Rabbi Deborah McKenzie

Rabbi Deborah McKenzie has served as a Jewish spiritual leader and counselor for more than 20 years.  She works interfaith and people of faith who seek to enhance or add a Jewish spiritual perspective to their understanding and experiences.

As lifelong learner, Rabbi Deborah enjoys studying and engaging on the Tanach and wisdom of the Rabbi to find practical relevance and application for today’s reality.  She also enjoys examining scientific principles within the texts.  Her love of Torah and teaching she attributes to her parents and their tenacity to provide a strong Jewish and spiritual foundation amidst during a time when being African-American and Jewish was unique in the African-American, Jewish, and Christian communities.  Nevertheless, it is in living and learning at the intersection of diverse perspectives that established multiple bridges of understanding and cooperation that continues to reinforce her faith and supports her work with all people of faith.

She learned of the Jewish Spiritual Leaders Institute (JSLI) and Jewish Universalism in 2013 after an internet search for rabbinic online learning resulted in JSLI and Sim Shalom.  She logged onto Sim Shalom website for a  Friday Kabbalah Shabbat Service with founder and Dean Rabbi Blane and that was it.  In January 2015, she fulfilled her childhood dream when she was ordained a rabbi through JSLI.  She streams weekly Ma’ariv services for Congregation Sim Shalom.

Rabbi Deborah also has a BA and MS in Bioanalytical Chemistry.  She resides in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC where she also is a senior director at AOAC INTERNATIONAL where she implements processes for voluntary consensus standards development and conformity assessment programs for analytical test methods used in global food safety and public health.

Website: Rabbi Deborah McKenzie