Ruth Sohn - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Ruth Sohn, Rabbi

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Director of the Leona Aronoff Rabbinic Mentoring Program; Rabbi of the Lainer Beit Midrash

HUC-JIR/Los Angeles

Rabbi Ruth H Sohn is Director of the Leona Aronoff Rabbinic Mentoring Program at HUC-JIR's Skirball Campus in Los Angeles where she also serves as Rabbi of the Lainer Beit Midrash. Ordained in 1982 by HUC-JIR, Rabbi Sohn received her MA in Hebrew Letters in 1980. Her Rabbinic Thesis was on the relationship between law and ethics in the Talmud.  A graduate of Yale University with a BA in History, Rabbi Sohn has also studied for multiple years at Hebrew University, the Shalom Hartman Institute and the Conservative Yeshivah in Jerusalem, as well as the Institute for Jewish Spirituality in the US.

Through the Leona Aronoff Rabbinic Mentoring Program, rabbinical students serving Student Pulpits are matched with rabbis in Los Angeles who serve as their Rabbinic Mentors and with whom the students meet monthly. With their mentors, students have the opportunity to discuss and reflect on any aspects of their current and future work as rabbis they would like to explore together. Rabbinic mentors meet together several times during the year to further develop their own learning and professional skills that relate both to mentoring and other aspects of their rabbinic work.

Rabbi Sohn is a trained Jewish Spiritual Director and co-directs the Morei Derekh Training Program in Jewish Spiritual Direction. She is an experienced teacher of Jewish meditation and mindfulness practice, and teaches in a variety of venues in Los Angeles.

Before coming to HUC-JIR in 2009, Rabbi Sohn served as a campus rabbi at Columbia University (1982-1987) and Boston University (1987-1992) and taught Jewish Studies at Milken Community High School in Los Angeles (1993-2008). 

Selected Publications and Edited Works

Crossing Cairo: A Jewish Woman’s Encounter with Egypt. Gaon Books, 2013. 

“Facing Pain, Facing My Fears,” Chapters of the Heart: Jewish Women Sharing the Torah of Our Lives, ed. Sue Levi Elwell and Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer. Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2013.

“Prelude to an Arab Spring,” CCAR Journal: The Reform Jewish Quarterly. Dec 12, 2011 

The Torah: A Women’s Commentary, ed. Tamara Cohn Eskenazi and Andrea Weiss. (Six pieces and member of the Editorial Board) URJ Press, December 2007. 

“Truth or Consequences: Mastering the Art of Rebuke” Reform Judaism Magazine, Fall 2007, Vol. 36, No.1. 

“No Time to Rush,” (short story) Dancing on the Edge of the World, ed. Miriyam Glazer. Jewish Lights, 2000.

"Verse By Verse: A Modern Commentary on the Book of Ruth," Reading Ruth, ed. Judith Kates and Gail Reimer. Ballantine Books, 1994.

Aronoff Rabbinic Mentoring Program
Public Lecture Topics
Crossing Cairo: A Jewish Woman Encounters Egypt
A Jewish Daughter Returns to Germany: Reflections on a Year Living and Teaching in Berlin
Opening the Heart: An Introduction to Jewish Meditation Practice
Bringing Compassion and Mindfulness into Daily Life: Introduction to the Jewish Practice of Mussar
Reaching Out and Reaching In: Hasidic Teachings on the Spiritual Quest
The Art of Personal Confrontation and Reconciliation: Jewish Law and Teachings from Rabbinic and Hasidic Tradition
The Power of Speech to Create and Destroy: Jewish Law and Teachings on Rebuke, Gossip, and Forgiveness
The Obligation to Respond: Jewish Law and Teachings on Poverty and Tsedakah
Out of the Garden: What it Means to be Human According to the Torah and the Rabbis