Rabbi Arielsq  Rabbi Ariel Stone has been Shir Tikvah’s spiritual leader since the congregation’s founding. A caring and vibrant leader, she is an exceptionally knowledgeable teacher of Torah and a recognized scholar of Jewish mysticism.

Rabbi Stone is also currently the chair of Hesed Shel Emet (the Oregon Jewish Indigent Burial Society), Rabbinic mentor for TischPDX  and Convener of Portland Interfaith Clergy Resistance. She serves as adjunct faculty with the Judaic Studies department at Portland State University.

Background

A native of Orlando Florida, Rabbi Stone studied at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem and New York (1986-1991).  After two years at Temple Beth Israel in Miami Florida, in 1993 she accepted the invitation of the World Union for Progressive Judaism to teach and organize in Ukraine. She guided Congregation HaTikvah of Kiev and assisted in the establishment of progressive congregations throughout Ukraine that continue to flourish today. Between 1996-2001, she was associate rabbi at Congregation Beth Israel in Portland. In 2001 she was awarded a two-year fellowship at the Mandel School for Educational and Social Leadership. From 2003 to the present, she has served as the independent Portland east side Congregation Shir Tikvah’s Rabbi. In 2010, she completed her doctorate at the (non-denominational) Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies under the direction of Dr. Byron Sherwin.

Rabbi Stone served as Oregon Board of Rabbi’s President from 2007-2009 and 2015-2017. In that capacity she co-founded Oregon’s Jewish indigent burial society Hesed Shel Emet, contributed to the recreation of the Portland Jewish Free Loan, helped to lead the creation of Portland’s new community mikveh Rachel’s Well, and led in the creation and filling of a new position of Portland Jewish Community Chaplain. In 2017 she became the convener of the Portland Interfaith Clergy Resistance, supporting efforts for police reform in the city of Portland and bearinf moral witness in the streets during protests. In 2018 she led the creation of an innovative outreach to unaffiliated Jews called TischPDX. She has served as adjunct faculty at Portland State University and Willamette University of Salem, Oregon. In 2018 she was honored to be the recipient of the City of Portland Human Rights Commission’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Publications:

Rabbi Stone is the author of many rituals and articles. Her book Because All is One is an invitation to modern Jews to discover the relevance of mysticism and traditional Jewish community. The forthcoming Alef-Bet of Death: Dying As A Jew is a spiritual guide to those facing death.

A Message From Rabbi Stone

“In 2001 I was asked if I would be willing to serve a new congregation in Portland, Oregon, which was formed the previous year by a group of adults who were deeply interested in Torah study.  I was excited by the prospect of guiding and learning with a group of Jews who wanted to actively participate in shaping the kehillah kedoshah (sacred community) in which they would share and support each other on their spiritual paths.

It is a joy to be the Rabbi of this shul, because Shir Tikvah continues to be a congregation which recognizes that Jewish identity and practice is supported by Jewish study, for themselves as well as for their Rabbi. Members and friends join for study of central Jewish sacred texts — Torah, Talmud, and Midrash — two to three times each week. Members reliably take on the responsibility for reading Torah and haftarah, they take care of those who are ill or otherwise in need, and, most importantly, they are astonishingly generous with their time and talents in support of the kehillah‘s leadership needs.”

I am privileged to share in the leadership, guidance and support of this wonderful group of Jews.”