Rabbi Dena Shaffer

Rabbi Dena is a visionary and experienced Jewish leader. Driven by her appreciation for the modern relevance of Jewish wisdom and a sense of gratitude for her own formative spiritual and educational experiences, Rabbi Dena takes pride in working to improve the lives of young people and the adults who care about them, and raising the profile of teenagers as a Jewish communal priority.

Her passion for combining justice work and experiential education was formed on the Cornell University campus and at Congregation Beth Israel in West Hartford, CT where, in her rabbinic capacity, she had the privilege of engaging teens and young adults in regular service learning and voluntourism adventures.

Dena also previously served as the executive director of 4Front Baltimore, a Jewish teen initiative under the umbrella of the national Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Funder Collaborative where she is now honored to work as the director of learning and engagement.

In addition to her Rabbinic ordination, she holds a Certificate in Jewish Education for Adolescents and Emerging Adults through the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and has expertise in adolescent development, experiential education, relationship building, community structural change, and scaling innovation. Dena is also passionate about the martial arts and when she’s not kicking butt, she can be found running on Baltimore’s under-appreciated trail system with her new puppy, Levi.