Rabbi Fellman

Posted on May 18, 2012

Rabbi Aviva Fellman

At age 8, Aviva decided that she would like to be a rabbi. She attended Jewish day schools in the Philadelphia suburbs. After graduating summa cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh, Aviva was the undergraduate admissions officer for the Hebrew University’s Rothberg International School. While at the Jewish Theological Seminary, Aviva taught Hebrew School at The Society for the Advancement of Judaism, completed a chaplaincy unit in Seattle, worked at Camp Ramah in the Poconos, was an EMT and ambulance driver for the Park Slope (Brooklyn) Volunteer Ambulance Corps, and for three years led High Holiday services at Anshei Chesed in Cape Cod. Aviva is proud to have been half of the first simultaneous daughter-father rabbinical school team. Aviva spent two years in Israel where she studied, interned in Masorti communities, and met and married her husband, Ari. Aviva, Ari and their daughter Hadar Ori are delighted to be staying at OJC where Aviva is serving as Associate Rabbi and Director of Congregational Educational and Jewish Learning.


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Rabbi Aviva was in Israel for a year of her Jewish Theological Seminary rabbinical training; Ari was nearing the end of a ten-year stint as an engineer in the Israel Defense Forces. They met after a Kabbalat Shabbat service at a Masorti congregation in Tel Aviv, and, a little under a year later, they were married in Jerusalem. While on their honeymoon in Guatemala, Rabbi Aviva interviewed and accepted the position as Rabbinic Intern at OJC.

Rabbi Aviva and Ari have brought an infectious enthusiasm that bridges generations and enhances the vibrant spirit and traditions of OJC. When not working in Brooklyn as an Electronics Engineer for Minicircuits, Ari can be found attending minyan and reading Torah. From Tot Shabbat to Torah reading, from Bar/Bat Mitzvah tutoring to adult education, and from directing the Religious School and attending daily minyanim, Rabbi Aviva has enlivened OJC values: a caring community, a love of learning, an appreciation of ritual and services. Rabbi Aviva and Ari were initially attracted by the warm welcome they received at OJC, and they have come to appreciate how the community is receptive to new ideas, programming and melodies…and to the spirited presence of their daughter Hadar. (Stay tuned- The Fellmans are expecting the arrival of their second under-age minyan attendee in June…)

The dynamic Fellman duo truly live in the synagogue. In opening their homes for Shabbat meals and other gatherings, Rabbi Aviva and Ari reflect the open arms of OJC; in their teaching and leading they mirror the mentoring and guidance that Rabbi Mark and Marilyn Greenspan have offered them; in becoming an integral part of OJC, they emulate the commitment of the leadership and membership of the congregation.

Rabbi Aviva and Ari Fellman are humbled and honored to be recognized at this year’s gala. Thank you for being part of our family!