Rabbi Leana Moritt joined the Roosevelt Island Jewish Community as our Rabbi and Spiritual Leader in the fall of 2007.
Rabbi Moritt is known for her thoughtful sermons, which draw lessons for active Jewish observance and spiritual meaning from Torah. Her leadership of services creates an atmosphere of warmth, participation and enrichment. Her focus on adult education serves to deepen our understanding of Jewish tradition, celebration and history. In teaching our children, Rabbi Moritt emphasizes the personal connection to our global community.
Rabbi Moritt has also served as the Director of Jewish Outreach at the 92nd Street Y and more currently, Thresholds: for the Jewishly Curious and the Union for Reform Judaism in the area of Interfaith Outreach. There she is known for her ability to transmit a Judaism which is accessible, joyful and traditional yet relevant and modern. Through her work with programs at these institutions, she has been guiding Jews, interfaith couples, families and Jews by choice toward more meaningful Jewish lives and a deeper understanding of Judaism since 2001.
Rabbi Moritt has also trained as a chaplain at the Hackensack University Medical Center, where she currently sits on their Interfaith Pastoral Care Committee. She offers spiritual care to the elderly at home under the auspices of Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest’s Joint Chaplaincy Committee.
An active teacher and leader in the Jewish community in and around New York and New Jersey for many years, she has taught as scholar-in-residence and on the faculty for countless communities, including the Melton Adult School of Judaism. She has been on the faculty of the Aleph Beit Midrash since 2009, where she teaches aspiring clergy in their preparatory program.
Professionally, Rabbi Moritt is a CLAL Rabbis Without Borders Rabbinic Fellow, a member of OHALAH, the Association of Rabbis for Jewish Renewal, ARC, The Association of Rabbis and Cantors; The North Jersey Board of Rabbis and the National Association of Jewish Chaplains. She is also a trained Hebrew Chant Leader through Kol Zimrah.
A native New Yorker, she was ordained in 2008 by the Academy for Jewish Religion in New York, the nation's first Jewish pluralistic seminary. She was ordained the following year by Rabbi Zalman Schechter-Shalomi and Aleph: The Alliance for Jewish Renewal. She is also a graduate of New York University's Gallatin Division. Prior to becoming to her work in the Jewish community, Rabbi Moritt had a successful 10-year career as Director of Production at Arista Records where she oversaw production of albums by many artists, including Whitney Houston, Kenny G, and The Grateful Dead.
Rabbi Moritt is the mother of three delightful young men and lives in West Orange, New Jersey.