Rabbi Laura Baum is a connector and innovator who has built her rabbinate “outside the box.” As one of the rabbis of Congregation Beth Adam and one of the Founding Rabbis of OurJewishCommunity.org, Rabbi Baum reaches tens of thousands of Jews.
Rabbi Baum has been part of Beth Adam’s staff since 2006. In addition to overseeing Beth Adam’s Religious School and building our online congregation, Rabbi Baum has a full range of responsibilities in leading services, officiating at lifecycle events, teaching, preaching, and providing pastoral care.
An expert on social media and the changing needs of the Jewish community, Rabbi Baum has created an innovative model for engaging those seeking new ways to connect to Judaism. In 2010, Rabbi Baum was honored by the Jewish Forward as one of the 50 most influential female rabbis in America. Rabbi Baum was also a 2010-2011 rabbinic fellow of Rabbis Without Borders, an initiative of CLAL. Through her work, OurJewishCommunity.org received a WOMMY award from the Word of Mouth Marketing Association. Rabbi Baum’s writing and work have been featured on CNN, the Jerusalem Post, NPR, and hundreds of other news stories. Rabbi Baum has also worked as an adjunct instructor of Human Relations at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC).
She was ordained in Cincinnati in 2008 by HUC. In 2012, she received an MBA from Xavier University. Rabbi Baum graduated from Yale University in 2001, Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and with distinction in the Psychology major.
Prior to enrolling in rabbinical school, she worked for two years as the Rabbinic Intern at Congregation Mishkan Israel in Hamden, Connecticut. During her time at HUC, Rabbi Baum served as Student Rabbi of Congregation Gates of Prayer in New Iberia, Louisiana; the United Hebrew Congregation in Terre Haute, Indiana; and Congregation B’nai Abraham in Portsmouth, Ohio. She also worked as the Education Director of Crane Lake Camp in Great Barrington, Massachusetts and as a Chaplain at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
Her rabbinic thesis was a text immersion project titled “Ideological, Philosophical, and Practical Approaches to Jewish Education.” In 2007, she received the Rabbi Morris H. Youngerman Memorial Prize for the best sermon preached in the HUC Chapel during the academic year. While in Cincinnati, Rabbi Baum has volunteered at Fernside: A Center for Grieving Children.
Follow her on Twitter @Rabbi.