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Temple Beth El

Offering Conservative Jewish worship since 1935

83 Chestnut Street/POBox 383
Oneonta, NY 13820
Phone: (607) 432-5522
Email: TBEOneonta@gmail.com

Rabbi Molly Karp

Rabbi Molly Karp is a deep listener, a skilled counselor and a pluralistic rabbi, passionate about teaching Torah, Hebrew and many other facets of Judaism. In her view, a rabbi is someone who provides warm and gentle support and who listens with compassion. “Deep Listening,” a practice she learned at the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, allows her to listen to another person and be fully present without trying to control or judge. Rabbi Karp is a person you can talk to; when you speak to Rabbi Karp and she asks, “How are you?” she really wants to know.

Rabbi Karp is devoted to teaching the texts and rituals of traditional Judaism, and to finding contemporary spiritual meaning and joy in them. In her approach, she instantly creates an atmosphere of acceptance. One of her very first acts when she became our rabbi was to bring the lectern off the bima and close to the congregation, literally and figuratively closing the gap between rabbi and congregants. As well, she invited us to ask questions at any point during the service. “Questions? What kinds of questions?” “Any questions” she replied.

Rabbi Karp is warm, scholarly, yet committed to an egalitarian practice of Judaism and to social justice.  She is a student and practitioner of the very positive Jewish Renewal movement, a view of Judaism that reconnects modern Jews to the spiritual practice and traditions of Judaism.  Evidence of her success has been the huge swell in attendance at potluck dinners, services, classes and other programs both on Friday nights and Saturday mornings. You want to be at Rabbi Karp’s services and other events because they are inclusive, intellectually stimulating, and community-building.

Rabbi Karp’s ability to be an on-the-bima rabbi (leading the service) and off-the-bima rabbi (facilitating discussions among worshipers) during Shabbat services reflects her unique approach to congregational Judaism.  She is uniquely qualified to wear the many hats needed to support and nurture the Temple Beth El family.

Rabbi Karp grew up on New York City’s Lower East Side.  She attended twelve years of modern Orthodox day school in Manhattan, spent some time working and studying in Israel while in college, and graduated from SUNY Binghamton with a BA in Judaic Studies.  Rabbi Karp earned a Master’s degree in Religious Education from the Reform Seminary, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. Following that, she spent ten years in doctoral studies in Hebrew Bible at the Jewish Theological Seminary, the Conservative seminary in New York, prior to being ordained as a rabbi in 2010 after some years of study at the Academy for Jewish Religion in Riverdale, NY.

When she is not in Oneonta, Rabbi Karp serves as a faculty member and Director of Student Life at the Ivry Prozdor High School of the Jewish Theological Seminary, and teaches Torah, Hebrew, Bible and other aspects of Judaism to teens and adults in a wide variety of venues.

Rabbi Karp is the proud mother of two adult sons, Adam and Jonah, who live and work in Denver. She can be reached at rabbimollykarp@gmail.com. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to her with questions or concerns, or simply to introduce yourself to her. She greatly looks forward hearing from you.