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About Me

rabbi tziona szajman ithaca NY fuenral wedding offciant

Rabbi Tziona Szajman

pronouns she/her

As the grandchild of a holocaust survivor, I feel strongly about building interfaith trust and relationship. I have worked throughout my career creating points of connection and understanding in my interfaith work. I have organized and spoken out against modern slavery in all its pernicious forms. I am an advocate and abolitionist.

My awe is awakened in nature. The gorges of Ithaca with their sharp rocks and deep waters keep me balanced.  During Covid times, when my work as a hospital chaplain has pressed upon me, I have gathered strength and courage from my walks in the woods.  I am committed to a sustainable life that honors and cares for our world.


Originally from Toronto, Canada, I attended McGill University and then graduated from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2002 with a master's in Jewish Education and Rabbinic Ordination.  I worked for 15 years as a congregational rabbi and educator and then came to Ithaca, NY to work as a hospital chaplain.

My passions in life are storytelling, nature, and social activism.  I believe we bring God into our lives as we connect with each other, when we honor nature, and when we work towards making a better world. In my work as a rabbi and a chaplain, I am honored to hear people’s stories, to be welcomed into their highest and lowest points, and to bring sacredness with my joy, my presence, and my comfort.


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