September 25, 2020 - Rabbinic Reflection: Rabbi Yael Splansky
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Yael Splansky is the Senior Rabbi of Holy Blossom Temple, Toronto’s first synagogue.
From the Boston area, she came to Toronto in 1998 after ordination from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio. She served as Assistant Rabbi for two years, concentrating on youth and young families, then as Associate Rabbi from 2000-2013. She became the thirteenth Senior Rabbi of Holy Blossom Temple in 2014. Under her leadership, the congregation enjoys a Renewal of Space and Spirit, opening its doors to news spaces on the first night of Chanukah, 2018.
Rabbi Splansky completed her undergraduate studies in Anthropology and Jewish Studies at Indiana University in Bloomington and at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Her rabbinical thesis is entitled, “All is Foreseen and Freewill is Given: A Debate in Rabbinic Literature.”
She is a past chair of the Reform Rabbis of Greater Toronto, currently serves on the Executive of the Toronto Board of Rabbis, and is a Vice President of the Central Conference of American Rabbis. She also sits on the President’s Rabbinic Council of Hebrew Union College. Two distinct highlights of her leadership in the Reform Movement were leading Shabbat Services for 5,000 people at the URJ Biennial in 2015 and
giving the Ordination Address to the Class of 2018 at the historic Isaac Meyer Wise Temple.
Rabbi Splansky is committed to life-long learning. She attended the Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business for certification in management for clergy. She studied for two years with the Institute for Jewish Spirituality and is now a Rabbinic Fellow of The Shalom Hartman Institute of Jerusalem.
She is the editor of a prayerbook, Siddur Pirchei Kodesh, author of the Union for Reform Judaism’s “Reform Voices of Torah: 2012 Commentary on Deuteronomy,” and monthly contributor to The Canadian Jewish News.
Rabbi Splansky demonstrates the power of multi-faith responses to terror through Rings of Peace and commitment to interfaith relations by serving on the Canadian Council of Bishops and Rabbis. In 2020 she will teach Judaism to students earning a certificate in interfaith dialogue from St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto.
Her husband, Professor Adam Sol, is an award-winning poet and teaches Literature and Creative Writing at The University of Toronto. Together they raise their three sons.
Rabbi Splansky has the unique privilege of being a fourth-generation Reform Rabbi.
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