Elana Zaiman is a rabbi, chaplain, and writer of essays, nonfictions, fictions, and articles.
She is the first woman rabbi from a family spanning six generations of rabbis.
Elana grew up in Providence, Rhode Island. She first questioned her faith when her youngest brother, Rafi, died of cancer at 11 years old. In her writing and speaking she questions. She is drawn to the tensions lurking in the spaces between: darkness and light, young and old, crazy and sane, sacred and profane.
For five years Elana served as a rabbi at Manhattan’s Park Avenue Synagogue. She also served as program director and acting director at Tufts University Hillel in Massachusetts, as program associate and associate scholar-in-residence at Brandeis-Bardin Institute in California, as interim rabbi for a Seattle-based congregation, and as a visiting rabbi to communities in Alberta, Canada, and Eastern Washington.
Elana served as the chaplain for the aged at The Caroline Kline Galland Home for over a decade and is currently a chaplain at The Summit At First Hill in Seattle, Washington. She has been a High Holy Day rabbi at Beth Israel Congregation in Vancouver, BC, and a consultant to families, couples, and individuals writing ethical wills. Elana is also a columnist for Liv Fun.
Elana travels throughout the United States and Canada serving as scholar-in-residence, speaker, and workshop facilitator. Her talks and workshops on Ethical Wills have taken her to faith-based communities, inter-faith events, social service organizations, women’s organizations, and to conferences on financial planning, funding, health-care, and elder law.
Her essays, nonfictions, fictions, and articles have appeared in literary journals, anthologies, magazines and newspapers.
Her publications in literary journals include: The Gettysburg Review, The Sun, Post Road, The Dalhousie Review, American Letters & Commentary, The Raven Chronicles, Under The Sun, Pilgrimage, The Beloit Fiction Journal, Rayonot A Journal Of Ideas, and other venues.
Her publications in anthologies include: The Kid Turned Out Fine, The Women’s Torah Commentary, and other venues.
Her publications in magazines and newspapers include: Liv Fun, Jo Lee Magazine, JTNews, The Jewish Transcript, The Baltimore Jewish Times, The Jewish Week, Bar News (Washington State Bar Association), and other venues.
Elana holds a BA in religion and psychology from George Washington University and a MSW from Columbia University School of Social Work. She also received MA degrees in Judaic Studies and in Hebrew Literature, as well as rabbinic ordination from The Jewish Theological Seminary of America.
Elana lives in Seattle, Washington with her husband, Seth, and their son, Gabriel.