North Shore Temple Emanuel
a Progressive Jewish Congregation
Rabbi Nicole Roberts joined our congregation in November 2012, and was appointed Senior Rabbi in March 2017.
Born in Manhattan, Rabbi Nicole moved to Nashville, Tennessee, at age 18 to attend Vanderbilt University, where she majored in Anthropology. Later, she earned a Master of Accountancy degree and worked as a CPA for nine years. During that time, she helped found and served as President of NJOY (the Nashville Jewish Organisation for Young-Adults), joined a Reform synagogue named Congregation Micah and served on its Board of Trustees, and served as Treasurer on the community board of Vanderbilt University Hillel. She regularly attended the URJ Kallah (Adult Study Retreat), as well as regional and national Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) “Biennial” conventions.
Rabbi Nicole initiated a year-round food drive at Congregation Micah and other Jewish organisations in Nashville called You Can Help, and created and led a year-long series of discussions for people in their 20s and 30s called The Jacob Project, which won the URJ’s Belin Outreach Award. Falling in love with Jewish study, she took local classes in Talmud and Mishnah, taught herself Modern Hebrew, and in 2007 entered rabbinical school at Hebrew Union College (HUC).
During her five years at HUC, Rabbi Nicole served as rabbinic intern at her home congregation in Nashville (approx. 500 families), completed two units (400 hours each) of Clinical Pastoral Education at two Cincinnati hospitals, and completed a seven week internship at Temple Micah in Washington, D.C., under Senior Rabbi Daniel Zemel. She was honoured to receive three academic prizes during her years at HUC: two for achieving the highest academic standing in the class, and one prize for excellence in Midrash. Also while in rabbinical school, Rabbi Nicole received the Tisch Rabbinical Fellowship, a three year fellowship awarded to only five students per class. The Tisch Fellowship, under the leadership of Rabbi Lawrence Hoffman, offers extra-curricular enrichment focused on developing rabbis who think constantly and creatively about what vibrant synagogue life could look like in the 21st century. Rabbi Nicole continues to attend Tisch Fellowship alumni retreats annually.
Since ordination, Rabbi Nicole’s writing has been published in two volumes of Rabbi Lawrence Hoffman’s popular book series, Prayers of Awe, as well as the American CCAR Journal ("Reform Jewish Quarterly”), Australian Jewish News, Sydney Jewish Report, the UPJ website and newsletter, and the Stand Up website. Rabbi Nicole also serves on the Clergy Task Force of Jewish Women International and has contributed commentaries to the organisation’s Rethinking Guides. She recently completed study of her first tractate of Talmud (Ta’anit) and will complete a second (Megillah) in early 2017. Her initiatives at NSTE have included the Mums' Retreat; The City Series for people in their 20s and 30s, the Manna support group for members going through difficult transitions, the "Kaleidoscope" Contemplative Shabbat Service, "Get Real," Mitzvah Day, and Yom Kippur programs for teens, our annual Tots' Seder, Tea for Ten, Dessert-and-Discussion for Interfaith families, the Community Wellbeing program and more.
Rabbi Nicole serves as Treasurer of the Moetzah, the Council of Progressive Rabbis of Australia, New Zealand, and Asia. Her non-work passions include hiking in national parks, playing guitar, yoga, riding horses, and reading. Rabbi Nicole is married to David Roberts, also a former CPA (now personal trainer and surfing aficionado). The majority of their family lives near Washington, D.C.