Hailing from Detroit MI, but having actually grown up in West Africa, Stephen speaks fluent French and Hebrew and has lived and traveled in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. He squeezed a master’s degree into four years in Jerusalem, 🙂 thoroughly enjoying his yearlong diversions from his MA at the Hebrew University, with extra-curricular learning at the Hartman Institute and the Conservative Yeshiva.
Stephen is married to Bethany, his lifetime study partner. This summer, their second child, Emet James Madison Slater, entered their lives, joining 3-year-old big sister, Anav!
Before deciding to be a rabbi, Stephen taught 20th century Jewish thought, Chumash and Beit Midrash at Milken Community High School in Los Angeles. He also taught at a few Hebrew schools (IKAR & Romemu) and tutored many families in the Boston area in Hebrew and Judaics. He enjoys teaching Hebrew language through play and interaction.
Before coming to us, he was a student rabbi at Shaaray Tefila, a conservative shul in upstate New York. The Slaters have felt very welcomed in Birmingham. Bethany is a very active Rebbetzin, teaching Torah throughout the week and helping to lead davening. During her weekdays, she is completing her PhD in Comparative Theology. She is excited to help people see how their lives connect with God and Torah. She is available to give lectures or meet with small groups interested in learning more about Jewish Thought, Halakha, Jewish Biblical Interpretation and Jewish-Christian Relations. She and Stephen share a passion for participating in and facilitating interfaith dialogue.
Stephen brings a fresh vision of what Torah can mean for our community’s life together today in Jewish Birmingham. He especially enjoys spending his time reaching out to those less involved, supporting song-filled services, telling stories, being a pastoral presence, strengthening social relationships, collaborating with volunteers to build capacity, and strengthening the social bonds within Beth-El and in the city of Birmingham.
Click here to email Rabbi Stephen.