Rabbi Jill is a rabbi living and teaching Jewish spirituality, meditation and mindfulness. She is the founder and executive director of the Jewish Mindfulness Network (JMN.) She was ordained in 2009 from Hebrew Union College and is a graduate of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality’s Rabbi’s Cohort mindfulness program as well as a certified Jewish Mindfulness instructor.
She received a Masters of Education in 1980, with a specialty in group and organizational process and growth. Prior to moving to Los Angeles to attend rabbinical School, she had a career as an organizational development consultant and teacher/trainer. She and her husband Ely were active lay leaders in their synagogue in Seattle where they lived with their two sons. Ely and Rabbi Jill created a lay-led Shabbat Torah study group that is still vibrant fourteen years later. Rabbi Jill was President of Sisterhood and Vice Chair of the Capital Campaign Committee. She served on the National Board and Executive Committee of the Women of Reform Judaism.
As a person who searched everywhere else except her own backyard for wisdom and spirituality, Rabbi Jill was lucky enough to study with Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, who opened the world of Jewish mysticism, Chasidic texts, and Torah study to her. At that moment, she became immersed in Jewish study and practice, deciding to devote the “second half” of her life to Jewish teaching and learning and helping others find the joy and meaning she had found in Jewish texts, rituals, and community.
At age 47, Rabbi Jill went to rabbinic school and her family moved to LA (first Jerusalem) for the adventure. Rabbi Jill has served congregations and Jewish organizations both in the States and in Israel. She was Assistant Rabbi at Temple Emanuel in Beverly Hills (Director of Building Community and Membership), Temple Beth El in Riverside and Etz Rimon in Carlsbad, CA.v In Jerusalem, she worked at the World Union for Progressive Judaism, assisting them in carrying out their Strategic Plan.
Personally, Rabbi Jill has a love of gardening and earned a certificate as a Master Gardener while in the Pacific Northwest. She loves to knit, dance and is an avid photographer. She has an insatiable love of reading and books. Rabbi Jill is originally from Skokie, Illinois.
The JMN connects people locally and around the country interested in the principles of mindfulness through a Jewish lens. The vision is to bring Judaism alive through learning, dialogue, meditation, study, gardening, cooking and MAINLY building relationships of trust and depth.
In addition to teaching, Rabbi Jill officiates at weddings and funerals, baby naming and house blessings. She can be reached at email@example.com or on her two Facebook pages: The Jewish Mindfulness Network and Rabbi Jill Berkson Zimmerman .