I have always had a passion for learning about and teaching Judaism. My earliest recollection of that role is when, at the age of eight, I taught my younger sister how to chant the Mah Nishtanah, the Four Questions, for Pesach. Years of private lessons in Hebrew, Jewish History and Jewish Ethics instilled in me a strong sense of identity and fierce pride in my heritage. A summer in Israel at the age of 16 ignited my Zionism, profoundly strengthened my sense of belonging and peoplehood, deepened my knowledge of Jewish and Israeli history, and jump-started my conversational Hebrew.

It was a surprise to no one but myself that I was attracted to Jewish studies classes early in my college career at the University of Chicago, and ended up in a special tutorial studies program that enabled me to create my own major, with a focus on East European Jewish studies, the Holocaust and Yiddish. I spent a summer in an intensive Yiddish language program at the YIVO Institute in New York, and wrote my thesis on Yiddish Holocaust literature. U of Chicago is also where I met my future husband, Elisha Klirs. Through Elisha's Orthodox family I was introduced to traditional Jewish practice, much of which I embraced and incorporated into my life. Immediately following my graduation from U. of C. in 1977, Elisha and I were married.

Until meeting Elisha my Jewish identity was largely cultural. But through my studies and exposure to his family's robust Jewish observance, I began to flex my spiritual muscles, and so became persuaded to pursue a career in the rabbinate. I was accepted to Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion's rabbinical school in 1979, spent my first year of studies in Jerusalem, and was ordained in 1984 in Cincinnati.

Since that time my career as both a pulpit rabbi and a Jewish educator has taken me all over the U.S. and Canada. I have worked in synagogues, day schools, summer camps and Jewish organizations of all kinds, including Reform, Conservative and non-denominational community settings. Since 2012 we have been living in Charlotte, NC, which we plan on making our permanent home.

It has been my great privilege to serve Jews of all backgrounds and to be able to pursue my intellectual interests through speaking engagements and writing. I am the primary author of The Merit of Our Mothers: A Bilingual Anthology of Jewish Women's Prayers and have published a number of articles, including a chapter entitled "Tkhines for Rosh Chodesh: Women's Prayers of Devotion" in Celebrating the New Moon: A Rosh Chodesh Anthology.

But by far, Elisha and my proudest achievement is raising our three children, Lior, Carni and Talya. And our greatest source of nakhes is our five grandchildren.