Building Relationships, Creating Community
Rabbi Deborah Bravo is currently the founder and spiritual leader of Makom NY, a new model for Jewish Community on Long Island. In this new model, she combines her passion for building relationships, meeting people where they are and creating sacred community with a love and connection to Judaism. She is working to reach the unaffiliated and disconnected Jewish population on Long Island to help them find meaningful, in depth Jewish community, through worship, learning, culture activities and much more.
Prior to her work with Makom, Rabbi Bravo was the senior rabbi of North Shore Synagogue in Syosset, NY. There she worked extensively on worship, education, synagogue vision and leadership, while overseeing the daily workings of the synagogue. She taught adults, children and families weekly, helping to bring Torah into their lives. She facilitated a merger of two Reform synagogues during her first year in this position. She has worked in both the Jewish and interfaith community to help enhance the greater community. During her first year in the position, when Hurricane Sandy hit, she spearheaded the instant creation of a shelter at the North Shore Synagogue building for those in the community in need.
Prior to her arrival at North Shore Synagogue, Rabbi Bravo served as rabbi and spiritual leader of Temple Emanu-El in Edison, NJ. During her tenure, she created a caring community with exciting and meaningful worship, family and youth programs of the highest caliber, a strong connection to Israel and social action, and a commitment to interfaith learning, adult education and the environment.
Prior to serving in Edison, Rabbi Bravo was the associate rabbi and rabbi educator for Congregation B¹nai Jeshurun in Short Hills, NJ. Rabbi Bravo began her rabbinate as the assistant rabbi at Washington Hebrew Congregation in DC, one of the mega congregations in the Reform movement. Ordained from HUC-JIR in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1998, Rabbi Bravo holds a Master in Education from Xavier University and a BA in Jewish and Near Eastern Studies and Education from Washington University in St. Louis.
Rabbi Bravo volunteers her time in the greater Jewish and secular world, having chaired national conventions for CCAR and WRN, currently serving on the executive boards of both the CCAR and the NYBR. She and her husband David now reside in Woodbury, NY with their two children, Samuel, 11, and Sophie, 9.