Rabbi Allyson Zacharoff

  • Country: United States
  • Cohort: VI

Rabbi Allyson Zacharoff lives a life passionately devoted to multifaith dialogue — bringing people together across lines of religious difference so that they can all grow in understanding and respect. It was the pursuit of this path that inspired her path to the rabbinate, and she serves as the Rabbi of Congregation Beth Hatikvah in Summit, N.J.

Rabbi Zacharoff had learned the value of religious diversity at a young age, growing up on Long Island, N.Y., as the Jewish child of the beautiful interfaith marriage. It was during her studies at the College of William and Mary that she first realized that not everyone appreciates such difference. Her undergraduate research focused on modern and contemporary antisemitism in Europe, and this inspired her to find ways to combat such baseless hatred. Her fulfilling college experience included a semester studying abroad in Florence, Italy, and another working for the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff, the United Kingdom, before she spent a summer interning at Global Spiritual Life, the interfaith office at New York University. It was there that she was first exposed to people working in interfaith dialogue professionally. She had found her life path.

Since that meaningful first experience, Rabbi Zacharoff has spent much of her time focused on multifaith learning and dialogue. After college, she studied as part of the Russell Berrie Fellowship in Interreligious Studies in Rome, Italy; worked for the Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees in New York City; served as a Conflict Resolution Fellow at Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem; and studied as an International Peacemaking Program Fellow at Hartford International University for Religion and Peace in Connecticut. Over time, she came to realize that she dearly wanted to deepen her Jewish knowledge in rabbinical school.

Along her way, Rabbi Zacharoff has undertaken various grant funded multifaith projects. She currently serves as an official Jewish representative on several national interfaith dialogues here in the United States, regularly attends international interfaith convenings and writes about her interfaith life on her blog, “Of Christmas and Kreplach.” Rabbi Zacharoff’s vision for the world is one in which everyone has meaningful relationships with people of all backgrounds. She works towards a time when we can all celebrate our beautiful differences.

Now go out and love one another.