Rabbi Johanna Hershenson
Rabbi Johanna Hershenson was introduced to our congregation on July 13, 2013. Since that first Torah study and service, she has been 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; Congregation Beth Sholom in Anchorage, Alaska; Temple Beth El of South Orange County and Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles, California.
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. She was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in March 2020. 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.
Throughout her career, Rabbi Hershenson has explored the intersection between spiritual lessons in Jewish living and mental health. In June, 2019, Rabbi Hershenson completed a Masters of Arts degree in Counseling at Oregon State University, Cascades. She provides individual and relationship counseling through her private practice, Contentment Counseling located in the Blissful Heart Wellness Center in downtown Bend.
Rabbi Hershenson lives on an historic, off-grid ranch east of the city of Bend with her husband Mark and daughters Abi and Zoe.
If you would like to contact Rabbi Hershenson, leave a message on her cell phone at (541) 213-9880 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Rabbi Hershenson is available for correspondence and scheduled meetings Tuesday through Friday (10 AM – 5 PM) and makes an effort to return texts, phone calls, and emails within 24 to 48 hours.
Read Rabbi Johanna’s High Holy Days sermons here.