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Rabbi Annie Belford
Rabbi Annie, as she is affectionately known by her congregants, was born and raised in El Paso. A graduate of the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, she received her rabbinical ordination from Hebrew-Union College in New York City in 2004.
For the previous five years, Belford served as an assistant and associate rabbi for Congregation Shaare Emeth in St. Louis, Missouri.
“We were thrilled to have Rabbi Annie join Temple Sinai,” said congregation president Emily Deakins. “She is a deeply caring and compassionate individual who connects with people emotionally, intellectually and spiritually.”
“I am filled with joy and a sense of deep honor to have joined Temple Sinai,” says Belford. “It is a warm and inviting congregation committed to bringing Jewish values to life - for both adult members and children alike. These are values that are central to my life, which makes Temple Sinai a good fit for myself and my family.”
Belford is married to Rabbi Ari Vernon, a Conservative Rabbi and Jewish educator. Belford and Vernon have two children, Lev and Eiden.
Temple Sinai began its search for a new rabbi in early 2008. It received dozens of applications and selected Belford based on her experience and approach to Judaism.
“I am truly in love with Judaism and its teachings,” says Belford. “As a rabbi, I try to bring Jewish learning to life and allow tradition to speak to us as modern Jews. I want to teach others how Judaism has relevance for people’s lives today.”