Rabbis Nadya and Victor Gross are deeply committed to the creation of a conscious holy community. They received joint Rabbinic Smicha from Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and the P’nai Or religious fellowship in 1998, recognizing their unique relationship paradigm.
Reb Victor earned his BA in History while living and studying for four years at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, CA in preparation to enter the Jewish Theological Seminary Rabbinical School. He then spent three years in New York and one in Israel as a Rabbinical student. While in Israel, he also studied Contemporary Jewish History & Thought at the Hebrew University, and did research on the Holocaust at Yad Vashem. After leaving the Seminary, he returned to Los Angeles where he completed an MA in Social & Philosophic Foundations of Education; then later on to U.C. Berkeley where he earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy of Education. His dissertation: Educating for Reverence: the Educational Philosophy of Abraham Joshua Heschel, was published by Windham Hall Press.
During his years in school, Victor was a teacher and youth activities coordinator in various Conservative Movement synagogues, and a counselor and director of Jewish camp programs. He also held High Holiday pulpits and was a much sought-after speaker for Jewish organizations. While living in Israel in the late ’70s, Victor was a lecturer in the Education Department at Haifa University.
Reb Victor serves on the Academic Vaad (Council) for the ALEPH Ordination Program, is a Director of Studies for students in the Rabbinic Program and teaches courses in Jewish History and Jewish Thought, with particular focus on Reb Zalman’s writings and Deep Ecumenism. He is the past Vice President of OHALAH: The Association of Rabbis for Jewish Renewal.
Reb Nadya completed a BA in the department of Near Eastern Studies at U.C. Berkeley with an emphasis on Rabbinic and Modern Hebrew literature. She then earned an MA in Sociology of Education, also at Cal. Before entering university, Nadya was trained in Hazzanut with her Cantor in southern California. Years later, her passions led her to train in past life therapy, Soul Memory Discovery, childbirth education and labor support, before entering the ALEPH Rabbinic Program.
During her undergraduate years, Nadya was a Hebrew School teacher and youth activities coordinator in various Conservative Movement synagogues. She also worked in Jewish camp programs. When she and Victor moved to Israel together, she worked for the Ministry of Education and as a guidance counselor and English department head in an agricultural high school. Upon returning to California, Nadya went into school administration, first as the founding director of a Hebrew Day School, then directing a synagogue education program. She left to join Victor on the pulpit, as Cantor of the Conservative Synagogue where he was serving as Rabbi. At the same time, she began to develop her own consulting practice.
In 2004, Reb Nadya created a program to train volunteers to provide end of life spiritual support for dying persons and their families, and formed the End-of-Life Doula Association in cooperation with the Boulder JCC. She is the Director of Hashpa’ah: Training Program for Jewish Spiritual Directors, an ALEPH Ordination Program, and transmits the feminine Kabbalah taught to her by her Israeli grandmother in a two-year program called Secrets My Grandmother Told Me: a wisdom school.
Together, Rabbis Victor and Nadya recently founded Yerusha – Hebrew for legacy – a project devoted to creating and supporting programs inspired by Reb Zalman’s legacy that will carry his vision forward into the future. Through this new effort, they continue to teach in the Sage-ing® Legacy Program and to develop programs and trainings in Deep Ecumenism, two of Reb Zalman’s most profound teachings.
Rabbi Nadya and Rabbi Victor bring to their community-building work a spiritual and professional partnership of over 45 years. They have taught and offered counseling together, created communities in Israel, Los Angeles, Berkeley and Boulder, studied and grown together Jewishly/spiritually, shared the gift of four beautifully awesome children, and are always learning what it means to be two halves of a whole – experiencing the joy and the responsibility that comes with that reality each and every day. They complement one another, weaving a tapestry of their individual strengths and abilities. Both are passionate teachers, and are particularly engaging when teaching together.
To contact the Rabbis send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.