Sharon G. Forman is a reform rabbi, bar and bat mitzvah tutor, writer, and mom. Raised in Norfolk, Virginia, she was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York in 1994. A Yale University graduate and English major, she also holds a master's degree in teaching secondary school English with a focus on urban education from Columbia Teachers College where she was a recipient of the Fellows-in-Teaching scholarship. During the summer following her high school graduation, she worked as a day camp counselor and a salesperson at a stuffed animal boutique called The Embraceable Zoo. Since then, most of her jobs have involved teaching English, Hebrew, music, or Jewish history to children and adults. When her children were young, she had to remind herself to stop rearranging their stuffed animals with their glass and plastic eyes facing forward.
As a rabbi, Sharon has worked for the national office of Judaism's Reform Movement in the Department of Education. She served as an associate rabbi at Manhattan's Temple Shaaray Tefila and the director of their religious school and informal education program for 11 years. She has served on advisory committees for children's prayerbooks and other projects of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and the PJ Library.
She lives with her husband and children in Westchester, New York, where she teaches bar and bat mitzvah students, chases after a rambunctious dog named Sammi, and writes essays about motherhood, growing up in the South, and finding meaning in Jewish tradition. Her first memories of writing and sharing stories date back to Mrs. Johnson's 4th grade English class at Little Creek Elementary School. Because of her dislike for kitchen cleaning responsibilities, immediately after family Sabbath dinners she traveled to synagogue early with her rabbi father and was given the task of reading aloud his sermons. Soon, she was not only helping her dad memorize his sermons, but also editing them, with an eye toward quicker access to the brownies and cookies at the reception following Sabbath services.
Her published writing includes children's stories ("Sapphire's Fish" in Spider Magazine), poetry, short stories ("A Crocodile in the Kinneret" on jewishfiction.net), personal essays, a "Tiny Love Story" in The New York Times, and even a chapter on Judaism and breastfeeding in The Sacred Encounter, a book about sexuality and Judaism (CCAR Press, 2014). In 2015, Sharon self-published The Baseball Haggadah: A Festival of Freedom and Springtime in 15 Innings for her baseball obsessed sons. Selling thousands of copies, the haggadah has garnered praise from major league baseball owners and managers, baseball loving seder participants, and even the Wall Street Journal. (If you'd like to learn more about the haggadah, here's a link to the haggadah's website www.thebaseballhaggadah.com).
When not driving her son to baseball games or practice, you might find Sharon listening and singing along to diverse genres of music, walking her dog, baking banana nutella muffins, writing essays or a chapter of her unfinished novel, or penning impassioned letters to the editor of The New York Times.
To contact Sharon Forman, you may write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.