About Rabbi Jessica Marshall

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I was a 21-year-old seated in an unfamiliar sanctuary at Shabbat services with tears building in the corners of my eyes. A man with snow-white hair and slight, hunched frame held out his arm to his wife as they gingerly made their way up the steps toward the Torahs. As the rabbi blessed them on the sacred occasion of their 58th wedding anniversary, my neshama, my soul, filled and I knew sanctifying moments like this was how I wanted to spend my life. I started rabbinical school a year later.

For me, Judaism is an entree to soul-stirring moments and I connect most profoundly through the Jewish concept of chesed, lovingkindness. Harnessing chesed permeates our relationship to the Divine, ourselves, fellow-humans, and the earth. Integrating mindfulness and self-compassion into my Jewish practice similarly taps into soul-driven living. Add a healthy dose of lightheartedness, humor, and soaking up the Divine in the natural world and my passionate soul is nourished!

So much of life is awash in the Mystery...being born, death, falling in love...acknowledging the Mystery creates space for possibility. We bless the truths we hold dear and the things we will never know so that we might lean into them with courage and delight. I am passionate about creating sacred space to navigate the Mystery with openness and joy.

Guiding me is a primary commitment to helping build spiritual community and uniting Jews with the elements of Judaism that resonate most profoundly for them. Offering insights into Jewish teachings and rituals, my ultimate goal is to empower individuals to sanctify their path— to hear Judaism speaking in their voice. I celebrate the diversity of those I serve and the variety of meanings and approaches toward holiness for each person.

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I have always loved tailoring lifecycle rituals to the sprit and personality of each person and sharing such a heart-centered moment. Particularly interested in reimagining mikveh, ritual immersion in natural bodies of water, I seek to sanctify all of life’s moments--from a painful diagnosis or chronic illness to finding love after grief. I particularly love immersions in nature which invite us to connect more deeply to the wonders of creation and transformation. I am thrilled to build my rabbinate around creative lifecycle rituals.

Previously, I joyously served Judaism Your Way in Denver and Temple Beth Or, a Reform synagogue in Everett, Washington from 2009-2017. I also taught at Temple De Hirsch Sinai, the University of Washington Hillel, and Seattle University.

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Prior to my time in the Pacific Northwest, I served as the Hillel rabbi at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, as well as synagogues in Ohio and Long Island, New York. I cared for patients’ pastoral needs at the Jewish Home and Hospital in the Bronx, and worked at The Jewish Council on Urban Affairs in Chicago and United Jewish Communities in Washington D.C. I enjoy professional leadership within the Women’s Rabbinic Network as the VP of National Programs & Events.

I was ordained as a Reform rabbi from Hebrew Union College in 2008. Originally from Chicago, I graduated from the University of Illinois with a B.S. in Psychology.

You can often find me on the hiking trail, soaking up the beauty of the Colorado, tearing up the pavement on my bicycle, or skiing throughout the Rockies. I have led hikes in Washington State and New York and have also participated in bike trips in both Israel and the United States raising money to support Jewish environmental justice.

I am also a Scrabble fanatic, die-hard podcast devotee, and connoisseur of almond butter and jelly sandwiches. I look forward to meeting you and can be reached via the contact form on the site.

Connect with me on Instagram!

Today's hike and a podcast that gave me what I've been seeking...a spiritual perspective on what's happening in the world right now that honors the pain and models how to heal via LOVE. Alea Lovely is an energy reader, medium, and intuitive empath. Her energy and perspective were golden. [https://christinehassler.com/2020/06/coaches-corner-episode-238/](https://christinehassler.com/2020/06/coaches-corner-episode-238/) Thank you, @thelovelyalea and @christinehassler #overitandonwithit

I've been thinking a lot lately about Sacred Paradox. Honoring and lifting up the pain and injustice that calls for redemption. Dismantling structures of oppression, elevating voices that have been silenced, and interrogating our own white fragility. AND feeling the tidal wave of Radical Love that wants to come in to heal the brokenness. It is mighty. What does it look like to create change by welcoming the darkness alongside the light? Reclaiming JOY amidst justice. Bringing sizzle to social action. We contain multitudes. What if there was no separateness between our exaltation and our sorrow? How can we integrate righteousness and rapture? Humanity is receiving a radical question from the Universe, "What is the world I want to create today?" How can the way I show up for myself and others alchemize the darkness into a world that truly reflects the magic, the Oneness, the gentleness, the delight of a deeper reality? With gratitude to @missnatalieroy and @hanggilove for our sacred dialogue. #sacredparadox #sacreddialogue #unveiling #newparadigm #radicallove #oneness

What does Mother Nature call forth when her voice rings between mountains and shacks, between and grandmothers and gurus, between and heartbreak and hope? Does she weave a story of exploding old paradigms so new ones may emerge? Does she whisper, "You don't have to prove anything to anyone. You are treasured more than you will ever know." Does she thunder, "Let me bring you to your knees so you can rise anew!" Does she guide our bodies to a gentle creek, singing us lullabies? Does she reimagine community so beautiful we ache? Does she show us a vision of a world more glorious than we could ever imagine? Let her shout! Let her murmur. Let us listen. #natureswisdom #mountains #colorado #resetbutton #innerwisdom #breathofthewild

So honored to be co-leading Pride Shabbat virtual services June 19 from 5:00-6:00 pm Join us for: ~ Sacred opportunity to celebrate Pride and being together, even when we are physically apart. ~ Song and silence, prayer and reflection, blessing and belonging. ~ Honoring Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Our service will include prayers written by LGBTQ+ Jews of color to recognize that now, more than ever, we stand for embracing diversity, inclusion and justice for everyone. ~Virtual oneg (an afterparty to the service) for those who would like to connect more Register here, it's free, your registration includes a Zoom link! https://www.judaismyourway.org/shabbat-alive-an-elevated-musical-community/ #pride🌈 #pride #shabbat #prideshabbat #juneteenth #inclusion

I found this article by racial justice advocate Deepa Iyar profoundly affirming. Check it out to more deeply explore: -What role(s) make you come alive, and why? -What role(s) are you often asked to step into by others? -What is the impact of various roles on you physically, energetically, emotionally, and spiritually? Is there an impact on others as a result? https://medium.com/dviyer/my-role-in-a-social-change-ecosystem-a-mid-year-check-in-1d852589cdb1 More about Deepa Iyar as a writer, strategist, lawyer, and racial justice advocate including her podcast: http://deepaiyer.com/ May we each honor the roles that lift up our Spirit and in turn elevates social and racial justice for all.

As the full moon rises tonight and the lunar eclipse adds even more potency, we're offered a deeper spiritual invitation to bring painful shadows before us so transformation can occur. This compilation from actor, writer, artist Abbi Jacobson @abbijacobson is rich: https://linktr.ee/abbij SO many resources... -A document with links to daily learning/activism resources and a schedule of what to do each day. -Vote Save America [adopting a swing state during this pivotal next election] -Petitions needing your signature! The arms of Spirit are open, to hold those in profound pain, to support each of us who want to do better, to heed the cries of those who have been silenced, to effect justice imploring the core of our humanity. Illustration by Alyssa Etoile

I created a post yesterday trying to address the despair and pain I've been feeling at the horrific violence unceasingly perpetrated against brothers and sisters of color.  I deleted the post 5 minutes later, scared I had not said enough, said it wrong, would be hurtful to those who deserve words that capture the enormous injustices piled on them for centuries. There are no words. There is instead, an invitation, a demand from Spirit that those of us with white privilege reckon with generations of harm.  In the words of Dr. Alexandra Solomon, "To forge something better for our kids. ⁣ To spare our black and brown neighbors and students and teachers and friends and family members.⁣ Restorative justice. Accountability. Healing ourselves." ⁣⁣ On my bike ride today, I passed a group playing basketball.  Black and brown neighbors, two of them were around my age, and a few younger kids, sitting on the side of the court chatting.  The guy my age had a t-shirt on that read, "Love Your Neighbor:  Act Justly." Micah 6:8." Tears welled up in my eyes as we said hello to each other.  That moment offered hope. It was a t-shirt reminding me that the deepest, truest change comes most powerfully from love. I will not get it perfect, my words will be clumsy, and I am committing to race forum conversations in Denver, humbly listening to the voices of neighbors who have been silenced. I am continuing to give money to advocacy efforts. I am texting ‘JUSTICE’ to 668366 and texting ‘FLOYD’ to 55156. My blessing for each of us is that we invite radical Love, and care, and righteousness pull at the edges of darkness and violence. Again and again and again until the words on the t-shirt are realized. "Love Your Neighbor:  Act Justly." Micah 6:8."

Gleefully spent 2 hrs. yesterday morning eating pancakes and writing this blessing. Sacred Sizzle and my new series Sacred Stories (stay tuned!) were both whispering for blessings. Such a delight to be in conversation with my Spirit through these words. #pancakes #blessings #sacredcommunity #sacredstories #horizon

Look who came to visit me! Three of these beauties!! The interwebs informed me, "When red finches come into our awareness it is a sure sign of ebullient times ahead. Finches are a sparkly omen of high energy and bright days on the horizon." I am gleefully sharing the blessing of these finches… virtual toast to ebullience and sparkly omens! #spiritanimal #redfinch #ebulliance #goodomens #sparkle

Today at 11:39 AM, a new moon is ushered into celestial skies. I am so excited about what she offers. This new moon falls in the sign of Gemini.  She is a storyteller, rich with imagination and prose.  Gemini prevails over communication.  She invites us to honor the ways we speak, and write, and listen. The Hebrew calendar is based on the moon's cycles and tomorrow begins the new Jewish month of Sivan.  Sivan marks the experience of revelation.  Sivan invites us to ask:  What is being revealed to me?  What new truths are resting upon my heart? We will bless the New Moon each month in Sacred Sizzle.  And so I integrate tradition, during our May Sacred Sizzle gathering we dive into inner revelations... How might I shape my life around sacred communication? With myself? With others? With Spirit? With my dreams? This new moon is filled with momentum, if you feel called to dive into sacred community and Sacred Dialogue, we'd love to have you in Sacred Sizzle.  1st gathering May 25! https://rabbijessicamarshall.com/sacred-sizzle #newmoon #sacredsizzle #sacredcommunity #revelation #sivan #beardediris #cantwait #sacreddialogue

Let's have a little fun this morning, shall we?!! Post a pic of the coffee mug you're using this am, (or a fave mug) and tell us its story. This was a $5 purchase from Target. I love this mug so very much. I love that things ARE going well, even when we feel like life or we are hot mess-tastic. Resting into the truth that Victoria Moran captures so beautifully, "In this moment, you are precisely as you should be. In this moment, there is infinite possibility." There is also a beautiful truth that if we took all the miraculousness happening on our planet and all the bad stuff, the negative would be the tiniest blip compared to the gloriousness of...the sun coming up! And babies in sunglasses! And the smell of wildflowers nestled in the earth! And the thrill of first kisses. Also, coffeeeeeeee! :) Can't wait to see your mugs! #targetstyle #coffee #choosingjoy #everydaymiracles

You know how some people's energy is G O L D E N ? I was already in love with Samin Nosrat. And now her podcast Home Cooking (with Hrishikesh Hirway) is the cherry on top! https://homecooking.show/ It's a bundle of joie de vivre, bad puns, and pee in your pants funny. And fun cooking inspiration. I LOVE connecting to Spirit via JOY, playfulness, and goof-ball antics. I love those moments that remind us of the magnificence of a light touch. Join me starting May 25 for Sacred Sizzle! This monthly gathering is chock full of sacred community and invites a connection to Spirit that is tender, and JOYOUS, and filled with exploding possibility! Link in my bio and here!! https://rabbijessicamarshall.com/sacred-sizzle #homecookingpodcast #saminnosrat #joy #spirit #irreverance #goofball #laughter #monthlygathering #newmoon #sacredcommunity #sacredcircle

This quote speaks to my depths. Creative ritual is that FIRE for me. I’m continually inspired by Sister Joan Chittister’s teaching, “Instead of chasing ideas for getting ahead, why not chase ideas for touching the Divine?” Ritual is a bridge to inner alignment, soul-wisdom. I use creative nature-inspired ritual to mark life's moments--transitions, challenges, sweet everyday moments, and momentous occasions. My rituals honor themes of releasing or welcoming in. Incorporating where the moon is in her cycle, we use the new moon to set intentions and the full moon to release burdens or heaviness that no longer serves us. Join me for Sacred Sizzle as we bless the new moon each month and create soul-aligned intentions to elevate lives of meaning and JOY! Link in my bio! https://rabbijessicamarshall.com/sacred-sizzle #ritual #newmoon #alignment #soulfood #soulalignment #integrity #joy #sacred #sacredcommunity