Madeline R. Anderson is a candidate for rabbinic ordination of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Cincinnati, Ohio.
While studying at the University of Indianapolis, Madeline helped establish the “Precious Words Africa” project to support multiple schools in Ghana by equipping them with library books, classroom furniture, and building expansions. Madeline’s experiences in Ghana sparked a passion for serving others and led her to seek a position as an AmeriCorps service member following college graduation in 2013. She served as a member of the Indiana HabiCorps team at Habitat for Humanity of Greater Indianapolis (Indy Habitat). This year-long program provided
her with the practical skills of home building and the intangible skills of problem-solving, team building, and relational leadership.
Madeline’s leadership during her AmeriCorps service earned her a job in the Indy Habitat administrative office. As the administrative assistant, Madeline honed her skills in balancing multiple projects and expanded her marketing, volunteer support, and relationship-building skills. When the opportunity to take her talents to the Jewish community presented itself, Madeline left Indy Habitat to become the communications coordinator at Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation (IHC). At IHC, Madeline helped create the synagogue’s first marketing and communications department by streamlining existing processes and implementing new systems.
During her time at IHC, the Jewish communities commitment to justice inspired Madeline to go back to school and pursue rabbinic ordination. As a rabbinical student at HUC-JIR, Madeline served in several different roles. While she has gained essential experience in each position, Madeline felt most at home in her rabbinic fellowships with the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC). At the JCRC, she expanded her skills in group facilitation, partner collaboration, antisemitism and Israel education, social media marketing, and program design. Madeline also served in more traditional rabbinic roles. She worked in two midwestern student pulpits leading prayer, delivering sermons, and teaching learners of all age levels while building relationships with community members. In Cincinnati religious schools, Madeline helped develop curriculum and instruct courses for teens on Jewish social justice and the modern and historical representations of antisemitism. She also designed and taught a curriculum on Jewish identity for B’nai Mitzvah students during the height of the covid19 pandemic. Furthermore, Madeline served as a full-time Chaplain in the summer of 2021, meeting regularly with hospital patients to discuss their concerns and spiritual needs.
Madeline completed her Master of Hebrew Letters (MHL) in May 2021. She expects to be ordained in May 2022.
Madeline likes to be with her fifteen-year-old dog, Chase, taking walks, playing, and relaxing on the couch in her time off. She values spending time with friends and family while cooking and eating delicious foods, participating in philosophical discussions, and getting dogs together for playdates. Some of her other interests include listening to podcasts, bicycling, yoga, meditation, knitting, and practicing playing her guitar.