Rabbi Rayzel Raphael brings a rich background in spirituality, ritual, feminism, and music to Judaism. She hails from Tennessee and sings the song of the south in her soul.
She attended Indiana University as a religion major with a Jewish studies concentration, graduated from Brandeis University with a Masters in Contemporary Jewish Studies and received her rabbinical ordination from Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 1997. As well,her music is influenced by living and studying two years in Israel.
She is the co-creator of Shabbat Unplugged- a musical, rockin’ Shabbat service, and as well sings with MIRAJ, an a cappella trio. Friday Night Revived- a completely transformed musical Shabbat service is Rayzel’s newest recording. “Bible Babes A-beltin’ “features songs of women of the bible with a contemporary sound.
She is a freelance teacher and ritual maker and is guided by her angels in service to Shechinah,the Divine Feminine. Reb Rayzel teaches on Biblical Women, new rituals, angels, Rosh Hodesh and Jewish Women’s Sexuality, Spirituality and Power.
In addition to composing music, Reb Rayzel is the Rabbinic Director of InterFaithways, the Interfaith Family Support Network of Greater Philadelphia and serves as the rabbi of Beth Israel in Woodbury, New Jersey.
Rabbi Raphael is also mother of Yigdal and Hallel, and partner of Dr. Simcha Raphael, a psychotherapist and author of "Jewish Views of the Afterlife".
Some of her favorite recording artists are Ferron, Rory Block, Lebana, Joni Mitchell, Mahalia Jackson, MArgot Stein, Juliet Spitzer, Shefa Gold, Hanna Tiferet Siegel, Linda Hirshorn, Judah Prince, Jack Gabriel,Yofiah, and Shawn Zevit.