Rabbi Eric Leiderman
Eric Leiderman (he/they) joined the IsraelLINK team in May 2021 as Midwest Regional Director. He oversees the Etta & David Jonas Israel Educators Fellowship & Network, designed to bring inspiring Israel education into every midwestern middle school classroom. As a product of Jewish day schools and Camp Ramah, Eric’s work experience includes Jewish organizations in the U.S. and Israel. Eric currently sits on the national board of directors for MERCAZ USA and the American Zionist Movement and is a delegate to the World Zionist Congress. Eric studied sociology and religion at Binghamton University and Judaic studies at the University of Hartford. In addition, he has spent time studying at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem, the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, and holds private semicha (rabbinic ordination). Eric lives in Chicago with his wife, Sarah Pila-Leiderman, Ph.D.
Favorite Israel Experience: During my post-high school gap year, I lived in the small Negev town of Yeruham, where I was part of a crew assigned to a Moroccan rabbi who spoke Hebrew, Arabic, and French—but not English. Despite the language barrier with our boss, we helped beautify and refresh the local Moroccan synagogue and neighborhood mikveh (ritual bath).
Favorite IsraelLINK Lesson: My go-to unit when teaching IsraelLINK is always Diversity. This unit showcases a rich tapestry woven by the stories of all the different people who live in the modern State of Israel. These are the stories of people whose families have lived in the Land of Israel for as long as they can remember, alongside those whose families have made aliyah (immigration to Israel).