The ALEPH Ordination Program Welcomes Rabbi Eva Sax-Bolder as Incoming Rosh Hashpa’ah

Eva Sax-Bolder Photo by Lisa Levart

It is with great delight that the ALEPH Ordination Program welcomes our colleague, Rabbi Eva Sax-Bolder, who will step up as our incoming AOP Rosh Hashpa’ah this month. As Rosh Hashpa’ah, Rabbi Eva will promote spiritual vitality and spiritual discernment for the seminary, our students, VAAD and Mashpia Faculty.

Rabbi Eva is the Rabbi of the Shul of New York, an inclusive post-denominational community in New York City’s East Village. As a spiritual leader and artist, she designs transformative learning and ritual opportunities to provide seekers with joyful and creative approaches to Judaism. Drawing on her skills as an artist, musician and dancer, she enjoys integrating the expressive arts into her rabbinic, spiritual direction and chaplaincy work. 

Rabbi Eva received rabbinic ordination in the ALEPH Ordination Program and now returns to serve the seminary as Rosh Hashpa’ah. A longtime spiritual director, trained through Lev Shomea, the first training program for Jewish Spiritual Directors, Rabbi Eva’s rabbinate and communal Jewish leadership have also been informed by her experiences in the Davvenen’ Leadership Training Institute (DLTI)Kol Zimra (Jewish Chant Leadership Program) and a variety of chaplaincy internships. She has earned certifications in Jewish Mindfulness Meditation teaching, Wise Eldering and Jewish Yoga through the Institute for Jewish Spirituality and is currently completing their two-year Clergy Leadership Program. An alumna of CLAL’s trans-denominational Rabbis Without Borders, Rabbi Eva is committed to meeting seekers and congregants where they are on their path to enriching their own spiritual formation. 

She is a graduate of the Gamliel Institute, the educational arm of Kavod v’Nichum, the Jewish organization of bereavement and is active in local hevra kaddishah committees.

A California native, Rabbi Eva currently resides in Manhattan with her husband, Larry. They are the lucky parents of two adult daughters. 

In accepting this appointment, she writes: 

“I am delighted and honored to serve as the next Rosh Hashpa’ah of the ALEPH Ordination Program. As a 2016 rabbinic graduate of the AOP, I have a great appreciation for our seminary and how I was supported throughout the process to become the rabbi I am today. 

Before entering the program, one of the qualities I most appreciated about ALEPH was the value placed on each student’s continuing spiritual formation. Having received my training as a Jewish spiritual director through Lev Shomea, I learned the value of having an ongoing relationship with a spiritual companion to explore my relationship with G-d and what it means to serve in the capacity as a midwife of the soul. 

What a privilege for me to be able to nurture and support our community in deepening their sacred relationships, individually and communally. 

I look forward to serving as Rosh Hashpa’ah in a variety of capacities. I am vested in the on-going success of our Renewal seminary, which I appreciate so deeply, and am committed to paying forward to contribute to the well-being of our students and faculty. I believe in Reb Zalman’s vision, transmitted through our beloved teachers and staff. We are a unique institution and I feel responsible for doing my part in supporting our mission for the future of Renewal Judaism. 

I hold great admiration for those who have been a part of the AOP Hashpa’ah Training Program and all the mashpi’im (spiritual directors). I am excited to be a member of the teams that serve our community in this holy task. 

Throughout the years, I have often referred to myself as a ‘holy shidduch maker,’ whether by introducing partners to one another, by connecting people within communities, and in my role as a mashpi’ah – a spiritual companion for seekers who are interested in exploring their relationship with The Divine. 

My rabbinate has been informed by my experiences as a spiritual director and as a direct-ee. In these roles I have discerned and discovered my path in each step of my life’s journey. I am committed to the spiritual well-being of those I serve in my daily interactions, as well as in my role as the Rabbi of The Shul of New York in New York City. Whether individually or in a group setting, my intention is to explore connections with the Divine through contemplative, compassionate listening and creating the sacred space to enrich one’s spiritual toolbox.  

I look forward to meeting our AOP students and applicants for the Rabbinic, Cantorial and Rabbinic Pastor programs at the AOP summer Intensive Study Retreat (aka ‘Smicha Week’) in the beginning of July, as well as interacting with the dedicated teachers and guides of the AOP and Hashpa’ah programs. 

May I continue to reflect the wisdom and vision of our beloved Reb Zalman, so gracefully modeled by my predecessors Rabbi Shoshama Weiner and Rabbi Nadya Gross.  

May the Source of Blessing inspire us to work together, aligning our aspirations and commitment to bring more peace, loving kindness and holy connections into our world.”