Rabbi Rain Zohav was born in Chicago and grew up in New Jersey, Kansas, and California. Her mother taught sociology at a community college in CA and her father worked as a Professor of Psychology at Long Beach State College. Her parents taught her both a love of learning and a passion for social justice. As a young adult she made Aliyah (pilgrimage) to Israel to live on a kibbutz (intentional community), where she worked as a landscape gardener. Back in the states, she began working as a Jewish educator and later as a director of the Peace Center in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Rabbi Rain has worked in the Jewish community for more than thirty years, first as a teacher in supplementary Sundays Schools and then for the past twenty years as the Education Director of a variety of Jewish schools ranging from the Reform movement to a Jewish Humanist Sunday School to an independent Shabbat School. She received her B.A. in Philosophy and Religion from Mary Baldwin College’s adult degree program, receiving their adult degree award. Rain earned a Master’s degree in Jewish Studies from Gratz College, receiving several awards for her scholarship. She was recently ordained by the Aleph Alliance for Jewish Renewal and graduated from the chaplaincy internship program at Sibley Memorial Hospital/Johns Hopkins where she continues to provide a therapeutic storytelling program in the rehabilitation unit.
Three biological children, plus three former foster children, make her a proud mother of six. Her love of learning and teaching also continues in the Educating for Spirituality Project of Aleph: https://aleph.org/programs/educating-for-spirituality
She is regularly published in the Washington Jewish Week, in the D’Var Torah (Bible commentary) section. In addition to her role at IFFP, she is also the Education Director at Shirat HaNefesh, an independent Jewish congregation which meets in Chevy Chase. In her spare time she enjoys reading, listening to music and being in nature. She is thrilled to begin her rabbinic life with IFFP. Interfaith work is a part of her bigger vision of working toward peace and justice in the world.
Email Rabbi Rain at RabbiRain@iffp.net