Rabbi Daniel Freedman, who was recently ordained as a rabbi in May, has joined Santa Barbara Hillel as the new senior Jewish educator. He will serve UCSB and other college students, with an emphasis on providing new opportunities to explore Jewish content in life-relevant ways.
As senior Jewish educator, Rabbi Freedman will strive to connect more students to Hillel, enrich Jewish learning opportunities for students, and help Hillel create a Jewish home away from home.
He is already working with executive director Rabbi Evan Goodman and the rest of the Hillel staff to create community virtually and care for students during these challenging times.
“This is an exciting addition to our wonderful Santa Barbara Hillel staff,” said Robert Ingrum, board president. “The senior Jewish educator will add a whole new level of learning and support for our students from around the world.
“Our Hillel center is more than a home away from home for our students. It also lets them explore and deepen their Jewish knowledge and experience. Rabbi Daniel is joining us at such a critical time for our students as they navigate the new normal of a global pandemic.”
“My experience at Ohio State University Hillel transformed my college life, Jewish life and future aspirations,” Freedman said. “My decision to become a rabbi was highly influenced by my time spent at Hillel,so it feels only fitting to begin my career here.
“While this year will look radically different than years past at Hillel, working with and supporting college students will be more important than ever. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to partner with such a kind, flexible and creative student body.”
In May, Freedman was ordained from the Los Angeles Campus of Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, where in addition to his ordination he received a master of arts in Jewish education and master of arts in Hebrew letters.
Freedman received his undergraduate degree from the Ohio State University in Jewish Studies and Psychology, and was an active member of their Hillel and Jewish Studies Student Association.
For the past two years, he has served as the rabbinic intern at Temple Akiba in Culver City, where he facilitated worship experiences, taught in their high school program, created social justice initiatives, and filled an array of rabbinic duties.
Freedman also brings experience working at URJ Camp Newman, serving as a chaplain at both Beit T’shuvah and Barnes Jewish Hospital, and as a student Rabbi in Ogden, Utah, and in Butte, Montana.
Santa Barbara Hillel is an independent 501c3 that relies on the support of our community, parents and alumni.