BZBI, where you belong


    Rabbi Abe Friedman, Senior Rabbi

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    Rabbi Abe Friedman found his love of Jewish community as a camper, counselor, and Rosh Edah (Division Head) at Camp Ramah in Palmer, Massachusetts. His rabbinic work focuses on community engagement, Jewish learning, and spiritual counseling, and he expresses his love of music through electric guitar, piano and the occasional DJ set. Rabbi Abe and his wife, Rebecca, are the proud, amused, and tired parents of Odelia, Azriel, Yonah and Miryam.

    Rabbi Abe joined BZBI in 2015 after serving for five years as a rabbi at Anshe Emet Synagogue in Chicago. A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Rabbi Abe lived in Israel for a year as part of USY’s Nativ Leadership Program before attending Boston University. He received his rabbinic ordination from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at Los Angeles’ American Jewish University, where he also earned an MBA in Nonprofit Management.

    Rabbi Abi Weber, Assistant Rabbi

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    Rabbi Abi Weber was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in May 2021, where she also completed a master’s degree in Bible. She comes to BZBI after serving as the Slifka-Nadich Rabbinic Intern at the Center for Jewish Life of Princeton University, where she built a new community of Jewish seekers among young faculty, staff, and postdoctoral fellows. In her previous role as a Marshall T. Meyer Rabbinic Fellow at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in New York City, Abi developed programming around prayer and spirituality, facilitated the 20s/30s group, and participated in the clergy team.

    Rabbi Abi grew up in Evanston, Illinois, and graduated from Pomona College in 2011 with a degree in anthropology. Before starting rabbinical school, she worked as an Employment Preparation Trainer for people experiencing homelessness and poverty, served as a Leadership Fellow at Mishkan Chicago, and spent time working in the ski industry in Colorado. Rabbi Abi is a proud alum of Camp Ramah in the Poconos, Avodah: The Jewish Service Corps, SVARA: The Traditionally Radical Yeshiva, and Moishe House Chicago. She lives in Center City Philadelphia with her wife Diana and their adorable daughter Yara.

    Rabbi Ira F. Stone, Rabbi Emeritus

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    Ira F. Stone served as Rabbi of Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel in center city Philadelphia from 1988 to 2015, at which time he became Rabbi Emeritus.

    Before coming to Philadelphia he served as spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Shalom in Seattle, Washington for nine years.  Rabbi Stone is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara where he received a BA in Religious Studies.  He attended the University of Judaism in Los Angeles and graduated from The Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 1979 with a Masters of Hebrew Literature and was ordained as a rabbi at that time.  Prior to attending rabbinical school, Rabbi Stone worked for the Jewish Family Service of Long Island as an outreach worker in crisis intervention with drug abusing Jewish youth and also developed and implemented a pioneer project for brain injured children with emphasis on integrating them into a total day camp and winter recreational program at the YM/YWHA.

    Ira Stone’s poetry has appeared in various journals and he is the author of two volumes of poetry: “The Really Perfect Poem Has An Infinitely Small Vocabulary” (Mellon Press) and “Sketches For A Book of Psalms (Xlibris.)

    He served as the Daniel Jeremy Silver Fellow at Harvard University for the Spring 2005 semester.

    In addition to his work in the pulpit, Rabbi Stone has written articles on theology and rabbinics for various journals including Conservative Judaism, Wellspring Journal, Middlebury College Magazine and Kerem.  He also authored “Seeking the Path to Life” which was published in 1992 by Jewish Lights Publishing and “Reading Levinas/Reading Talmud” which was published in 1997 by The Jewish Publication Society.  “A Responsible Life: Mussar As A Spiritual Path,” was published by Aviv Press in the Fall of 2006.  The Jewish Publication Society also published Rabbi Stone’s contemporary commentary on Mordechai Kaplan’s translation of Messilat Yesharim by Rabbi Moshe Hayyim Luzatto.

    Rabbi Stone served as lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at the Jewish Theological Seminary and adjunct and visiting lecturer in Modern Jewish Thought at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.

    Rabbi Stone is married to Annie and they are the parents of Tamar, Yoshi and Shuli.