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Rabbi Stephanie Kolin joined the Just Congregations team this summer, serving as the Lead California Organizer and opening the west coast office of the URJ’s Just Congregations. Stephanie, a native of New York City, is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Brandeis University and was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. Stephanie was ordained as a rabbi in 2006 at the New York campus of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and achieved a distinguished record as a rabbinical student, receiving awards in Talmud, Liturgy, Human Relations, Commentaries, Halakhic Literature, Midrash and Bible, youth work, and contributing to the campus. Her rabbinical thesis, “Empathy, Equity and the Establishment: An Unclaimed Legacy of Social Justice,” explores the biblical and rabbinic worldviews of social justice and reflects her deep commitment to the Jewish expression of social justice. While in rabbinical school, Stephanie co-founded the Jewish Funds for Justice Rabbinical Student Fellowship for Leadership in Public Life and continues to serve as co-chair of the Fellowship Alumni Council. Upon ordination, Stephanie served as a rabbi of Temple Israel, Boston, where she guided the social justice community organizing and was rabbinic liaison to the youth program. In this capacity, Stephanie and her team organized on issues such as Access to Higher Education, Usury, Equal Marriage, Anti-Bullying Legislation, Transgender legislation, Healthcare, and other issues of shared concern. She was named as a Woman of Valor by the Jewish Funds for Justice and is included in a list that the Forward called: The Sisterhood 50: America’s Influential Women Rabbis.” Stephanie has a reasonable fear of bears and a less reasonable obsession with super heroes.