Rabbi Eleanor Steinman, Ed.D, to Lead Temple Beth Shalom in Austin | Shalom Austin

Rabbi Eleanor Steinman, Ed.D, to Lead Temple Beth Shalom in Austin

Community News, Local Synagogues, The Jewish Outlook

Aug 25, 2022

Rabbi Dr. Eleanor Steinman. Credit: David Finkel Photography 


By: Jennifer Kramer 

On August 15, 2022, Temple Beth Shalom announced that Rabbi Dr. Eleanor Steinman will become its next senior rabbi as of July 1, 2023. Rabbi Dr. Steinman will succeed Rabbi Alan Freedman, who has been named rabbi emeritus after 20 years of leadership. Rabbi Dr. Steinman will be the first female and first openly LGBTQ senior rabbi of the congregation. 

Rabbi Dr. Steinman has served as a member of the clergy team of Temple Beth Shalom since 2021. Ordained in 2008 from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Rabbi Dr. Steinman received her doctorate in Organizational Change and Leadership from the University of Southern California. She brings her warmth, humor, scholarship, and leadership experience to her role as senior rabbi. 

It is a tremendous honor to be named the next senior rabbi of Temple Beth Shalom. This congregation is at an exciting time in its development, as is the city of Austin, and it is a thrill for me to partner with the lay leadership and staff to chart our future together,” Rabbi Dr. Steinman said. 

Rabbi Dr. Steinman has previously served pulpits in Toronto, Los Angeles, and Houston before coming to Austin. She is noted for her work in education, youth, and nonprofit development. Rabbi Dr. Steinman has previous experience in nonprofit leadership, having served as the executive director of California Faith for Equality, an interfaith statewide organization that fought for marriage equality, and as program director of A Wider Bridge. She is also an adjunct faculty member at Hebrew Union College, School of Education. 

“We are excited to have Rabbi Dr. Steinman as our next senior rabbi. She has shown us a vision for our future that builds upon the legacy of Rabbi Freedman. She is an outstanding pastor, teacher, and scholar,” said Temple Beth Shalom Board President Steve Fintel. 

Rabbi Dr. Steinman said, “Temple Beth Shalom is a vibrant congregation, and I am excited to lead this community spiritually. I am also grateful to succeed my friend and colleague Rabbi Alan Freedman. The Jewish community in Austin is impressive and I am grateful for his faith in me and that of the Temple Beth Shalom membership as his successor.” 

Rabbi Dr. Eleanor Steinman is a graduate of Brandeis University. She was ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and also earned a master’s degree in Jewish Education and Hebrew Letters. She holds the title of Reform Jewish Educator, and recently completed a doctorate in Organizational Change and Leadership from the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education. A native of Los Angeles, Rabbi Dr. Steinman grew up in St. Paul, MN. She is proudly married to Rabbi Denise L. Eger. Her stepson lives in Dallas. 

Since its founding, Temple Beth Shalom’s focus has been to create a warm, welcoming, and supportive faith community where members can connect, explore, and support each other on our shared Jewish journey. With nearly 700 member units, more than 2,100 people from diverse backgrounds, Jewish and Jewish adjacent, make up this vibrant sacred Jewish community. For more information, contact Temple Beth Shalom at (512) 735-8900 or bethshalomaustin.org. 

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