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Our Rabbi

Rabbi Vered L. Harris became the spiritual leader of Temple B’nai Israel in Oklahoma City in 2012. She is the fifth rabbi to serve the congregation since its founding in 1903.
 
Rabbi Harris’ community work in Oklahoma City includes interfaith dialogue, guest lecturing, and multi-faith prayer services. At the Temple she enjoys serving with a professional and volunteer team offering religious education, pastoral care, prayer, and social action opportunities. Our rabbi's specific interests include ritual, creative expression, and applying Jewish values to our modern lives. Rabbi Harris is concerned about civil and human rights, and particularly the ways in which members of minority groups are heard and respected in our community.
 
Nationally, Rabbi Harris is a member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and the Association of Reform Jewish Educators. She is also an alumna of the Elaine Breslow Institute at Beit T’shuvah (2016), the American Jewish World Service Young Rabbis Delegation to Muchucuxcah, Mexico (2011), the Jewish Women’s Archives Educator Institute focusing on the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S. South (2010), and Germany Close-Up (2008).
 
Rabbi Harris received her Master of Arts degree in Hebrew Letters and her rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), and her Master of Arts degree in Jewish Education from the Rhea Hirsch School of Education at HUC-JIR. Her MAJE projects included “The Role of the Rabbi in the Religious School,” and a curriculum integrating prayer and the arts. Her Rabbinic thesis was “Contemporary Midrash: A Tradition Continues.” In 2002 Rabbi Harris was awarded the title of Reform Jewish Educator from the National Association of Temple Educators. Her undergraduate degree is from California State University, Northridge, in Liberal Studies with a focus on the ethnic child, and a minor in Jewish Studies. Rabbi Harris' publications include “Abraham, Great-Grandma Mary, and Me,” (Reform Judaism, Winter 2013), “A Shabbat State of Mind" (the American Rabbi, 2009), and she was the weekly writer for the book of Numbers in 2017/5777 as part of “Reform Voices of Torah,” the Reform movement’s national on-line commentary.
 
Rabbi Harris’ family is from the United States and Israel. She is an advocate for a diverse and inclusive Jewish state of Israel. Mostly raised in Simi Valley, California, Rabbi Harris has lived in California, Israel, Germany, Ohio and Kansas prior to settling in Oklahoma with her husband Benjamin and their three children.
Wed, October 20 2021 14 Cheshvan 5782