Campus Ministry Appoints Director for Jewish Chaplaincy
Published: Friday, April 15, 2011
Updated: Friday, April 15, 2011 05:04
Rabbi Rachel Gartner will become the new director of the Jewish Chaplaincy on Aug. 10, according to Campus Ministry.
Gartner has served both as a campus spiritual leader and a professor for the past five years on college campuses. Beginning in 2009, Gartner was the rabbi and executive director of Hillel at Miami University of Ohio. Prior to holding that position, Gartner worked as an instructor and adviser to student groups at Earlham College and Ball State University.
Gartner said she is excited to move to Washington with her five-year-old son and her husband, who is an author and professor of creative writing.
"The heart and soul of what I do is the work I do with students. I'm very excited to meet the Jewish students and all the students at Georgetown," Gartner said.
Vice President for Mission and Ministry Fr. Philip Boroughs, S.J., said that the search committee dedicated to finding a new rabbi to fill the position of the Jewish Chaplaincy was composed of faculty, staff and students.
"Rachel Gartner is an articulate, passionate and engaging rabbi whose pastoral skill, interpersonal warmth and creative ideas really captured the imagination of the search committee and the various constituencies with whom she interviewed," Boroughs said in a press release.
Gartner will be the second director of the Jewish Chaplaincy at Georgetown and the first woman to hold the position when she replaces Rabbi Bruce Aft, who served as the interim Jewish Chaplaincy director during the 2010-2011 school year.
The previous director of the Jewish Chaplaincy, Rabbi Harold White, retired at the conclusion of the 2010 spring semester after 40 years in the position. White was the first rabbi hired at a Catholic university.
Executive Director of Campus Ministry Fr. Kevin O'Brien, S.J., spoke highly of Gartner.
"She is a dynamic and energetic young woman, perfect for a college campus, with rich intellectual and spiritual contributions [to make]," he said.
Students hope that Gartner will be able to increase student involvement in programs run by the chaplaincy and other Jewish student organizations.
"My hope for the Jewish Chaplaincy is to have more involvement around campus and to have more people aware," Jay Factor (COL '14) said.
In the release announcing her appointment, Gartner said she looked forward to serving the university community.
"Georgetown's Jesuit tradition of educating the whole person and its appreciation of spiritual inquiry makes it a profoundly exciting atmosphere in which to imagine spending many years contributing as well as growing, both personally and professionally," she said.
Gartner graduated from Barnard College in 1993 and received her degree from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 2002.