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Bio & Contact Rabbi Chava

Chava Bahle (formerly Stacie Schiff Fine) was the founding rabbi of Congregation Ahavat Shalom in Traverse City, which she and a group of families created to meet the needs of Jewish and inter-cultural families in northwest lower Michigan. She retired from the Ahavat Shalom pulpit in June, 2007 to pursue other interests.

She is known across the region as visionary leader to people of all cultural backgrounds.

Rabbi Chava teaches courses in religion, spirituality, writing and non-profit leadership at Northwestern Michigan College, where she helped found the non-profit leadership certificate program. Her recent teaching and consulting experience includes Makom Shalom (Chicago), Bayview Association of the United Methodist Church, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Womenís Resource Center, Northwestern Michigan College, Leelanau Childrenís Center, Zonta Club, Munson Hospice and Palliative Care, Traverse City Senior Center, numerous public schools, the State of Michigan and public presentations on topics ranging from organizational change to communications skills.

She currently travels to serve as Rabbi of Makom Shalom, the Community, of Chicago, Makom Shalom's website and is the rabbinic leader of the Jewish Catholic Family School of Chicago. Family School's webiste She also serves as the Visiting Rabbi of Temple Beth El in Midland, Michigan.

Rabbi Chava is a frequent visitor to C3 Exchange in Spring Lake. A great videos of "The God Whsiper" sermon can be found
here.


Her Master of Arts is in Near Eastern Studies (1994, under the direction of Rabbi Dr. Elliot Ginsburg) from University of Michigan.

She received her first smicha (rabbinic ordination) in 1998 from a beth din (rabbinical court) of ordained rabbis from 3 denominations in New York.

Rabbi Chava received rabbinic smicha from the ALEPH Alliance for Jewish Renewal Smicha Program in July, 2005. click here to visit ALEPH's Rabbinic Program site

She is also an ordained Maggid, a Jewish inspirational preacher and story teller in the lineage of Maggid Yitzhak Buxbaum, Rabbi Zalman Schachter Shalomi and Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. To read the text of her ordination certificate, click here to read the smicha document

Rabbi Chava is the Director of the Or Tzafon Retreat Community, a center for the study of Jewish mysticism, interfaith spiritual practice and contemporary worship, serving the Midwest.

She was a volunteer chaplain for the Michigan Department of Corrections for 18 years, and was the 1999 recipient of the city of Traverse Cityís Sara Hardy Humanitarian Award for her work in human rights. She has been recognized by the Michigan Department of Civil Rights for her leadership in this arena.

Rabbi Chava performs and co-officates at intercultural (interfaith) wedding ceremonies and other life cycles.

She lives in Suttons Bay and is married to Karl Bahle. Together they are raising a fine and holy kitten named Minnie Purrl.


Why Rabbi Chava loves living Up North



Rabbi Chava Bahle
P O Box 441
Suttons Bay MI 49682
(231)357-7152
email: rabbichava@gmail.com
click here to email me

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