Rabbi Jessica Spitalnic Mates has served Temple Beth El of Boca Raton, Florida since 2002. Rabbi Mates coordinates our congregation’s vibrant adult education and enrichment effort. This includes a variety of targeted learning programs such our on-going Book Discussion Club, the Physicians Initiative for doctors and health-care workers and the “Nuremberg Project”, a continuing education program for attorneys which seeks to further the understanding of the Nazi war criminal trials, and through which she has built a partnership with Lynn University. Rabbi Mates guides our adult b’nai mitzvah program, and teaches a wide variety of courses for adults and children.
Rabbi Mates has had works published in several books and publications, including Theological Terms in the Talmud, The Women’s Torah Commentary and the website, “myJewishlearning.com”. She is an ardent Zionist, blessed to be in Israel many times as part of her fellowship with the Shalom Hartman Institute in Israel and her involvement with AIPAC.
Rabbi Mates received Rabbinic Ordination from the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in 1999 and is a proud alumna of the University of Wisconsin. She is a native New Yorker who has worked in Jewish communities in New York, Chicago, London and Jerusalem, Israel. In Israel, she served as a tour educator for North American Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY) summer program, guiding Jewish teenagers through the historical sites of the land of Israel.
She has two children, Noah and Shira, who are her everything.