Welcome! My name is Rabbi Erica Asch and it is my pleasure to serve Colby College as the Jewish Chaplain and the assistant director of the Center for Small Town Jewish Life. I also serve at the rabbi of Temple Beth El in Augusta, a Reform Congregation.
I have not followed a traditional path to becoming a rabbi. The daughter of a mixed marriage – her father is not Jewish – I grew up as one of a handful of Jewish kids in the Navy town of Coronado, California. Being part such a small minority intensified my sense of Jewish identity, which she cultivated further as a student at Oberlin College. After graduation, I joined Teach For America and taught high school math in the Mississippi Delta, where she discovered her life’s vocation — I realized that she wanted to spend her life teaching Judaism rather than algebra.
I received my rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati and then took a position as a community organizer with the Industrial Areas Foundation, the first rabbi to do so directly out of rabbinical school. After three years with IAF, I served as a rabbi at Temple Sinai in Washington, D.C., before moving to Augusta in June 2013.
I am thrilled to join Colby College and to get to know the students and faculty on campus. I look forward to meeting all of you