Jewish Tradition
Nov 05, 2020 7:45 AM
Rabbi Ellie Shemtov
Jewish Tradition

As the ex-wife of an alcoholic who passed away in 2010, Rabbi Ellie Shemtov is committed to raising awareness of this disease in the Jewish community.  Her rabbinical school thesis entitled, “Beit Yosef: a Sacred Space for Healing from the Disease of Addiction,” investigated Beit T’Shuvah a residential treatment center and full-service congregation in Los Angeles, as a model of what might be possible on the East Coast.

Rabbi Shemtov studied flute at Ithaca College and received her Bachelor’s degree in Music and Master’s degree in Library Science from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  For more than 20 years she worked as a film librarian/archivist at a variety of institutions in the Washington, DC area, including the University of Maryland at College Park and the National Archives and Records Administration.  Rabbi Shemtov’s most recent position before going back to school was as Head of Film Cataloging at the Library of Congress.

An early Jewish presence on the Internet, Rabbi Shemtov created and designed the website, Ellie’s Torah Trope Tutor.  A tool for teaching others how to chant Torah, Haftorah, and the Megillot, her web page has been a presence on the Internet since 1996.  While there are many other web sites that teach the art of cantillation, Ellie’s Torah Trope Tutor was the first of its kind.

Rabbi Shemtov was ordained by the Academy for Jewish Religion (AJR) in Yonkers, NY in May 2014 and has been serving as rabbi at the Rutland Jewish Center in Rutland, VT since July 2019.  Previously, Rabbi Shemtov served congregations in Freehold, New Jersey, Long Beach, New York and Lexington Park, Maryland.