Announcing Or Ami’s New Rabbi

We have exciting news!

Following Rabbi Julia Weisz’s decision to complete her time as our rabbi and become an Or Ami congregant, our Board – led by then President Craig Steinhauer – and our Rabbinical Search Team – chaired by Marla Landis – engaged in an international search for a successor.

We assigned the Rabbinical Search Team a daunting task: finding an inspiring individual who could complement our current clergy, partner with our Education Team, and, most importantly, serve as a spiritual leader of our diverse community. The Search Team was urged to think broadly, even to imagine a new kind of clergy structure that would propel our growing synagogue into an exciting future.

Through an intentional process, under the auspices and guidance of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Search Team returned an innovative recommendation. Our Board unanimously and enthusiastically agreed.

We are thrilled to announce that we have engaged Rabbi Lana Zilberman Soloway to join our clergy team and be the second rabbi at Congregation Or Ami.

Rabbi Lana was ordained in Israel at the Shalom Hartman Institute, a pluralistic rabbinical seminary and, will receive a second rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, the Reform Movement’s rabbinical seminary, in November. She also earned a Masters in Education from the Spertus Institute in Chicago. Learn more about Rabbi Lana here.

It’s important to note that Rabbi Lana has been a part of the Or Ami family for more than eight years. Since 2015, Rabbi Lana has served as a member of Or Ami’s distance learning teams. She led several multigenerational and adult Or Ami tours to Israel, Eastern Europe, and Italy, where participants of all ages fell in love with her “immensely warm heart, magical storytelling, endless compassion, depth of character, and illuminating spirit” – a direct quote from trip participants. She has also served as our scholar-in-residence twice, most recently for a week this past February.

Rabbi Lana becomes rabbi to our youth and family educational programs, partnering in an exciting new way with Kesher Principal Rachel Altfeld Fox and Youth Engagement Coordinator Andrew Fromer in the development and expansion of our growing programs. She will deepen our Center for Adult Jewish Learning, instituting a women’s Rosh Hodesh group and adult retreats, and doubling our Wisdom Wednesdays, Shabbat Torah study, and Holy Day learning opportunities. She will bring complexity and nuance to our understanding of and relationship to Israel and the broader Jewish world.

We are excited to welcome Rabbi Lana, her husband Daniel, and their three children, to our community. She will arrive in the area in a few weeks, ready to begin work in late August.

We want to express our heartfelt appreciation to our Rabbinical Search Team – Chair Marla Landis, Brad Cohan, Erin Mayer, Hugh Roberts, Richard Rutkin, Wendy Tirsch and Craig Steinhauer, as well as Rabbi Paul Kipnes, and our consultant Rabbi David Fine – for completing the monumental task of ensuring our legacy and future. We also thank the Central Conference of American Rabbis for providing a clear process, which our Team followed fully, to bring us to this shehecheyanu moment.

Baruch Ata Adonai Eloheinu Melech haolam, shehecheyanu v’kiyemanu v’higianu lazman hazeh. We thank the Holy One of Blessing, for giving us life, keeping us grounded, and leading us to this holy moment.

If you have any questions about our process and decision, please do reach out.


Rabbi Paul Kipnes
Marla Landis, Rabbinic Search Team Chair
Richard Rutkin, President
Craig Steinhauer, Immediate Past President



A Note from Rabbi Lana: 

Dear Congregation Or Ami,

Words cannot describe how excited, happy, humbled, and blessed I feel joining this holy community and our incredible clergy team.

I was fortunate to be able to meet many of you over the last eight years of travel experiences both in Israel and in Europe, as well as engaging in deep learning when I visited Or Ami the first time six years ago and then again last February.

I  feel a deep connection to Or Ami’s unique Torah learning, beautiful music, inspiring educational vision, and to its sense of justice and tikkun olam (repairing the world) that is illuminating the world.

I am so excited to start this new journey together with Rabbi Paul, Cantor Kyle, Rachel, Andrew, the tireless Board of Directors, and the entire Or Ami team.

I can’t wait to meet all of you and build meaningful lifelong relationships.

Or Ami always felt like home to me, and I am very grateful for the opportunity to make Or Ami both a spiritual and physical home for me, my husband Daniel, our children Talya Doron (8½ years old), Shalev (6½), Yahel (3½), and my mother Marina.

I am looking forward to entering a partnership with all of you, learning, sharing, and supporting you during your joys and sorrows, being active to create a more just society, and strengthening connections to the State of Israel and to the entire Jewish people as a whole.

I would like to thank Rabbi Paul and Michelle, Cantor Emeritus Doug and Gail, Marla Landis and the entire Rabbinic search team, all board members, president Richard Rutkin and immediate past president Craig Steinhauer, and all my dear friends for your ongoing support throughout this process.

See you soon,

B’ahava (with love)

Rabbi Lana Zilberman Soloway