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Reproductive Rights Shabbat

Temple Emanu-El is proud to host Reproductive Rights Shabbat, a program of the NCJW, the National Council of Jewish Women. We will be welcoming Rabbi Dr. Linda Henry Goodman, who will preach about abortion justice during our service. After the service, Rabbi Goodman will join Andrea Salwen Kopel, Executive Director of NCJW NY, for an in-depth discussion about the critical work of NCJW. A special oneg in Wise Hall will follow services.

Rabbi Dr. Linda Henry Goodman is no stranger to Temple Emanu-El.  During her senior year at Hebrew Union College in New York, she served here as a rabbinic intern, and then upon her ordination in 1985 she became the first woman to serve on the rabbinic staff as Assistant Rabbi.  She then went on to serve a congregation in West Hempstead, Long Island, and as Hillel Director at Adelphi University.  She also joined the Jewish Studies faculties of Molloy College and the NY Theological Seminary.  In 1992 she was called to the pulpit of Union Temple of Brooklyn, where she served with devotion for 26 years until her retirement in 2018, when she became Rabbi Emerita.

As a native New Yorker, she was particularly honored in 2012 to become the first woman to be elected President of The New York Board of Rabbis.  She is also a Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem.  She holds a Master of Arts in Hebrew Literature, a Doctor of Ministry degree, and an Honorary Doctor of Divinity, all from Hebrew Union College.

Rabbi Goodman has long been a champion of women’s rights, outspokenly fighting to promote and protect reproductive choice and health care access for women in New York State and throughout the country. She served on the national board of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, has participated actively in Reform Jewish Voice of New York State, and serves on the Clergy Advisory Board of Concerned Clergy for Choice in Albany, a partner organization of Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts.   She also has been an activist in the movement to reach an equitable conclusion to the Kotel Agreement – the Western Wall in Jerusalem – and has been an active member of Women of the Wall, virtually since the inception of the organization, and frequently speaks on its behalf here in the United States.

She is married to Rabbi Stephen Wise Goodman, and they have an adult son, Philip.

Originally from Newton, MA, Andrea Salwen Kopel came to New York City in 1987 to attend Barnard College and has made her home here ever since, spending more than 25 years working in New York City’s non-profit sector.

After college, Andrea began her career at the national office of Planned Parenthood, working in communications and media relations. She has since served as Director of Program Services for Citymeals-on-Wheels, serving homebound elderly New Yorkers; V.P. of Community Programs at the non-profit Big Apple Circus, bringing the joy and laughter of the Circus to disadvantaged populations nationwide; and as Executive Director of Room to Grow, providing comprehensive services to families raising babies in poverty. Along the way she earned a Masters in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.

For the last nine years, Andrea has served as Executive Director of National Council of Jewish Women New York (NCJW NY), allowing her to bring her Jewish identity and values to the work of social justice. Andrea leads a staff of ten and a small army of nearly 400 volunteers, providing a broad array of social services to New Yorkers from all racial and religious backgrounds, and engaging volunteer advocates to push for progressive policy change.

Andrea lives with her husband, architect Ed Kopel, and her dog, Chocolate Lab Gali, in the Boerum Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn, where they raised their daughter, Ruby.