Rabbi Karen Becker-Marcelo took her passion of Judaism, working with people and teaching, to it’s culmination, by receiving smicha from the Jewish Spiritual Leadership Institute in January 2017. As a member of Union of Jewish Universalist Communities (UJUC), she embraces the doctrines of Jewish Universalism including encouraging ‘Interfaith families and all people to participate in our Jewish worship and rituals.’Rabbi Karen is a rabbi at SimShalom Online Synagogue,a Jewish Universalist online synagogue, leading weeknight Ma’ariv services.
Her family was not religious, but had a strong Jewish identity. Born and raised in New York, this identity was the impetus for her to learn. At Queens College in Flushing NY, Rabbi Karen continued her studies in Conversational Hebrew (her professor was the grandson of David Ben-Gurion) and studied history, in particular history of the Jewish People and Israel. Upon graduating in 1977, Karen put a backpack on her back and lived on a kibbutz, where she picked grapefruits while studying in the Ulpan and touring the country.
With an MS in History/Secondary Education, Rabbi Karen taught for 32 years in the private and public schools of New York City. When her son was ready to begin Hebrew School, Rabbi Karen and her husband became very involved in their synagogue in Westchester NY. She was hired to teach there and this was the beginning of almost 2 decades of teaching in various Jewish Synagogue schools. Her subjects range from Hebrew (various levels), history of the Jewish people, prayers and Jewish Ethics and Values, to all age levels.
She was on several Synagogue and Religious School Boards in NY. Rabbi Karen was also a director on the Jewish Council of Yonkers. Now living with her husband in South Florida, she continues to teach Hebrew School and is a director at Tree of Life Chaverim in Lake Worth Florida.
Website: Rabbi Karen Becker-Marcelo