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Rabbi Hearshen

Rabbi Hearshen has a BA in Social Relations from Michigan State University, an MA in Rabbinic Studies and Rabbinic Ordination, both from the University of Judaism. Prior to coming to OVS, Rabbi Hearshen was Rabbi of Rodeph Sholom (Tampa, FL), Assistant Rabbi at Herzl Ner-Tamid (Mercer Island, WA) and Associate Rabbi at Midway Jewish Center (Syosset, NY). In addition to his work at OVS, he is active in AIPAC, serves as a crisis counselor for Crisis Textline and serves on staff at Camp Ramah Darom.

Rabbi Hearshen credits an engaged Jewish upbringing and his Sunday School teacher, a Holocaust survivor, for his path to the rabbinate. He enjoys teaching concepts in new and unique ways that grab people’s attention and keeps them active. He plays a central role in bringing young adults and young families into synagogue life through innovative programming and personal connections. Rabbi Hearshen has been recognized for excellence in education by the Bureau of Jewish Education in LA and with the national Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award.

Rabbi Hearshen believes the best metaphor for a rabbi is Israeli Tour Guide: he educates all who hunger, creates spiritual encounters, heals wounds, journeys with those amongst him, solves problems as they arise and creates opportunities for people to grow in their love of the Jewish people and Judaism. He strives every day to inspire, engage and expand community. A community prays, socializes, enjoys life, learns together, and longs to be together when apart.

Rabbi Hearshen and his wife, Carrie, met in college and have been together ever since. Carrie is an accomplished Jewish educator who teaches at Atlanta Jewish Academy. She previously served on the faculty of the Hillel Academy in Tampa, FL, and wrote educational materials for Torah Aura Productions. While Rabbi Hearshen carries many titles, he often tells people his favorite one is “Abba,” as he and Carrie treasure every moment they have with their daughters, Ayelet and Galit. In his spare time, Rabbi Hearshen reads, plays percussion instruments and the ukulele, plays hockey, cooks, writes and roots for the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightening.

Sat, April 20 2024 12 Nisan 5784