Rabbi Johanna Hershenson
Rabbi Johanna Hershenson was introduced to our congregation on July 13, 2013. Since that first Torah study and service, she has proven to be a strong, intelligent, warm and charismatic clergy leader. With humor and wisdom, Rabbi clarifies and amplifies the teachings of the Torah, making its lessons and parables relevant and accessible. We nod our heads in understanding. Grasping the insights of the sacred texts she distills brilliantly through her commentary and storytelling.
As a wandering Jew searching for the global experience before accepting the singular beauty of Bend, our Rabbi served at Bejt Simcha in Prague, Czech Republic; Temple Sinai in Wellington, New Zealand; Temple Beth El of South Orange County, California; and Congregation Beth Sholom in Anchorage, Alaska.
Rabbi Hershenson earned her BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with distinctions in History, Hebrew and Semitic Languages, and History of Culture. Ordained in 1995 by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, she received an MA in Hebrew Letters. Rabbi Hershenson has co-produced a documentary film, A Torah Tale, which traces parallel journeys of a Torah scroll that survived the Holocaust and the life of the last, living Jew of a Czech town.