Rhonda Nebel is thrilled to be the new Rabbi at Congregation B’nai Israel. In her capacity as Rabbi since July 2020, her main challenge is keeping our congregation connected in the face of the current pandemic. Rabbi Nebel formerly presided as Rabbi and Religious School Principal at Temple Beth Chai in Hauppauge, NY for sixteen years. Her husband Robert and their daughter Samara, who lives in New York city, are both delighted to be part of the CBI community.
Rabbi Nebel adapted very well to the transition to online Zoom services. Many people who attended on Zoom had been unable to attend services in person due to illness, disability or advanced age. Therefore, the Zoom method of holding services has proven to be advantageous to many. “We are learning how best to come together for our services and special occasions,” says Rabbi Nebel, who worked with the Ritual Committee on this project. “We are expanding our commitment to reach out to our congregants in a different way during this pandemic,” she explained.
Rabbi Nebel enjoys reaching out to new congregants to get to know them. She is passionate, enthusiastic and committed to strengthening Jewish knowledge, understanding, beliefs and practices within diverse communities.
Now that the Rabbi has acclimated herself to B’nai Israel, many activities are underway. For example, adult education classes are being held on Zoom. (See details above and watch for emails.) Also Rabbi Nebel holds monthly Zoom dinners. “We invite you to join us as we navigate the new normal of Jewish life in Danbury,” says Rabbi Nebel. “We are determined to plan interesting events that will ensure the safety of our congregants.” See details on upcoming events and celebrations in membership emails, our Kayruv newsletter, our Facebook page, and this website.
Rabbi Nebel has many years of leadership experience as head Rabbi and leader of religious and public education programs. Besides performing traditional rabbinic roles, Rabbi Nebel has developed and coordinated outreach programs to recruit new members and foster relationships within the surrounding secular and religious communities.
Besides her position as Rabbi at Temple Beth Chai, Rabbi Nebel served as Education and Youth Director at Congregation Beth El in New London for ten years. She fostered inclusion for inter-faith families and initiated programming to encourage participation from children, teens and seniors. Rabbi Nebel brings compassion to her work with children, whether teaching and coordinating Religious School or preparing students for their Bar or Bat Mitzvah.
Rabbi Nebel welcomes communication with congregants. She also welcomes ideas for Zoom events. Those who wish to speak with Rabbi Nebel can contact her through the CBI office at (203) 792-6161 and leave a message, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. She is available every day except Wednesday and Saturday.