RABBI SIMONE SCHICKER
Rabbi Simone Schicker (she/her) serves as Temple B’nai Israel’s full-time spiritual leader. She is a member of the Board of Friendship Village here in Kalamazoo and is the co-chair of Faith Alliance: A Project of OutFront Kalamazoo. She is the co-VP of National Programming for the Women's Rabbinic Network. Rabbi Schicker was also honored as Clergy of the Year by ISAAC in 2021.
Rabbi Schicker (she/her) grew up up in the suburbs of Houston, and was raised in an interfaith household where she found herself drawn to Judaism after multiple summers at Camp Young Judaea – Texas. Throughout middle and high school, Rabbi Schicker was actively involved in Jewish youth activities including NFTY-TOR, J-Serve, Panim, March of the Living, and others. It was at her bat mitzvah that she felt called to pursue the rabbinate.
Rabbi Schicker earned her BA in History with honors at Birmingham-Southern College (BSC) in Birmingham, AL. While in college at BSC she jump started Jewish student involvement in religious activities, as well as helped found an Interfaith House where students of different faiths lived together while running programming for other students on the campus.
After her undergraduate studies, Rabbi Schicker worked at the American Hebrew Academy in Greensboro, North Carolina (which was the only pluralistic college-prep Jewish boarding school until it closed) prior to beginning her studies at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion.
Rabbi Schicker distinguished herself throughout her time at HUC-JIR: as President of the Rabbinic Student Association she had the privilege to represent the rabbinical student body to the Board of Overseers during their annual meeting, and she was elected by her peers to sit on the HUC-JIR admissions committee. Rabbi Schicker received awards both for her service to the College community as well as for her academic success. She was also instrumental in starting the conversation on campus about Gender Dynamics, and was the student leader of the Gender Task Force through which she helped coordinate multiple campus-wide learning opportunities on the topics of microaggressions and gender.
Rabbi Schicker worked with multiple Jewish organizations in Cincinnati during her time at HUC-JIR including the Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education, Rockdale Temple, and Kulanu: The Cincinnati Jewish High School. In addition to this work within the Cincinnati Jewish community, Rabbi Schicker served as a chaplain intern at The Jewish Hospital in Cincinnati. She is proud to have served congregations in West Virginia, Texas, Michigan and Iowa. Rabbi Schicker earned her Masters of Arts in Hebrew Letters in 2017 and was ordained a rabbi in 2018.
Since coming to Kalamazoo Rabbi Schicker has gotten involved in activities across the City and the Region. She is often asked to speak to groups of all ages about Judaism. Rabbi Schicker has taught Judaism 101 classes for ISAAC, as well as to middle school students, college students, and chaplains in training. Rabbi Schicker is on the Board of Friendship Village and the co-chair of Faith Alliance: A Program of OutFront Kalamazoo. She is on the Board of the Women's Rabbinic Network. She is also a Rukin Rabbinic Fellow through 18Doors.
In her free time, Rabbi Schicker enjoys spending time with her partner, their house full of animals and bonus kids. She is a book lover and always enjoys recommendations.