Rabbi Linda Steigman is delighted to be on a Beit Din where the outcome is converting you to be either a latke lover or a hamantash fanatic. Rabbi Steigman first encountered the now famous Latke Hamantash Debate at the University of Chicago in the early 1960s. She remembers sitting with others in the Hillel House living room, being entertained by distinguished professors in all subjects. Since then she has been making latkes and hamantashen, in their season, for many years, delighting family and friends with both. Her hamantashen have even been gently carried to Israel in March, 1993, for her children who were both studying there. Arriving just four days before Pesach, so they had to be consumed quickly. Not a problem.
Rabbi Steigman acquired her cooking skills from her maternal grandmother, Mamie Nathan. She acquired her bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago, a master’s in clinical social work from Bryn Mawr College, and a master’s in Hebrew Literature and ordination from Hebrew Union College (New York). She also completed the hospital chaplaincy program at Midwest CPE.
Before she was ordained in 2004, Rabbi Steigman worked as a therapist, and as Director of Outreach and the Family for the Pennsylvania Region of the Reform Movement, where she counseled and taught couples in interfaith relationships, as well as guided people towards conversion. From 1989 to 1996 she traveled throughout Pennsylvania helping congregations learn how to welcome interfaith couples and bring them into the synagogue community.
Rabbi Steigman currently serves Temple Adath Joseph in St. Joseph, MO on a part-time basis; she teaches and tutors at Congregation Beth Torah and elsewhere. She has two children, Ellen Steigman and her husband John Valentino, and Stephen Steigman and his wife Tamara Falicov, along with three beautiful and delicious grandchildren, Ilan, Avital, and Noa, who love cooking with Grandma.
Rabbi Steigman is eager to taste the tidbits of wisdom from our presenters tonight.
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