Rabbi Erica Burech grew up in Wheeling, W.V., and graduated with honors from Brandeis University with a degree in Near Eastern Judaic studies, received her master’s degree in Hebrew letters from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and received ordination from HUC-JIR in 2000.
She was the director of Jewish life at Pardes Jewish Day School (Phoenix, AZ) for six years and before that spent three years as the director of religious education at Congregation Beth Israel (Phoenix, AZ), where she ran the religious school, Hebrew school and Jewish Junior High. She also served as a Rabbinic intern at Temple Emanuel (Tempe, AZ) and a visiting rabbi at Beth El Congregation (Phoenix, AZ) before moving to Israel, where she worked for various college programs, including Hadassah’s Young Judaea Year Course and Hebrew University’s Hillel. She spent three summers as the Judaic programming director at Camp Charles Pearlstein (now Camp Stein) in Prescott, AZ.
“Congregation Merkaz Ha-Iyr is comprised of a committed group of people who roll up their sleeves to create a warm, haimish, dedicated and active Jewish community,” Burech said. “I was so excited to discover such an amazing Jewish kehillah (community) right here in our backyard.”