Rabbi Boris Dolin
Rabbi Boris Dolin joined Dorshei Emet in June 2016.
Before serving as the rabbi of Dorshei Emet, Rabbi Boris was the rabbi of Beit Polska, the Union of Progressive Congregations in Poland, where he led a multi-congregational community working to help rebuild Jewish life in Poland. For four years he worked as the associate rabbi and educator at Temple Beth Israel in Eugene, Oregon and previously was a nursing home chaplain and university Jewish student advisor in the Philadelphia area. Rabbi Boris has extensive experience working with children and young families has been a songleader and music teacher at various camps and synagogue supplementary schools in addition to being a popular storyteller at local libraries and children’s programs.
Rabbi Boris is a graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, and holds an M.A. in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he focused his studies on informal and community education, and worked as an educator at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, a Living Museum of the Holocaust.
Rabbi Boris is passionate about helping to create participatory and holistic Jewish communities, where learning is intergenerational and a part of Jewish life both inside and outside of the synagogue. He works to ensure that all people with a Jewish connection, including the unaffiliated, interfaith and questioning, find ways to connect to and learn from our tradition and see the importance of community in an ever changing world. As a musician, he infuses his services and programs with music from the different denominations and from various cultures and world communities, creating participatory, joy-filled prayer experiences for all.
Rabbi Boris joins Dorshei Emet with his wife Sarah Dolin, a fellow educator and community leader. They have three children, Elijah, Ezra and Nehama.
Learn more about Rabbi Boris and hear some of his music at his website:
Rabbi Boris in the News
Openness to creativity and change is where Montreal’s only Reconstructionist Congregation will be headed in the coming years, if its new Rabbi has his way.
American-born Boris Dolin, who was completing a year serving liberal Jewish communities in Warsaw, Poland when he was hired, wants the doors to the Hampstead congregation opened wider as it faces demographic and other challenges.
Eugene rabbi helps restore Jewish identity in Poland
After being crushed by the Nazis and further diminished by Soviet-era communism, it hardly seems likely that Warsaw, Poland, could nourish anything resembling a thriving Jewish community today. And yet, support for Jewish culture is emerging from some very unlikely sources. Last summer, Eugene’s Rabbi Boris Dolin and his wife, Sarah, left Oregon to accept … Continue reading
MONTREAL – Leading a discussion on whether Montreal’s sole Reconstructionist synagogue should allow interfaith weddings is one of the first and thorniest tasks Rabbi Boris Dolin expects to undertake in his inaugural year as spiritual leader of Congregation Dorshei Emet.
The hills are alive with the sound of… prayer chants? They are when Rabbi Boris Dolin takes eager groups of hikers out of Temple Beth Israel and into the merry woodlands surrounding Eugene. Influenced by his Oregon upbringing, a cult of forest-screaming rabbis in Israel and a dozen other sources, Rabbi Boris decided in the … Continue reading
Rabbi Sherril GilbertRabbi Educator
Rabbi Sherril Gilbert joined the Dorshei Emet family in fall 2016 as Rabbi Educator, working with Rabbi Boris and the DE leadership to create dynamic programming and services for all the members of our growing community.
She is the founding rabbi of B'Nai Or, the first Jewish Renewal community in Montreal, and brings her joy, music, never-ending energy and love of outreach into her work. Her education is in chaplaincy, rabbinics and spiritual direction at the ALEPH Alliance for Jewish Renewal and the Mesifta Adas Wolkowisk seminaries which provided an invaluable base for her work.
Jewish Renewal is a worldwide movement (not a denomination!), where a contemporary Judaism is envisioned, one that is joyous, creative, inclusive, spiritually rich, socially progressive, and earth-aware.
A message from Rabbi Sherril:
I am very honoured to have had numerous influential Reconstructionist rabbis and spiritual leaders as my teachers over the years. I also feel privileged to have received training towards my chaplaincy ordination, as the first Jewish student at Queen’s Anglican Theological College Supervised Practice of Ministry program in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. I was founder and spiritual leader at B’nai Or Community Shul, which was located at the YM-YWHA for four years.
My part-time position at Dorshei Emet as Rabbi Educator focuses primarily on service leading, teaching, and outreach. Other duties include working with Rabbi Boris, staff and board on synagogue-wide events, initiatives and visioning; and participating in helping to make Dorshei Emet a welcoming, inclusive and accessible community for all. My secular education includes a graduate degree in Human Systems Intervention, with a focus on organizational, congregational and community development. My work in the nonprofit and Jewish communal sectors gave me experience with marginalized populations, focusing on food security, seniors, poverty, and mental health. This knowledge and training laid the ground work for my teaching activity at Champlain College, where I work part-time as a content specialist in Special Care Counselling. My daughter Danya Miriam is married to Thierry, and they have given me the precious gift of a granddaughter named Seraphina.
Rabbi Ron Aigen Z”l
Rabbi Ron Aigen, the spiritual leader of Congregation Dorshei Emet since 1976, had a passion for promoting creative Jewish pathways for human fulfillment. His most recent interest was in the development of the Wise Heart Project: Jewish Wisdom for Everyday Living. Combining mindfulness meditation practice together with Jewish texts and rituals the Wise Heart Project offered two new programs this year: Parenting as a Spiritual Journey and Wise-Aging.
Rabbi Ron was a Fellow of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, and a Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. He had served as President of the Montreal Board of Rabbis; President of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association; and Chair of the Montreal Federation’s Commission on Continuity and Culture.
A native of Brooklyn, New York, he received his Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Harpur College, SUNY Binghamton and his Masters of Arts in Family Therapy and Community Psychology from Temple University. Rabbi Aigen was a graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and was awarded a honourary Doctor of Divinity in 2001.
Rabbi Ron’s publications included Siddur Hadesh Yameinu/ Renew Our Days: A Book of Jewish Prayer and Meditation, Mahzor Hadesh Yameinu: A Prayer-Cycle for Days of Awe, and Wellsprings of Freedom: The Renew Our Days Hagaddah; Community and the Individual Jew: A Festschrift in Honour of Lavy M. Becker; and chapters in Bar/Bat Mitzvah Education: A Source Book describing the Dorshei Emet Pre-B’nei Mitzvah and Family Education Program which he developed.
Rabbi Ron was married and the proud father of three children. You can read Rabbi Ron’s Divrei Torah Diary on his blog.