Rabbi Laurie Gold

Rabbi Laurie Gold was blessed to have been born into a warm family, where she received the love of her parents, grandparents, aunt, uncle and brother. Their care and guidance contributed to her optimism and joyfulness. Laurie was born and raised in New York. When she was seven, her family moved from Queens to Great Neck. They became members of Temple Beth El of Great Neck, where Laurie attended Hebrew School and Youth Group. Laurie became a Bat Mitzvah, was confirmed, and graduated from Hebrew High School. She and her mother attended weekly Torah classes taught by Rabbi Jerome K. Davidson, who inspired Laurie to become a rabbi.

Laurie graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in anthropology. After working as a paralegal, she graduated law school. Laurie was a trial attorney before enrolling in the Academy for Jewish Religion. She appreciates its comprehensive and rigorous program. Laurie has enjoyed learning from brilliant teachers and working with the terrific administration and staff at AJR. Laurie has been fortunate to study with hard-working and bright students, including her fellow-ordinees.

While at the Academy, Laurie worked as an intern-chaplain at the Jewish Home and Hospital for the Aged in Manhattan, receiving excellent training and inspiration from Rabbi Judith Edelstein, D. Min. She currently fills in there for Rabbi Jonathan Malamy. Laurie learned from Rabbi Eric Milgram and Cantor Ken Gould while co-leading High Holiday Services, and from Cantor Gerald Schwartz, Cantor Lisa Hest and Cantor Daniel Pincus while co-leading Shabbat Services.

During her senior year, Laurie served as student rabbi to Rabbi Solomon Acrish, Ph.D. at Temple Beth Elohim in Brewster, New York. His guidance and mentorship were invaluable in helping her develop into the rabbi she has become. Laurie appreciated working with Rabbi Acrish, as well as cantorial soloist Robin Sills, organist Richard Sills, the administrators, lay leaders, and other congregants of Temple Beth Elohim. She enjoyed co-leading services, and teaching Ethics, and Meditation at the Temple.

Laurie works as rabbi for a cruise-line and as chaplain at the Chapin Home for the Aging in Queens. She also serves as guest service leader and teacher at numerous congregations, and officiates at weddings, funerals and unveilings.

Laurie is grateful for the support she received from her relatives and friends. She thanks her mother for her great love and support. Aunt Muriel has been wonderful. Nancy, Laurie’s amazing wife, has been a tremendous source of strength and comfort. Laurie feels she would not have made it through school without Nancy’s deep love, terrific sense of humor, and enormous care. Laurie feels a deep gratitude to God, for all the blessings in her life.

Laurie wishes her rabbinate to be a place where people feel safe and comfortable when engaging in study, prayer, and ritual. She wants people to know that they are not compelled to feel or think the same way as the person sitting next to them. Laurie hopes her congregants will be involved in Jewish life not because they feel they have to, or because it will look good to their family members and friends. Rather, she hopes that people will find that this way of life can serve as a path to self-love and loving relationships with God and people.

Laurie knows that to be good people, we must do our part to make the world a better place than it was before we were born into it. This concept of tikkun olam influences her feelings and actions. Both on the bimah and off, Laurie encourages people to be kind, refrain from gossip, and see the other person’s point of view. She does this with her compassion, warmth and sense of humor.

Laurie would love her congregants to notice and care when a fellow member did not show up for a service or class. She would feel privileged to lead a community of people who say Shabbat Shalom to one another and really mean it, people who live with a full heart.