Rabbi Anna Boswell-Levy has served as the rabbi and spiritual leader of Congregation Kol Emet since July 2014. She is a creative educator, service leader, and ritual maker, infusing song and spirit into her services and teachings. She is at heart a congregational rabbi, and is passionate about helping individuals and families find meaning and purpose during life’s peaks and valleys, and the quieter yet precious moments in between. Rabbi Anna places a high emphasis on relationships based on trust and mutual respect. She is dedicated to the creation of healthy and inclusive congregations where every voice can be heard.
Rabbi Anna’s experiences in Israel were a foundational part of her decision to become a rabbi and sparked a passion for social justice. Rabbi Anna has lived and studied in Israel on four separate occasions, the first time as a 12 year-old when her father was beginning cantorial school. While studying in Israel during rabbinical school she was an Aaron Zeigelman Social Justice Fellow and interned for Bat Shalom, an Israeli feminist peace organization. Rabbi Anna was part of the first American Jewish World Service rabbinical student delegation to El Salvador 2004, where she learned first-hand the effects of globalization on the local economy and rural poor families. An influential trip in her rabbinate, she recently visited Immokalee, Florida to witness the living and working conditions of migrant farmworkers. She is proud to serve as the Board co-chair of T’ruah (formerly Rabbis for Human Rights – North America) and has served on its board since 2005.
Rabbi Anna is a 2006 graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. She is a member of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association and is a former board member of RENA: Reconstructionist Educators of North America.
Rabbi Anna lives in Yardley, PA with her husband Josh, an attorney, their 5 year-old daughter Adar and twin toddlers, Zara and Olive. They are sources for much laughter, inspiration, and continued devotion to Jewish life.
Prior to coming to Kol Emet, Rabbi Anna served for six years as the rabbi and education director of Tzedek v’Shalom, a Reconstructionist community also located in Bucks County. In the last six years, Rabbi Anna has built important ties to larger Bucks County Jewish, interfaith, and faith-based groups. She is an active member of the Newtown Ministerium, and has been a regular participant in the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Interfaith Service, as well as a guest preacher at local churches. She served as the chair of the Bucks County Rabbis Council and worked with area rabbis to organize the first interdenominational Introduction to Judaism class in Bucks County.
Rabbi Anna was raised in a family that consciously chose Judaism; through educating their children and becoming involved in Jewish community, her mother made the decision to convert to Judaism and her father decided to become a cantor as a second career. As a result, Rabbi Anna is passionate about and sensitive to the inclusion of diverse American cultural and religious backgrounds in synagogue life and Jewish lifecycle celebrations.
My first religious school experience was in an old, dark and moldy building in New York City. We all sat, hands crossed, petrified to share or speak, 2 hours a day, 5 afternoons a week. It was then I thought to myself, there has got to be a better way! And so, 10 years later, when I chose my profession, I committed myself to improving the plight of Jewish education for children. Since then it has been a learning experience every year. Just when I think I’ve seen it all, there is another issue or idea evolving.
Throughout the years, I have committed the school, and style of teaching, to retain 4 very important values. The first is to treat every child with dignity and respect. The second is to use every moment in school as a teaching moment. The third is to combine fun, creativity and hands on experience within our school. And the fourth is to constantly listen to parents and students and adapt to meet the needs of our community.
My education includes graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Rutgers University. I have also studied abroad at Tel Aviv University, and I attended graduate school at the Jewish Theological Seminary and Gratz college. My employment experiences have always been at synagogue schools where I have been a teacher in preschools and religious schools and held directorships in both Early Childhood and Religious education.
Personally I have lived, studied, traveled and worked in Israel. I am married, and have 4 children who keep me very busy with ice hockey, wrestling and soccer. In my free time I enjoy family time, and design and painting Ketubot (Jewish marriage contracts).
Working at Congregation Kol Emet has been a dream come true. Because the Reconstructionist Movement is so open and flexible, I am able to use my creativity and enthusiasm to educate students of all ages.
Zach is no stranger to Kol Emet. In 2015, he worked as the office administrator while studying at Penn State University. After receiving degrees in Business Administration and Accounting, Zach moved to Florida in 2016 where he took on an internship at Walt Disney World. After much success working with The Walt Disney Company, Zach couldn’t stay away from the Kol Emet community and decided in 2017 that it was time to come back.
Zach has a passion for working hard. To succeed as the Congregational Administrator, he utilizes various skills from his background in the customer service, retail, and fine dining industries. The outgoing Executive Director, Robert Frey, has done wonders for this congregation and set us up for the future. Zach has worked closely with him before he retired and looks forward to picking up where he left off. Zach says, “One of my priorities here at Kol Emet is to make everyone who walks into our building feel welcomed and part of our community. I’m excited to bring everything I know to the table.”