Rabbi Stephen Slater

I love being a rabbi and am passionate about inspiring the Jewish community to grow together in Torah, Avodah and Ma’asim tovim. Ordained in 2018, I have led congregations in Birmingham, AL and Glens Falls, NY, and now Columbus, Ohio. My passion is studying and teaching Torah. I am pleased to be part of this historic congregation, and look forward to developing a thriving center of Jewish life right here in Columbus, Ohio.

As I teach, I draw on multiple influences. I studied Hebrew and Second Temple Jewish literature and history at the Hebrew University, the Hartman Institute, the Conservative Yeshiva, and Yeshivat Hadar. I am particularly inspired by a young generation of Jews converging around Yeshivat Hadar who are seeking out a richly textured, egalitarian, halakhic tradition in Judaism that they can sink their teeth into. Here at Agudas my priorities are

  • exploring new ways of creating soulful prayer through cultivating private kavanna combined with communal singing and mumbling,

  • cultivating compelling Torah learning experiences,

  • building community wide collaborations ,

  • and engaging in Jewish-Christian interfaith theological discussion.

But my favorite moments of the week are spent learning together with congregants and non-congregants in the Beit Midrash (Wednesday 8 AM, Wednesday 12 PM, and Thursday 12 PM). Please join me.

Ramban & the Parsha......................................Wednesday Mornings, following Minyan. Ongoing.

A Thoughtful Judaism (Zoom)........................Wednesdays at Noon

Take a deep dive into the philosophical issues of Jewish Life. Class starts October, 13, 2021.

Beit Midrash......................................................Thursdays at Noon

Hidden Messages in the Siddur. Class starts October 14, 2021.

An unusual fact about me is that I grew up in West Africa. I met my life long hevrutah (study partner), Bethany, in undergraduate philosophy class. In my free time, I love to read and write non-fiction. And I especially love to go on adventures with my two young children, Anav (6) and Emet (3). Please feel free to come see me on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday afternoons. Just sign up for a time using my Calendly.

Visiting Clergy

Cantor Rafi Abromowitz

Hi! I’m thrilled to be here spending my High Holidays with ya’ll!

I began leading as a Chazzan when I was eight. I was living in Israel with my family at the time, and belonged to a shul that permitted children to lead Kabbalat Shabbat up until Barchu. I joined the AABJ&D High Holiday choir in New Jersey when I was thirteen, and owe a great debt to Steve Schwartz for teaching me many of the melodies you will hear over these powerful days.  Since then, I’ve led services in four different countries, and, after this year, eight different states. Though Chazzanut is a burning passion of mine, Rabbanut is my profession. I’m currently enrolled in the Rabbinical program at the Jewish Theological Seminary, which I will begin after Rosh Hashanah. Before that I was a playwright and theatre producer in Manhattan. I’m currently writing a play about a slave-owning Rabbi who hosts a Passover Seder during the onset of the Civil War. I also love baseball, fitness, travel, nature, dogs, museums, and could really use some inspiration for my play, so please stop by and shmooze!