Rabbi Elizabeth Bahar was born in and grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, where she was a member of Rodef Shalom Congregation. She attended Brandeis University and graduated with a degree in Philosophy and a minor in Women’s Studies and Jewish Studies. Her time at Brandeis inspired her to learn more about Judaism and pursue opportunities at the Brandeis Hillel. She taught at various congregations in the Boston area. She worked for one year at Jewish Vocational Services in Minneapolis, helping individuals find jobs and teaching interview skills. Her desire to continue her studies and to learn Hebrew led her to move to Israel and volunteer on Kibbutz Mishmar HaEmek. She then spent the next year studying at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem, where she took advantage of the opportunities to experience diverse forms of prayer in various settings including Sephardic, Ashkenzic, Italian, and Progressive congregations along with meditation minyans. She graduated with a MA in Hebrew Letters and was ordained in 2009.
Rabbi Bahar has worked at various student pulpits including: Temple Beth-El in Dubuque IA, Temple Shalom in Winnipeg and Temple Beth-El in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. She worked as the rabbinic intern at Adath Israel Congregation in Cincinnati where she studied and learned with Rabbi Irvin Wise. She was a Hebrew tutor at Wise Temple and taught how to chant Haftarah at Adath Israel. She has been published in the Orchard, did a summer semester in Israel learning about archaeology, and traveled to El Salvador with the American World Jewish Service. She has served as the Association of Reform Zionists of America representative on the Rabbinical Student Association, attended American Israel Public Affairs Committee conferences, and lectured at Hadassah in Cincinnati.
In Huntsville, where she has served since being ordained, she has received the Rabbi Jeffery L. Ballon Interfaith Leadership award from Interfaith Mission Service. She was recently named as one of 33 inspirational rabbis in the country by the Jewish Daily Forward. She has won the Joanie Pious Bayer Young Leadership Award from the Birmingham Jewish Foundation. She is on the board of Interfaith Mission Service and Southeast Clergy Association. Rabbi Bahar has guest lectured at University of Alabama Huntsville, Oakwood University, and Alabama A&M on a variety of topics related to Judaism and modern spirituality. Rabbi Bahar worked to found NACHaS (North Alabama Community Hebraic School), a joint religious school between the conservative and reform congregations, and spoken at Hadassah and Federation events regularly. Rabbi Bahar has volunteered with the City of Huntsville and supports the city-wide annual interfaith pilgrimage.
Her interests include biblical archeology, Jewish Law, Mussar Texts, prophetic literature and rabbinic literature. She is passionate about people and the evolving character of Judaism today.
Rabbi Bahar is married to Uzi Bahar, whom she met while studying at HUC in Cincinnati. They have three children.
She also has a blog – Menschlichkeit