Today, Congregation Kol Ami announced that its Founding Senior Rabbi, Denise L. Eger, will retire on July 1, 2024, at which time she will become the congregation’s First Rabbi Emerita.
“It’s with mixed emotions that we announce Rabbi Eger’s plans to retire in 2024 from serving as our Senior Rabbi,” said Peter Mackler, President of Kol Ami’s Board of Trustees. “For more than 30 years, Rabbi Eger has nourished our souls and our communities through her teachings, unparalleled leadership, and activism. We are excited for what her next chapter may hold and are grateful that she will remain connected to our congregation by serving as our First Rabbi Emerita.”
Since its inception in 1993 and under Eger’s leadership, Kol Ami has long held an international reputation for its progressive advocacy work and commitment to the LGBTQ+ community, social justice, diversity, and a world in which all individuals are honored and connected.
“I have proudly dedicated my life to Congregation Kol Ami and our congregants,” said Rabbi Eger. “For 30 years it has been the greatest privilege to work together to build this sacred place which has become a beacon of light in our community and in the Reform Jewish movement. The decision to retire from serving as Senior Rabbi was not an easy one to make but is necessary so I may pursue my own next chapter – one that focuses more on teaching and lecturing as well as allowing for time with family.”
In addition to her many achievements as Kol Ami’s Founding Senior Rabbi, Eger is a highly respected international lecturer and author, and is often a “rabbi of firsts”. Her groundbreaking accomplishments include serving as the first woman president of the Board of Rabbis in Los Angeles, the first LGBTQ president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and officiated the first legal same-sex marriage in California. She is also a noted author and editor of two groundbreaking books.
“With us preparing to mark the 30th anniversary of Kol Ami, there will be plenty of opportunities to celebrate what we’ve accomplished as a congregation as well as celebrating our beloved rabbi,” said Mackler. “I hope you join us.”
Although her official retirement will take effect in 2024, an interim rabbi will be in place on July 1, 2023, to assist with the search process for the next settled rabbi. This Interim Rabbi will lead Kol Ami and the day-to-day operations of the temple while Eger is on sabbatical.
For more information and to view the letters to the congregation please visit www.Kol-Ami.org.
She showed me great kindness at a time in my life when I really needed it! I will always be grateful, and I wish her joy, happiness, and peace!
I wish Rabbi Eger nothing but joy, happiness and adventures in the next chapter of her life. She has been a great example for so many.
I don’t know her personally, by I do remember when I worked for EDGE Magazine back in the day, Rabbi Denise Eger used to contribute some great articles to the magazine and was very pleasant to work with. Hope she has an awesome retirement.