Our Rabbi

Rabbi Bonnie Sharfman


Rabbi Bonnie Sharfman is our founding Rabbi. She has been long involved in the Jewish community. Her scholarly interests range from Chassidic and Jewish mystical teachings and Jewish Thought (she has edited and translated various works) to contemporary trends in modern Jewish life and implications for synagogues, schools and communal agencies. She is the founder of Pardes Jewish Day School, a K-8 school that integrates Jewish and general studies. An Avi Chai fellow in Jewish Education, she attended the Principal’s Center of Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. Rabbi Sharfman served as Pardes’ Head of School for over a decade. She was ordained as Rabbi from the Academy for Jewish Religion-Los Angeles in 2005. Rabbi Sharfman lived in Israel for many years and holds graduate and undergraduate degrees from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, taught in Israeli schools, and worked as a tour guide and folk dance instructor in Israel. She was the first woman in 36 generation of her family ordained as rabbis.

Rabbi Sharfman has also been involved nationally, having served on the Executive Committee of the (then) UAHC (Reform movement), and as President of PARDeS (the Progressive Association of Reform Day Schools). She is an alumna of the prestigious STAR PEER Rabbinic Executive Leadership Program. Locally, she served on several committees supporting the Paradise Valley School District.

Rabbi Sharfman is an often requested speaker, teacher and panelist on religious, social justice, historical and interfaith issues and teaches regularly in interfaith settings. Rabbi Sharfman hosts interfaith gatherings locally and leads Jewish and interfaith groups on trips/missions to Israel. She is Vice President of the Arizona Faith Network and clergy advisor to its Theological Dialogue Commission and initiator of its Racial Justice initiative. Rabbi has been politically active in matters pertaining to the environment, women’s reproductive issues, Israel and security issues within the Jewish and other vulnerable communities

She just completed her second term as President of the Board of Rabbis and continues to serve on its executive committee. Rabbi Sharfman was also instrumental in the re-launch of the Greater Phoenix Jewish Community Relations Council and serves on its Executive Committee.  In 2002, Rabbi Sharfman was selected as an “Arizona Jewish Mother of the Year”, but her proudest work is in having raised three daughters (Stephanie [mother of Alana Claire, Zoey Lee and Ari Benjamin], Erica [mother of Deborah Lily and Shaina Rose ] and Rebecca [mother of Elliott Aron]) who are real “menschen” – and who, along with all of our children, are our investment in the future.