Congregation Lev Shalom (Hebrew for “heart of peace”) needs a rabbi, and Thea is our
Congregation Lev Shalom is a welcoming, inclusive Jewish synagogue engaged in Reform practices and dedicated to Community, Worship, Lifelong Learning and Social Action. Lev Shalom has been the spiritual home for local Jews for 50 years and continues to serve this region. Our congregation is small and we have struggled to recruit and maintain professional rabbis. Thea Karlin, who was born and raised in Flagstaff, is one of our own. She is stepping up to become ordained so she can serve her community in an official, professional capacity.
Congregation Lev Shalom (formally Heichal Baoranim) is thrilled that “one of ours” is taking on this role and agreed to cover the cost of her formal education. All funds donated through this page will allow Thea to get the education necessary to become a rabbi, and allow a small congregation to have the leader we need.
Thea Karlin was born and raised in Flagstaff, Arizona, and attended Heichal Baoranim /
Congregation Lev Shalom since she was a child. She now works as the Temple Administrator. Thea loves studying and earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology. She has been married for 12 years and they have 2 children.
A year and a half ago, Thea heard the plight of a congregant who felt they didn't have the support they needed while going through a hard time. Thea felt in her heart that she was called to step up and take care of her community - she wondered how she could become a Rabbi so there would be a modern Rabbi who lived in Flagstaff. She began researching Rabbinical Schools and began studying.
As a busy mom of two, CLS and Thea had to piece together a complete rabbinical program that she could complete over multiple years. To receive her “pre-requisites,” Thea enrolled in Darshan Yeshiva to become a spiritual leader in the Fall of 2022, attended the Union of Reform Judaism Hadracha Program in the Spring of 2023, and currently attends both Svara Yeshiva and Shel Maala Yeshiva to study Talmud. Thea has become a staple in leading our services and taught our preschool class last year. In January 2024, Thea hopes to begin formal rabbinical school at the Jewish Spiritual Leaders Institute, or other comparable school of equal caliber.
This donation page would fund her tuition at a Rabbinical School. All donations are tax-deductible.
Thea's goal goes beyond wanting to provide support to her community. Her goal is to bring unification to the Rabbinate, to her community, and to Flagstaff. Observing rifts in the broader Flagstaff Jewish community as well as division in the greater Flagstaff community, Thea hopes to work with both inter-faith as well as intra-faith organizations and peoples to unify them in their humanity and hearts.
As 42% of married Jewish people are in interfaith relationships and/or marriages in the United States, Thea is passionate about welcoming and embracing all non-Jewish partners and working together to create a supportive community regardless of background.
Thea would love to see Egalitarian Judaism thrive in Flagstaff. As an individual who is queer and attends queer Yeshivas, she would love to continue to be a part of an organization such as Congregation Lev Shalom, which is a safe space for all LGBTQ+ and transgender individuals.
Please help Congregation Lev Shalom cover the cost of the final step of Thea’s Rabbinical education to allow her to become ordained and ensure open, loving, egalitarian Judaism can continue in Flagstaff, AZ.
Jen Ruben, Esq.
President of Congregation Lev Shalom.