Rabbi Raysh Weiss is the rabbi of Shaar Shalom Congregation in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where she also serves as an associate chaplain at Dalhousie University. She is an honors graduate of Northwestern University, where she majored in Radio, Television and Film and Comparative Literature; was a J. William Fulbright fellow in Ethnomusicology in Berlin, Germany; holds a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature; and was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary of New York in 2016.
Throughout her years in rabbinical school, Rabbi Weiss was a Wexner Graduate Fellow and served on the board of T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights as well as the board of the National Havurah Committee. In 2015, Rabbi Weiss was named one of New York City’s “36 Under 36” by the Jewish Week, and in 2001, she was a Bronfman Fellow in Israel.
Rabbi Weiss brings to her rabbinate her passions for building vibrant and inclusive community, encouraging spiritual and intellectual inquiry, and promoting social justice activism. She is particularly proud of a number of her pastoral accomplishments at Shaar Shalom, where she has served as Rabbi for the past three years. During this time she has initiated and facilitated a regular communal Jewish loss support group; she has introduced programs emphasizing social justice and community-building, such as launching Shaar Shalom’s first-ever Tikkun Olam Committee and working with youth to create their own social action projects; and she has spear-headed several new educational initiatives, including the founding of the Halifax Communal Beit Midrash, the creation and implementation of a year-long, weekly Introduction to Judaism class, and the introduction of the Chai Mitzvah adult education curriculum to her synagogue, as well as the creation of several unique experiential educational opportunities for youth.
Rabbi Weiss is committed to promoting widespread Jewish literacy, and to that end, she has written and published many pieces in a variety of publications aimed at the Jewish community at large. She is a regular columnist for the national Jewish newspaper, the Canadian Jewish News, and also writes for Jewish educational outlets such as myjewishlearning.com and Ta
blet and has designed complementary education resources for Simon Schama’s The Story of the Jews (PBS).
Rabbi Weiss, who is both a vocalist and saxophone player, enjoys bringing music into all facets of her life and the lives of those around her. Other hobbies include cartooning, film-
making, and cycling. Most of all, she enjoys connecting with people and helping them connect with one another in order to discover their potential together.
Rabbi Weiss is married to Rabbi Jonah Rank, and they are the proud parents of Ariana and Meital Weiss-Rank.