Rabbi Nicki Greninger '08 is a wonderful example of an HUC-JIR alumna who is particularly engaged through her rabbinate and work in the field of education in ways that have inspired young people and youth professionals toward HUC-JIR. Read her story, learn about her achievements, and hear how she finds joy in helping others find meaning in their lives.
Rabbi Nicki Greninger was born and raised in Denver, CO, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth College with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Human Development and Teaching. She was ordained in 2008 at our New York campus, where she also earned a Master of Arts in Religious Education. Rabbi Greninger won numerous awards at HUC-JIR, including those for Bible, Midrash, Hebrew, Talmud, liturgy, homiletics, Jewish education, and social action. Rabbi Greninger is especially passionate about liturgy, prayer, worship, and ritual, and her article “Believing, Behaving, Belonging: Tefillah Education in the 21st Century” in the Journal of Jewish Education is currently used in Jewish education classes throughout the country. In November 2012, Rabbi Greninger was a recipient of the prestigious Pomegranate Prize by the Covenant Foundation, giving her national recognition as a ‘passionate emerging leader’ in the field of Jewish education. Rabbi Greninger is on the Leadership Team of the Presidents Rabbinic Council of HUC-JIR, and is a Co-Team Leader of Professional Learning for the Association of Reform Jewish Educators (ARJE). Rabbi Greninger is married to Dr. Daniel Greninger, and they have three children - Oren, Lila, and Gavi.
I have always loved teaching. In my current role as Director of Education, I have the incredible opportunity to work with kids, teens, and adults of all ages, and I find great joy in helping people find meaning and purpose in their lives through Jewish education and Jewish traditions. Moreover, it is deeply meaningful for me when I get to help encourage a young person to consider a career as a Jewish professional - whether they might think about becoming a rabbi, cantor, Jewish educator, or involved in Jewish nonprofit leadership. Sometimes this encouragement takes the form of mentioning to a middle school student that I think he or she ought to think about being a rabbi someday. Other times it is encouraging one of our religious school teachers to consider becoming a Jewish professional full-time. Judaism would not thrive without strong leaders, and I am always on the lookout for who has the potential to become the Jewish leaders of tomorrow. I love what I do, and love sharing what I do with others who might consider going down this path!