Rabbis Rooks Receive Doctor of Divinity Degrees

[Archived from May 22, 2009]

Rabbis Joe Rooks Rapport and Gaylia R. Rooks will receive honorary Doctor of Divinity degrees from Hebrew Union College at HUC-JIR’s Cincinnati Graduation ceremony on June 7 at Issac M. Wise Temple in recognition of their 25 years of service.

Both Rabbi Rooks and Rapport have served The Temple – Congregation Adath Israel Brith Sholom since 1988.

Rabbi Rapport received his Ph.D. in American Jewish History in 1988 and a Master of Arts in History in 1986 from Washington University in St. Louis. Rabbi Rapport was ordained at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati in 1984.

Within the Jewish community, he has served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Jewish Community Federation, and as president of the Kentucky Board of Rabbis and Cantors. He is a past chair of the Community Relations Council. Nationally, he is a contributor to Reform Voices of Torah, the URJ’s Torah Study and he was the chair of the Computers and Technology Committee of the Central Conference of American Rabbis.

Rabbi Rooks was ordained at HUC-JIR in 1984, and in May 2000, received her Doctor of Ministry degree from the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

At The Temple, Rabbi Rooks is involved in Social Action and outreach to people becoming Jewish and intermarried families in the congregation. She provides leadership for women through the Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ) and the annual Women’s Shabbaton (retreat.)

Her work with senior adults led her to create Senior University, an annual day-long series of seminars for senior adults. She also teaches a variety of adult education classes as well as classes in The Temple’s Religious and Hebrew School.

Rabbi Rooks directs worship and ritual and is responsible for all the music offered at The Temple. She has released a collection of original Jewish music on CD, “If You Will It…,” all proceeds from which go to The Temple Israel Future Fund, which helps send teenagers to Israel.

Rabbi Rooks has been an adjunct faculty member at Spalding University’s Graduate School Department of Religion, the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and Indiana University South-east. She also serves as vice-chair and founding member of STAR – Systematic Treatment of Autism & Related Disorders at the Weisskopf Child Evaluation Center, a division of the University of Louisville School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics.

Rabbis Rooks and Rapport are the parents of Yael and Lev Rooks-Rapport.


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