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Bios for Assistant Rabbi Candidates

Rabbi Elisheva Salamo

A San Francisco native, Rabbi Elisheva Salamo finds creating and growing congregational community to be rich and exciting. Personal connections mean a lot to her, and she hopes she has helped guide her flocks into deeper spiritual, intellectual and joyful engagement with Judaism. She has extensive teaching experience, with a sweet spot for Bat and Bar Mitzvah students. Other professional endeavors have brought her to serve our elders, children with learning challenges, and battered women. A strong proponent of peace through understanding, she currently sits on the Silicon Valley Intereligious Council, and participates in an ongoing interfaith Palestine/Israel discussion group. Very few days go by without creating textile art. Active in a number of dog sports, you will never find her completely free of canine hair. The most important people in her life are her 15 year old daughter, Amalya, and her mother.

Rabbi SAM Luckey

Born and raised in Oakland, SAM Luckey is a rabbinical student at Hebrew College in Boston anticipating ordination this June. In addition to rabbinic studies, they are specializing in Spirituality and Social Justice Leadership and are completing a Certificate of Sacred Jewish Music. SAM is honored to be in the SVARA Teaching Kollel — a two-year program to train queer Talmud teachers in the uniquely accessible and empowering pedagogy of SVARA: A Traditionally Radical Yeshiva. On the east coast SAM has worked at a wide range of Jewish communities, from Renewal and Reform to Conservative.

SAM grew up within the Kehilla community and was a participant in JYCA. As a young adult, they were a member of Kehilla’s board of directors, including three years as a co-chair. More recently, they had the opportunity to serve as Kehilla’s first rabbinic intern in the spring of 2018. SAM also took part in launching the Belonging and Allyship Project, Kehilla’s racial justice initiative, and co-founded Glitter Kehilla, a welcoming Jewish community for people in their 20s and 30s.

Before starting rabbinical school, SAM was a professional circus performer for more than a decade, and they continue to practice and teach hand-balancing. SAM loves to dance at the intersections of physicality and Jewish ritual and study, continually exploring what it means to embody Torah in community. They currently teach Hebrew school, Hebrew, Talmud, Torah Theatrics, and Circus of Torah classes to 3rd through 11th graders.

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