Rabbi Amita Jarmon
Congregation Shir Heharim–Brattleboro Area Jewish Community welcomed Rabbi Amita Jarmon as its spiritual leader on December 1, 2021. See Keene Sentinel Article: Rabbi Hopes to Bring Vibrancy of Jewish Community to Brattleboro
Rabbi Jarmon grew up in Amherst, MA, and feels that she is “coming home” after many years of travel and numerous employment experiences. She spent a year in Israel after high school and fell in love with the land and the people, returning several years later to become an Israeli citizen, studying physical therapy at Tel Aviv University. She worked for over a decade as a physical therapist in Philadelphia and Western Massachusetts before attending the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and becoming the full-time rabbi at a synagogue in coastal Maine.
As the years went by, she felt a call to return to Israel. There she renewed her physical therapy skills in long-term care facilities, working harmoniously with eclectic staffs of both secular and orthodox Jews from around the world, Palestinians, native Israelis, and African asylum seekers, especially enjoying dancing with her patients. In addition, she tutored Hebrew, officiated at life-cycle events, and completed a course in Clinical Pastoral Education (Spiritual Care). She participated in services with the Jewish Renewal community in Jerusalem, as well as Reform and Conservative synagogues there.
Rabbi Amita has been active in projects with Rabbis for Human Rights, Seeds of Peace, and has served on the steering committee of the Sulha Peace Project, which brings Israelis and Palestinians together to share personal experiences and feelings that create bonds of empathy and affection. Even while spending most of the last 12 years in Israel, Rabbi Jarmon served various communities in North America as Rabbi and/or Cantor for the High Holy days each year. She says her heart and soul belong to both Israel and New England, and she is grateful for this exciting opportunity to serve Shir Heharim (Song of the Mountains), the synagogue of the Brattleboro-Bellows Falls-Putney-Marlboro-Dover residents and seasonal visitors.
For Rabbi Amita’s writings on Torah Portions, thoughts on Jewish holiday and lifecycle events, as well as suggestions for new personal and community practices, go to Divrei HaRav–Rabbi’s Words.
Martha Hurwitz, Part-Time Administrator
I started working remotely as part-time Administrator in February 2022, and moved to Brattleboro in mid-June of that year. My plan was to make Brattleboro my home but fate intervened by introducing me to Seth, who is a rabbi and dual US/Israeli citizen. After spending four months together in Israel early in 2023, Seth became Rabbi at Beth El in Bennington, Vermont, so over the mountain I went. (I must add how grateful I am to Rabbi Amita and the BAJC community for allowing me to continue working from Israel and now Bennington.)
I officially retired in 2014 after working numerous types of jobs: secretary at several different non-profits, legal secretary, volunteer coordinator for Heifer International, and case manager at a residential treatment center for adolescent boys with serious behavioral issues. I also co-owned and operated a pick-your-own strawberry farm for several years.
I am mother to two lovely adult children, Rachel and Stephen. I love studying Torah even when it infuriates me, writing poetry and prayer, doing word puzzles, Connections and Vertex.