Rabbi Marianne Novak

Hi! I am Rabbi Marianne Novak and I love sharing with learners the amazing understanding that Torah has something to teach us in how we want to live our lives today. There is truly nothing more exciting than helping Jews reclaim their inheritance that is Torah and make it part of their lives. At age 52, I received my semikha/ordination from Yeshivat Maharat, a culmination of a journey that I was preparing for, albeit in a roundabout way. I am an RK (rabbi's kid) and grew up in many different communities in the US. I ended up in New York for High School at the Yeshivah of Flatbush and for college at Barnard College where I received my BA in Political Science. I was then off to Washington University in St. Louis for Law School where I received my JD in 1992. My legal career actually began in a non-legal setting as Endowment Director for the Jewish Federation of St. Louis. While in St. Louis, I helped start a Women's Tefillah Group in one of the Orthodox synagogues. In 1995, my husband (who I met in St. Louis) and I moved to the Chicago area. As we began our family, I did not return to law but did become a gabbait for the Skokie Women's Tefillah Group, began teaching girls for Bat Mitzvah and started teaching adults for the Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning. I became an unofficial Orthodox female presence in the community. When the opportunity to receive training and credentialing for the work I was doing already became available through Yeshivat Maharat's offsite program, I took it. Currently, I serve as Rabbi and Judaic Studies faculty at Akiba-Schechter Day School, an Orthodox Jewish Day School in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago--the first female Orthodox rabbi to have that position. Additionally, I 'freelance' Rabbi by teaching for various synagogues, leading High Holiday services, and serving as Scholar-in-Residence. I write somewhat frequently for The Blogs of the Times of Israel and serve on the Hadassah Foundation Board. While I do love Torah all the time, I am also a musician and musical theatre geek having directed plays in high school and college. I love reading, word puzzles and trivia. (I was a contestant on Jeopardy!) and have an unmitigated shoe obsession. I live in Skokie, IL with my family.

Rabbi Marianne Novak Favorite Subjects

Comprehensive Jewish Literacy



Grief & Mourning


Introduction to Judaism

Jewish Denominations / aka Streams of Judaism

Jewish Values (Middot)

Life Cycle

Mental Health






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5802 Monroe Road
Charlotte, NC 28212