Lexi Erdheim, student rabbi at Gates of Prayer in Metairie, will be hanging around after graduation.
Gates of Prayer President David Dulitz announced that Erdheim will become the congregation’s new assistant rabbi, after her upcoming ordination at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles.
For the past year and one-half, Erdheim has been interning with the congregation, including leading Shabbat services, working with Religious School students, teaching Chevra Torah on Saturday mornings and being part of the congregation’s Take Out Judaism home-based classes.
She also has been working with TRIBE, the congregation’s young adult outreach group that has services and programs mostly off-property.
Erdheim “has proven herself to be an engaging teacher, an inspiring leader, and a strong and passionate spiritual guide,” Dulitz said. “We are blessed to welcome her into the Gates of Prayer family.”
As assistant rabbi, he said, she will help with the full range of worship, pastoral, and lifecycle responsibilities while focusing on her current work with the youth and young adult engagement, and social action programming. She will also work at the Henry S. Jacobs Camp during the summer, where she has been education director since 2015.
Originally from Livingston, N.J., Erdheim majored in religion at Barnard college, where her thesis was on media representations of Mormons during the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.
She was co-director of the Columbia/Barnard Interfaith Collective, an organization focused on creating interfaith understanding and dialogue on campus and interned for World Faith, an international interfaith organization aimed at fostering dialogue through action. She also was Israel Advocacy intern at T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights.
During her studies, she was student rabbi at a congregation in Amariillo, Tex., for two years.
Erdheim will be in Metairie this weekend for Sisterhood “Sock” Shabbat, and the congregation will announce future opportunities to get to know her better.
Rabbi David Gerber is senior rabbi at Gates of Prayer, finishing his first year with the Metairie congregation. With this coming summer’s departure of Rabbi Matthew Reimer at Temple Sinai and Rabbi Alexis Berk at Touro Synagogue, he will become the longest-tenured Reform senior rabbi in New Orleans.