National Alliance on Mental Illness
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Rabbi Sonya Starr - NAMI Columbia, Md.
Rabbi Sonya Starr is a graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Wyncote, Penn. where she received her Ordination, as well as her MA in Hebrew Letters in 1994. Her student pulpits included the Jewish Congregation of Fairbanks, Alaska and the Hebrew Association of the Deaf in Philadelphia.
Rabbi Starr previously served as Rabbi at Beth El Synagogue in Torrington, Conn. and Rabbi Educator at Congregation Mishkan Israel in Hamden, Conn. Since 2000, Starr has been at the Columbia Jewish Congregation (CJC).
Rabbi Starr is a member of the Baltimore Board of Rabbis and the Board of the Oakland Mills Interfaith Center, the home of CJC. She is currently active with NAMI FaithNet and also ISHUT which works to determine the boundaries of Reconstructionism and Judaism.
Starr is passionate about Jewish study believing that learning informs our actions and the meaningfulness of our lives. She focuses on a mix of spiritual practice and community activism guided by Jewish values, especially tikkun olam, which means repairing the world. Sonya sees community work as providing a context for “thinking globally and acting locally.”
Rabbi Starr lives in Columbia, Md. with her family and enjoys working closely with CJC members and the larger community. She says, “I am proud to be a part of a dynamic, intergenerational congregation that values inclusiveness and celebrates our differences.”