Home > Clergy > Rabbi Deborah Megdal
I am deeply grateful to be in a community of joyful energy, profound commitment to tradition, and enduring love for each other. I am honored to hear your stories, to learn with you, and to be present with you for life’s paths.
Rabbi Deborah Megdal joined the Beth El community as our associate rabbi in August of 2021. She also serves as a fellow on the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards, which sets policy for the Conservative Movement, and on the editorial committee of Masorti: The New Journal of Conservative Judaism.
After growing up in Los Angeles, she graduated from the University of Chicago as a member of Phi Beta Kappa with degrees in History and Gender Studies. In her first career, she earned her J.D. at Yale Law School, clerked for a federal judge, and worked in commercial litigation and international arbitration at a Manhattan law firm.
Rabbi Megdal was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary, where she also earned a master’s degree in Talmud and Rabbinics, a Certificate in Applied Halakhah, and academic prizes in Talmud and Jewish Law. She previously served Congregation Beit Simchat Torah in New York City, the largest LGBTQ synagogue, and completed a chaplaincy rotation in hospice. She has been a guest speaker at Fordham University’s Center for Jewish Studies and the Israeli Embassy.
Rabbi Megdal lives with her partner, Karen Benezra, and their rescue dog, Bennie Zahav. Their family is grateful for the warm embrace from our community.
We welcome newcomers and returning regulars to our discussions of law, theology, history, and culture from ancient times to the modern day. Join Rabbi Megdal in studying the first major collection of written rabbinic law, the Mishnah. Codified around 200 CE, the Mishnah is the foundation for the thousands of years of law that followed. Open to those of any background or experience level. Texts are accessible on Sefaria.org with side-by-side translation and links to commentary. Click here to sign up (you only need to register once).
Have a quick question or want to stop in to say hello? Need to talk for a little longer or require non-emergency pastoral care? Please email Sara Greenbaum to schedule an appointment.
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