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Pleasantville Community Synagogue Hires Julie Hilton Danan As New Rabbi

Julie Hilton Danan
Julie Hilton Danan Photo Credit:

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. -- Pleasantville Community Synagogue has hired Rabbi Julie Hilton Danan, who has succeeded Rabbi Mark Sameth.

Danan received rabbinic ordination after five years in the ALEPH Rabbinic Program. She was a student of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, the founder of the Jewish Renewal movement. Since then, she led two congregations: Congregation Beth Am (Reconstructionist) in San Antonio; and Congregation Beth Israel in Chico, Calif.

She has extensive experience in Jewish education at all levels, as well as leadership in interfaith work and dialogue, including the Celebration of Abraham in Chico, bringing together hundreds of Muslims, Christians and Jews to learn about one another's faith and get to know one another as neighbors.

In addition to her rabbinical studies, Danan earned a Ph.D. in Hebrew studies, specializing in rabbinic literature and culture, from the University of Texas at Austin. Danan grew up in Texas, lived for several years in Israel and for 12 years in Northern California.

Based on her love of nature and the outdoors, she recently started a creative website, Wellsprings of Wisdom (, designed as a virtual retreat center built around Jewish symbols from nature. She is also the author of "The Jewish Parents' Almanac," reflecting her experience as the mother of five children.

Danan is married to Avraham Danan, a Moroccan-Israeli who loves and teaches Piyut (traditional Moroccan Jewish liturgical song). They have five grown children and two young grandsons on the East Coast and Midwest.

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