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Rabbi Suzanne Griffel was ordained at the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Cincinnatti in 1990. She began her rabbinic career at Hillel at the University of Chicago, where she served as Associate Director from 1990 – 1996 and interim director from 1996 – 1997. She subsequently served as Rabbi of Congregation Or Chadash, a synagogue in Chicago with special outreach to the Jewish LGBT community. In 2004, after completing a residency in Clinical Pastoral Education at Rush Univeristy Medical Center, she served for thirteen years as a chaplain in the Jewish Care Services program at JourneyCare (formerly Midwest Palliative & Hospice CareCenter). She joined Sinai Temple in September of 2017.
Among the most formative of her early experiences were the summers she spent at Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin and a semester in Israel during her junior year of high school as a participant in the Eisendrath International Exchange program. Rabbi Griffel also attributes her love of Jewish life to her upbringing in the small but vibrant community of Temple Beth El in Flint, Michigan. At Brandeis University, where she was an active member and leader at Hillel, she earned a B.A. in the History of Western Thought.
Rabbi Griffle has served several terms on the executive committees of the Chicago Board of Rabbis, has been on the Program Team of Limmud Chicago, and is a member of the board of the SelfHelp Homo, a non-profit Jewish retirement community in Chicago. In March 2016, Rabbi Griffel received an honorary Doctor of Divinity (D.D.) from HUC-JIR.
When she is not in Michigan City, she and her husband, Dr. Saul Weiner, live in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago; their daughter, Karen Weiner, who is a student at Oberlin College, graduated in the founding class of the Chicago Jewish Day School.