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Biography 

Morissa R. Freiberg, RJE (Reform Jewish Educator) serves as Director of Education & Lifelong Learning at Congregation Beth Tikvah, a Reform synagogue in Worthington, Ohio. In this role, Morissa oversees education of all ages of the Congregation. She oversees, directs,  and creates curriculum and programming for the youth of our community in our Religious School & Teen Program, as well as works closely with the Rabbi & Adult Education Committee to plan, teach, execute, and vision for educational programming adults of the congregation.

 

Morissa is a native of Cleveland, Ohio and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Ethnomusicology and a Certificate in Judaic Studies from Ohio University, and a Master’s degree in Judaic Studies and Jewish Education from Siegal College of Judaic Studies. 

 

Before joining the staff at Congregation Beth Tikvah, Morissa “wore many hats” in the field of Jewish Education, and has served as a Youth Director, Hebrew teacher, and Judaic studies instructor with various age groups. Morissa served as a Peer Engagement Intern at Hillel of Ohio University, where she also was extremely active as a ritual musician. As a cellist, she enjoys exploring the connections between Judaism and the power of music as a learning tool. 

 

Morissa holds a class “A” teacher certification from the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland. She is a certified RJE (Reform Jewish Educator) by the International Reform Jewish Educators Title Granting Commission, a sub-governing body of the Union for Reform Judaism. Morissa is a member of the Association of Reform Jewish Educators (ARJE), and served on the Board of Directors for the 2018-2021 term. 

As an Ethnomusicologist whose research focuses on Jewish music, Morissa’s areas of interest include: music of the Jewish community (conversos) during the Spanish inquisition, music of the Beta Israel community in Ethiopia, modern Israeli hip hop and politics, as well as comparative Jewish music – examining how different Jewish composers, bands, and ensembles navigate text, prayer and music, all in their own unique ways. 

Dedicated to inclusion of all learners in her education programming, Morissa completed the Matan Institute for Education Directors in 2015-2016.

 

In 2016, Morissa was honored with the Larry S. Moses Outstanding Young Professional Award by the Jewish Federation of Columbus and The Wexner Foundation.

 

Deeply committed to Tikkun Olam ("mending the world") and experiential education, Morissa served as a staff member for the Union for Reform Judaism’s Mitzvah Corps, traveling in the summer of 2018 with a group of 20 teens to do service learning through a Jewish lens in Costa Rica.

In 2021-2022 Morissa was selected to participate in the inaugural cohort of the Pardes Senior Educator Learning Fellowship (SELF), completing an innovative curricular project focused on making Jewish prayer relevant to tweens. 

Morissa is committed to guiding her students and community in building positive Jewish identities, and strengthening individual connections to Judaism through creative and meaningful experiences

 Lecture Topics & Educational Offerings: 

​Services and Programs for Synagogues & Schools: 

  • Consulting and training for supplementary Jewish education directors & teachers: 

  • Classroom management from a Jewish lens

  • Creative prayer & Hebrew instruction 

  • Engaging multiple learning styles in Jewish Education

  • Using Madrichim (teen teaching assistants) effectively 

  • Incorporating mindfulness and meditation into the Religious and Hebrew school classroom and synagogue.

  • Curriculum consulting for synagogue Religious Schools, Jewish camps, and beyond. 

Lecture topics for your synagogue, havurah group, community center, and beyond: 

  • Text study (Torah, Tanach, etc.):

    • Some areas of special interest and research include: text from a feminist/female-centric lens, and multi-sensory text study: approaching Jewish texts through lenses of art, music, poetry, craft, and beyond. 

  • Jewish music​​:

    • Some areas of special interest and research include: comparative Jewish music (exploring how multiple artists interpret prayer text, or a traditional piece of cultural music over time​), Israeli hip-hop & politics, global Jewish music & diversity. 

  • Jewish poetry 

  • Women, Feminism & Judaism 

  • Prayer

  • Biblical & prayerbook Hebrew (children, adults) 

  • Jewish mysticism and Kabbalah

  • Jewish meditation (see meditation page for more info!) 

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