Rabbi Sydney Danziger
Rabbi Sydney is Masa Seattle's Founding Rabbi. She has a wealth of experience within progressive Jewish communities across the United States, from a Classical Reform Congregation in Cincinnati, to a pluralistic, non-denominational community in Seattle, Rabbi Sydney has experienced much of the best that the progressive Jewish community has to offer. Most recently Rabbi Sydney was the Senior Rabbi at Temple B'nai Torah, a mainline Reform congregation in Bellevue, WA. Prior to that, she was the Rabbinic Fellow at the Kavana Cooperative, a non-denominational Jewish Emergent Network community in Queen Anne. It was at Kavana that Rabbi Sydney began to dream of what a 21st Century Jewish community could look like, but even before heading off to rabbinical school, she recognized that many established Jewish institutions were not expressing the full beauty or harnessing the transformative power of Judaism. Masa Seattle was born out of many years of asking the question "what if" and finding people throughout the country who were willing to experiment with her towards a never-before-imagined Jewish future.
Raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Rabbi Sydney attended New York University and the University of New Mexico, graduating with a degree in Political Science and Journalism. After graduating from college, she had the opportunity to participate in a Birthright Israel trip and visit the Jewish homeland for the very first time. After her 10-day trip, she remained in Israel and studied modern Hebrew at an ulpan in Haifa for four months. After returning to the US, she became a labor union organizer for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. In 2006, she became the Director of National Initiatives for the Birthright Israel Foundation, where she worked with Jewish young adults who were looking to strengthen their ties to their local Jewish communities. This experience eventually inspired her to apply to rabbinical school in 2008.
During her time at HUC-JIR, she interned at a variety of synagogues and Jewish organizations, from Temple Shaaray Tefila in New York, to Congregation Albert in New Mexico and Hillel at UCLA. As a student, Rabbi Sydney was the recipient of the coveted Schusterman Rabbinical Fellowship. Following her ordination in May of 2013 from the HUC-JIR Los Angeles campus, she served as an Assistant Rabbi at Temple Isaac M. Wise in Cincinnati for three years.
Rabbi Sydney loves living in the Pacific Northwest, surrounded by trees, water and mountains. Having been raised in a desert, she enjoys listening to the rain while snuggling on the couch with her husband, Ben, 5-year-old son, Jacob, and their two beautiful golden retrievers, Mel and Izzy. When she is not teaching Torah, she is an interior design and renovation enthusiast and is often engrossed in a new construction project at her home in Kenmore.
Rabbi Sydney would love to meet with you! Click HERE to access her online scheduler.