Rabbi Ellie Shemtov

Rabbi Ellie Shemtov was ordained by the Academy for Jewish Religion (AJR) in Yonkers, NY in May 2014. Growing up in Colonia, NJ Rabbi Shemtov attended Hillel Academy Jewish Day School in Perth Amboy. She studied flute at Ithaca College in New York and received her Bachelor’s degree in Music and Master’s degree in Library Science from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Rabbi Shemtov worked for many years as a film librarian/archivist at a variety of institutions in the Washington, DC area, including the Library of Congress where she was Head of Film Cataloging.
The daughter of Israelis with deep roots in Israel, Rabbi Shemtov’s paternal great-grandfather, Avraham Yitzhak arrived in Palestine in the 1880’s. Part of an early Zionist agricultural movement known as the BILU– Beit Ya’akov Lechu V’Nelcha, “Let the House of Jacob Go” (Isa. 2:5), Avraham Yitzhak was one of the founders of the city of Hadera. As the ex-wife of an alcoholic who passed away in 2010, Rabbi Shemtov is committed to raising awareness about the disease of addiction in the Jewish community. Her rabbinical school thesis entitled, “Beit Yosef: a Sacred Space for Healing from the Disease of Addiction,” investigated Beit T’Shuvah a residential treatment center and full-service congregation in Los Angeles, as a model of what might be possible on the East Coast. Established several years ago, Beit Yosef became a 501 (C) 3 organization in 2016.
A Jewish presence on the Internet since 1996, Rabbi Shemtov created and designed the website, Ellie’s Torah Trope Tutor, a tool for teaching others how to chant Torah, Haftorah, and the Megillot. While there are many other web sites that teach the art of cantillation, Ellie’s Torah Trope Tutor was the first of its kind. Before arriving at the Rutland Jewish Center in July 2019, Rabbi Shemtov served congregations in Freehold, NJ, Long Beach, NY and Lexington Park, Maryland.