ASSOCIATE RABBI ELLE MUHLBAUM joined the Beth-El community on July 1, 2016.
Rabbi Muhlbaum was born in San Diego and raised in several wonderful places in the United States. She spent most of her upbringing in Cincinnati, and grew up at Rockdale Temple. She loved being surrounded by the rabbinical students of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) there, and knew from the time she became bat mitzvah that her journey would be one into the rabbinate.
Rabbi Muhlbaum holds an Honors Bachelor of Arts in Hebrew from The Ohio State University, with minors in both Linguistics and Sexuality Studies. She was ordained from the New York campus of HUC-JIR in May 2016 where she received the Emanuel Green Prize for Proficiency in Midrash and Hebrew, as well as the Rabbi Sarah Messinger Prize in Leadership.
Rabbi Muhlbaum has served as a Student Rabbi in Texas and Indiana and as Rabbinic Intern at Temple Sinai of Bergen County in Tenafly, New Jersey. At Temple Sinai, she helped develop new programs for 8th and 9th graders. She also served as a Rabbinic Intern at Cedar Village Retirement Community in Mason, Ohio, where she worked as an educator, prayer leader, and pastoral caregiver to the elderly members of the Jewish community of the Greater Cincinnati area. Rabbi Muhlbaum spent a summer at URJ Eisner Camp, where she was the Assistant Limud Director and B’nei Mitzvah Coordinator. Her summer at camp was one of her favorite extracurricular activities! She also spent a summer engaged in meaningful chaplaincy work at Bethesda North Hospital in Cincinnati. In 2016, she served as the Co-Director and Co-Founder of HUC-JIR’s Smashing Idols Fellowship, a program designed to empower college students to strengthen the presence of progressive and Reform Jewish life on college campuses. All of these experiences have deeply impacted her, and provided lessons she carries into her rabbinate.
Rabbi Muhlbaum is the oldest of three siblings. Her brother, Abraham, lives in Orlando, and her sister, Yaffa, is a college student. Their parents, Jan and Steve, live in Cincinnati. Rabbi Muhlbaum enjoys cooking, photography, Hebrew poetry, playing the ukulele, and calligraphy. She is also incredibly excited to be joined at Temple Beth-El by her husband, Cantor Vladimir Lapin.