Rabbi Judy Chessin

Judy ChessinRabbi Judy Chessin has been the Rabbi of Temple Beth Or since its inception in 1984.

Originally from Orlando, Florida, Rabbi Chessin received her undergraduate training at the University of South Florida, where she was the first graduate in Judaic Studies within the Religious Studies Department. After studying in Jerusalem, Israel, she went on to complete her Masters of Arts in Hebrew Letters at the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio.

There she received ordination as Rabbi in June of 1984 and was awarded the Morris H. Youngerman Prize for Homiletics. During her tenure at HUC-JIR, she served pulpits in Owensboro, Kentucky, and Brookhaven, Mississippi. Rabbi Chessin also directed Youth and College Programming at the seminary for three years.

Rabbi Chessin also studied graduate level psychology at the University of Cincinnati, and worked as a caseworker at both the University of Cincinnati’s Walk-in Clinic and Jewish Family Service of Cincinnati. From 1984 to 1985 she received pastoral counseling training and supervision at the Pastoral Counseling Center at Miami Valley Hospital.

In 1984 she was asked to guide 35 South Dayton families in their endeavor to create a Reform Jewish synagogue in the Centerville area. Together they created Temple Beth Or.

Along with her duties at the congregation, Rabbi Chessin speaks extensively in Dayton area universities, churches, synagogues and organizations on topics of Jewish interest. She also serves as a mentor to rabbinic students at the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion who are preparing for a career in the rabbinate. Additionally, she spends a several weeks each summer teaching Jewish youth at the Goldman Union Camp Institute in Zionsville, Indiana. 

She is known for her efforts to work with other synagogues and other faiths. Rabbi Chessin has received multiple awards during her career and is a recognized leader in the Dayton Jewish community. 

Rabbi Judy Chessin is married to Rabbi Michael Cook, Ph.D., who teaches at the Hebrew Union College. Together they have two grown sons: Brett and Chad Chessin.


Contact Rabbi Chessin at rabbichessin@templebethor.com


Rabbi Chessin’s Monthly Column