About Us

Ritualwell is a unique resource where you can find, create and share Jewish ritual of all kinds. Blending tradition and innovation, we help you discover and design rituals that will enhance your Jewish life. As we all share ideas, information, and lessons learned, Ritualwell becomes more than a resource. We build a community. Into this community we invite all of you: Jews by birth, Jews by choice, fellow travelers and seekers of all kinds.

Here, you can offer comments on existing rituals, share new material, create a profile of yourself to connect with others, and build personalized rituals for your life using the wealth of resources on this site. 

Ritualwell is a project of Kolot: The Center for Jewish Women’s and Gender Studies of RRC and was created in partnership with Ma’yan, the Jewish Women’s Project.   Thanks to Ruth Heiges for her contributions to earlier iterations of this project.

Rabbi Roni Handler

Rabbi Roni Handler has served as the Director of Community Learning at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (RRC) and Editor of Ritualwell.org since 2011. Through her work at RRC, Rabbi Handler creates opportunities for individuals and communities to engage with vibrant, progressive approaches to Jewish life through workshop presentations, consulting, life cycle officiation, and the 2014–2015 Slingshot-recognized online platform of Ritualwell.org. Prior to ordination, Rabbi Handler served as Sabbatical Rabbi for Congregation Or Hadash in Ft. Washington, PA, as an intern at the Reconstructionist Synagogue of the North Shore, and at Kol Tzedek in West Philadelphia. She has also worked with youth and college students at Camp JRF, No’ar Hadash (the Reconstructionist youth movement), and Brandeis University. Prior to beginning her rabbinical studies, Rabbi Handler worked at Mayyim Hayyim Living Waters Community Mikveh and Education Center in Newton, MA, and The Rashi School, a Reform Jewish Day School in Dedham, MA.

A native Philadelphian, Rabbi Roni Handler is a 2001 graduate of The George Washington University, earned a master's degree in Jewish Communal Service from the Hornstein program at Brandeis University, and received her rabbinic ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 2011. 

Rabbi Deborah Glanzberg-Krainin, Ph.D.
Executive Editor

Deborah Glanzberg-Kraininis assistant vice president for community and rabbinic engagement at RRC. She is responsible for alumni education programs and RRC’s web initiatives. Her academic interests focus on shifting structures of authority in contemporary American Jewish discourse. She has published widely in scholarly and popular publications. Deborah previously worked as interim director of the Jewish studies program at Temple University and has taught extensively in academic and diverse Jewish communal settings. She is an alumna of the Wexner Graduate fellowship program for Jewish professionals and served as a Graduate Fellow at the Center for the Humanities at Temple University. Deborah is a graduate of Brown University. She received rabbinic ordination and a master of arts in Hebrew letters from RRC, and earned a doctorate in religion and certificate in Jewish women’s studies from Temple University in Philadelphia.

Hila Ratzabi
Editorial Associate

Hila Ratzabi was born in Rehovot, Israel, and raised in Queens, New York. She holds a BA in English/Creative Writing from Barnard College, a BA in Jewish Philosophy from the Jewish Theological Seminary (Double Degree Program, 2003), and an MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College (2007). Her poetry is published in a variety of literary journals and in The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry, and her articles have appeared in the Jewish Daily Forward and Zeek. She is also a Hebrew and B’nai Mitzvah tutor, writing coach, founder of the Red Sofa Salon & Poetry Workshop, and editor in chief of the literary journal Storyscape. She's also a proud member of Kol Tzedek in West Philadelphia. (Photo by Endy Photography.)

Sarah Barasch-Hagans
Ritualwell Intern

Sarah Barasch-Hagans comes from a long line of Alabama Jews, but was raised in St. Louis and is proud to call it home. Before moving to Philadelphia to begin her studies at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Sarah lived in New Orleans, where she was a founding member of Jews Pursuing Justice. In addition to interning for Ritualwell, Sarah is the rabbinic intern for T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call to Human Rights on their campaign to end mass incarceration. She also works as an adult educator and Bat Mitzvah tutor at Kol Tzedek Synagogue in West Philadelphia. Sarah is married to Graie Barasch-Hagans, an education justice activist.

Lori Hope Lefkovitz, Ph.D.
Founding Director of Kolot/
Founding Executive Editor of Ritualwell

Lori Hope Lefkovitz served RRC as the Sadie Gottesman and Arlene Gottesman Reff Professor of Gender and Judaism at RRC and was the founding director of Kolot: The Center for Jewish Women’s and Gender Studies of RRC. She is now the Ruderman Professor and Director of Jewish Studies at Northeastern University. Lori was a Fulbright Professor at Hebrew University, a fellow at the Philadelphia Association of Psychoanalysis, and a Woodrow Wilson fellow in the Women’s Studies Division. She is the author of books and articles in the fields of literature, theory and gender and Judaism. 

Rabbi Rona Shapiro
Founding Editor of Ritualwell

Rabbi Rona Shapiro graduated from Harvard College in 1984 and received rabbinical ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1990. From 1990-2000, she served as the executive director of Berkeley Hillel. From 2000-07, she worked as a senior associate at Ma’yan: the Jewish Women’s Project in New York City where she edited, compiled and launched the first versions of Ritualwell. In 2007, Rona became the spiritual leader of Congregation Bethaynu in Cleveland, Ohio; in 2011 her congregation joined B’nai Jeshurun, a larger Conservative congregation in Cleveland, where she now serves as rabbi. She is the author of numerous articles. 

All photography by Jordan Cassway unless otherwise noted.