Rabbi Ellen Lewis is a native of New Jersey and a graduate of Brown University.
After her ordination at Hebrew Union College in 1980, she served congregations in Dallas, TX; Summit, NJ (named Rabbi Honorata); and Washington, NJ (named Rabbi Emerita). She recently retired from congregational work to practice full-time as a therapist, supervisor, pastoral counselor, and professional coach.
Rabbi Lewis is a certified and licensed modern psychoanalyst in private practice in Bernardsville, NJ, and in New York City. She received her analytical training in New York at the Center for Modern Psychoanalytic Studies and has served on the faculty of the Academy of Clinical and Applied Psychoanalysis. She is also certified as a Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors.
Rabbi Lewis has over thirty years of congregational and clinical experience. She specializes in working with rabbis and cantors to develop the emotional resiliency and flexibility required for contemporary congregational and organizational work. She has long held the belief that seminary training ought to be complemented by an ongoing focus on strategies for pastoral care – care not just for congregants and the community but for the clergy as well. She works with colleagues individually and in small groups, in the overlapping roles of professional supervisor, therapist, and coach.
Her goal is to help rabbis and cantors meet the manifold challenges and complexities of congregational and collegial conflict, work–life balance, gender, and personal and professional transformations, with an overall aim of an increased capacity for self-care and reflection.
She has been a guest speaker at Wexner, JTS, and HUC, in the Leadership Institute, HUC Mentors’ Workshop, Schusterman Rabbinic Fellows, and Resnick Internship programs. She has written and presented widely about a variety of issues related to therapy and rabbinical supervision. She has also been quoted widely in books and articles about issues in pastoral counseling and women in the rabbinate.