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Rabbi Melissa Buyer-Witman is the Director of lifelong Learning at Temple Israel of the City of New York. She received her BA in Judaic Studies from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, her Masters of Arts in Hebrew Letters, Masters of Arts in Jewish Education and Rabbinic Ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles.
Rabbi Buyer-Witman began her journey in Jewish education as a Dean of Students at Milken Community High School in Los Angeles, California. From 2006-2011 Rabbi Buyer-Witman served as the Director of Religious School, Youth and Camp Programs for Stephen S. Wise Temple where she was responsible for a number of innovations including a revolutionary new post b’nei mitzvah program entitled, The Academy and her nationally recognized program, “TiLearn,” that blends on-site learning with distance learning. Since 2011 she has continued to innovate and reinvigorate learning for students of all ages at Temple Israel of the City of New York.
Rabbi Buyer-Witman has served in various leadership positions in the field of Jewish Education. She is the Editor for the CCAR’s Mishkan HaNefesh for Youth: A Machzor for Youth and Families. She is a faculty member for the URJ’s Crane Lake and Eisner Camps. She has served as the Chair of the Limud Taskforce to reimagine Jewish Education for URJ’s Camps Eisner and Crane Lake. She also served on the Central Conference of American Rabbi’s Children and Youth Siddur Committee on the Board of Overseers for Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles, the Board of the ARJE, and Hebrew Union College’s National Advisory Committee for the Certificate Program in Jewish Education, specializing in adolescents and emerging adults. In January of 2011 she co-chaired the National Association of Temple Educators National Conference in Seattle Washington, the topic of which was her true passion- Jewish Education and Technology.
Rabbi Buyer-Witman and her husband Michael Witman are the proud and boastful parents of three girls Lily, Josie, and Nessa.