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Rabbi Robin Nafshi

Rabbi Robin Nafshi (also known as Rabbi Robin) was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2005. She joined Temple Beth Jacob in July of 2010. Before that, she served as the Assistant Rabbi at Temple Emeth in Teaneck, NJ and the Associate Rabbi of Temple Beth-El in Hillsborough, NJ. Rabbi Robin is a graduate of both New York University and Cornell Law School. She worked in the San Francisco Bay Area as an attorney, legal editor, and legal author before attending rabbinical school.

Rabbi Robin embraces the definition of rabbi as “teacher” – in the classroom, while leading worship, during meetings, and in personal conversations and interactions. Rabbi Robin cares deeply about people and listens with an open and non-judgmental heart; pastoral counseling is another core part of her rabbinate.

Robin Robin was born and raised in northern New Jersey and remains a devoted Yankees fan. According to her family lore, her grandfather played automobile poker with Babe Ruth!

While in California, Rabbi Robin became very involved in the Jewish community. She served as chair of many different committees, board member, vice president, and president of her synagogue, Congregation Sha’ar Zahav. In addition, she was on the board of several local Jewish organizations. She was also selected to participate in the Wexner Heritage Foundation’s adult learning program for Jewish community lay leaders, from 1996-1998. In 2000, Rabbi Robin changed her life’s direction and began her studies at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. She was selected as a Wexner Graduate Fellow, a recipient of a full four-year fellowship and stipend while in rabbinical school. She was the first person in the country ever to be selected to both the Wexner Heritage Foundation lay leader program and the Wexner Graduate Fellowship program.

Rabbi Robin shares her life with her partner, Cantor Shira Nafshi, who serves as TBJ’s part-time cantor. They are the delighted parents of Liba, who joined their family in January of 2014.

Click Here For Rabbi Robin's High Holy Day Sermons

Cantor Shira Nafshi

Cantor Shira Nafshi grew up in Miami, FL and was highly involved in both her temple’s youth group and religious school as a song leader. She was mentored by her Cantor, Cantor Stuart Pittle (z”l). Cantor Shira attended Brandeis University (B.A. in Music), Sarah Lawrence University (M.A. in Poetry), and was ordained a Cantor from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion’s Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music in 2005. She served as the full-time Cantor for Temple B’nai Or in Morristown, NJ from 2005 to 2010. She began serving as the part-time Cantor of Temple Beth Jacob in 2011. She leads Shabbat services approximately once a month, leads High Holy Day services, leads the TBJ choir, and teaches music in the religious school. Cantor Shira also serves part-time as the Cantor of Temple Adath Yeshurun in Manchester, and helps on an as-needed basis in leading worship with other synagogues in New Hampshire.

When not on the TBJ bimah, Cantor Shira can usually be found at her retail shop in Tilton, The Trainers’ Loft: Holistic Horse Supplies and Consignment, or with a horse – trimming hooves, teaching riding, or playing with her own horses. Cantor Shira is thrilled to be working with her life partner, Rabbi Robin. Together, they are the parents of Liba, born in early 2014. 

Wed, June 19 2024 13 Sivan 5784