Our Rabbi & Cantor
Rabbi & Cantor Jill Hausman
A message from the Rabbi
Shalom! And welcome to The Actors’ Temple.
It is a great privilege and pleasure for me to serve in this historic house of God, where the vibrant, happy energy of all those stars of the stage and screen who worshiped here can still be felt. Our accepting, inclusive community is a place where people come first and where everyone feels welcomed and comfortable. I lead a Reform-style service from the Conservative prayer book, with a little bit of Chassidic wisdom to add warmth and Jewish spirituality. We pray, sing, learn, and celebrate together. I invite you to come and visit me at a service or event. If there is ever anything that I can do for you, please don’t hesitate to call upon me.
At the Actors’ Temple, we are creating a dynamic spiritual and creative community together. The most important thing to me is that religion is welcoming to everyone. God welcomes each person, and the synagogue must be a place of acceptance and love, of learning about Torah and history, socializing, giving back to the community, and creating beauty. It is a place where religious questions are honored and debated in a thoughtful way.
To me, the spirit of the law is more important than the letter of the law, and love for one's neighbor precedes all else. The universal aspects of religion take precedence over the particular aspects, which serve to embellish observance and enrich it rather than dividing people or excluding them.
Each congregant is precious at The Actors’ Temple; each person is important to the synagogue community. Our synagogue, in addition to being a part of old New York history, is a place of being there for each other. It is a refuge and somewhere to turn to for life cycle events and support. It is a place where families can come to teach their children about the beauty and meaning of their Jewish heritage.
My aim is to give people a reason for being at the synagogue: a bit of rest, song, learning, validation, or of appreciating each other’s creativity. People may not know why they came to the synagogue, but in retrospect, they should know that they received something valuable, and that they want to return. Please feel free to contact me if I can be of help or of service to you.
“Rabbi Jill” is a New Jersey native. Before coming to The Actors’ Temple in 2006, she served for twelve years at Boro Park Progressive Synagogue as Cantor, and for two years, also as Assistant Rabbi. She has a background in classical singing and acting, and serves as both Rabbi and Cantor of The Actors’ Temple. Rabbi Jill is a graduate of Smith College and received her Semicha from the Rabbinical Seminary International, under the aegis of Rabbi Joseph Gelberman (z''l). She is married, has two sons, and lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. She can sometimes be seen riding her bike to the office.
Spiritual Action, Our Rabbi's Blog
Visit Rabbi/Cantor Jill Hausman’s Blog "Spiritual Action" to read her sermons, and/or take a look at some snippets of recent posts right here.
I'm a religious naturalist. As a former scientist, I do actual experiments and see the results. All religion is experiential.
No one can prove God's existence to anyone else, but each person can prove it to themselves.
If you take a step toward God, God will take a step toward you.
If there is to be a time of peace and harmony, surely God and we have dreamed it together.
Service is a very high form of love.
The wound is the cure.
Love is the spiritual currency of the world. The entire world works on the principle of Love.
In human relations, we are meant to be the oil, and not the grit, between the gears.
There are 3 categories of Torah: the Written Torah, the Oral Torah, and what I call Newly Created Torah: the guidance that God sends to us in our own hearts and souls.