at thisisRAS.com.
Please reach out with any questions and or ideas related to Talmud Torah or Community Education at Temple Beth Israel – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about Rabbi Solomon
I have been blessed to travel and live abroad, studying places and people, their stories and mine—from the Jews of Bombay, the desaparecidos of Argentina, and the child soldiers of Uganda. All of these worlds led me to look closer at my own narrative, my own texts, my own urgent call to be of service in the world. There is a Hassidic story about a person who looks the world over only to find treasure buried underneath their own home. For me, each place I travel and each community I have the privilege to serve leads me further home, into deeper understanding of myself, in greater dialogue with the world around us. This is my eleventh year as a rabbi. I’ve been part of 1250-member-unit congregations, served as a street rabbi in Venice, CA, traveled to Cape Town as a rabbi and strategic advisor, written a $20-million-dollar business plan to engage young adults in Los Angeles, and have had my own coaching and consulting practice at thisisRAS.com for seven years. Each day I aim to grow as a soul and a rabbi; in other words, I’m still becoming.
I love to teach people how to learn. By learn I mean how to sense their own questions, articulate them, and then find the Jewish conversations—both ancient and contemporary—that might bring enhanced meaning, depth and vitality into their lives. Some favorite topics I love to teach include: prayer, mussar , theology, ritual design, meditation, and Torah yoga. A few of the voices I like to share are: Rabbi Arthur Green, Dr. Tikva Frymer-Kensky, Dr. Aviva Zornberg, Rabbi Alan Lew, and Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapira, to name a few.
My mentors are many, thank Gd. I am blessed to have extraordinary teachers who have shared their passions and love of life and learning with me. Ruth Messinger, past President of American Jewish World Service, is one of my mentors. Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, though I never learned from him directly. Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld, President of Hebrew College Rabbinical School in Boston, my seminary, and her brother Rabbi Steve Cohen, my first senior rabbi with whom I worked in Santa Barbara
The name that calls me forward to teach, lead and rabbi with the greatest amount of courage, purpose, and pride is Rabbi Solomon. Whether this comes out of the mouths of little ones or my elders, Rabbi Solomon places me strongly in my ancestral line, inspired by the commitments of my grandparents, dedicated to continuing to learn and grow so I can teach. I recognize there is a culture of Rabbi + First Name at TBI, and I honor it. I also know that Rabbi + Last name, for me, feels the most inclusive of who and why I am who I am. I also grew up with Rabbi + Last name and believe there’s tremendous dignity, which I aspire towards, in the opportunity of “Rabbi” both for the person striving to be one and the person calling upon one.