We are excited to welcome Rabbi Lexi Erdheim as our new Associate Rabbi. As a member of our team, Rabbi Erdheim will have a full range of responsibilities in leading worship, officiating life cycle events, teaching, and serving as a member of our leadership, engagement, and clergy team. Rabbi Erdheim’s priority will be to bring her tremendous energy, creativity, and vision to our social justice work and to partner with Rabbi Nichols on adult education.
Rabbi Erdheim was born and raised in Livingston, NJ. She fell in love with the South after spending two summers as the Director of Jewish Life at URJ Henry S. Jacobs Camp outside of Jackson, MS. She currently serves as a rabbi at Congregation Gates of Prayer in Metairie, LA where she oversees young adult engagement and social justice programming. During the summers, she has led the staff training and leadership development program at Jacobs Camp.
Rabbi Erdheim received her rabbinic ordination and nonprofit management degrees from Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles in 2019. While in school, she served as the student rabbi for two years in Amarillo, TX. She was also the intern at Hillel 818, a communal Hillel for Cal State Northridge, LA Valley College, and Pierce College in the San Fernando Valley.
Rabbi Erdheim is a devoted fan of the New York Yankees and the New Orleans Saints. She loves to go to the movies and try out new breweries. Rabbi Lexi, her fiancé Charlie, and their husky, Henry, are thrilled to be joining our Tempe Beth El family.
Please visit www.templebethel.org for opportunities to meet and interact with Rabbi Erdheim. We look forward to welcoming Rabbi Erdheim and Charlie to Charlotte and the TBE community. We will continue to celebrate TBE’s phenomenal legacy and set a path for our future.
- Job Title
- What drew you to working at Temple Beth El and what have you found most sustaining?
I was drawn to Temple Beth El because of the collaborative nature of the congregation and the greater Charlotte Jewish community. I was impressed by how the clergy, staff, and congregants work as a team to create a meaningful Jewish community, as well as how Jewish Charlotte works together on and off Shalom Park. I am also excited to deepen my social justice work within this community; it has been amazing to see the dedication of this community creating a more just and equitable world.
- Tell us about your journey to Charlotte and Temple Beth El.
As a rising second-year rabbinical student, I was assigned to work at URJ Henry S. Jacobs Camp in Utica, Mississippi. As a northeasterner, I had never been to the Deep South and had never considered working in the Jewish South. But within days, I fell in love with Jacobs Camp and found my rabbinic calling: to serve the Jews of the South. I interned at Congregation Gates of Prayer in Metairie, LA (suburb of New Orleans) as their Young Adult Coordinator for two years, and then upon ordination, came aboard full time, overseeing young adult engagement and social justice programming and spending my summers at Jacobs Camp. I am thrilled to be staying in the south!
- What is your favorite part of your job? Why?
Helping congregants find themselves within the Jewish tradition and the Jewish people. I love when I can assist a congregant in finding a Jewish book, text, organization, or community that changes their lives for the better.
- What do you wish congregants knew about your job?
That my job is to spend time with all y’all! So often, congregants are apologetic about scheduling time to grab coffee, stop by my office, or give me a call because they “know I am busy” and don’t want to take up too much of my time – but the relationships are the best part of the job and I love getting to know everyone!
- What do you enjoy doing when you are with family and friends?
Playing board games, going out to restaurants and breweries, and watching baseball and football games.
- What is your favorite hobby?
I recently have become a stand-up comedy enthusiast (although I don’t do stand-up myself). I love attending shows, listening to podcasts, and watching comedy specials.
- What is your most memorable moment?
In March 2020, I spoke on the steps of the Supreme Court as arguments were presented for the June Medical v. Russo case, which, had it been upheld, would have severely limited Louisianans access to safe abortion providers. What made it particularly memorable was that my parents traveled down to Washington D.C. to attend. Protesting alongside my parents, who have been fighting for a woman’s right to choose for decades was an incredibly meaningful experience.
- If you could have dinner with any person living or deceased, who would it be, and why?
Suzyn Waldman (color commentator for the New York Yankees radio broadcast). I would love to ask her about her experiences as a Jewish woman working in baseball. She is an incredible sportscaster who has been a pioneer for women in the MLB, a dedicated Jew (she takes off every year on the High Holy Days) and is a talented singer and musical theater actress. I think we would have a lovely time getting to know one another over a pastrami sandwich from Katz’s deli.
- What is something about you that TBE congregants might not know?
In grad school, I played in a recreational dodgeball league and it was an absolute blast!
- Anything else?
I am looking forward to meeting everyone and exploring Charlotte!