Bette Birnbaum is an incoming first-year student at RRC. She grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, in the Reform Movement, which she credits with seeding her strong Jewish identity. She holds a master’s degree from the Jewish Theological Seminary. Bette has worked as a teacher of children and adults, editor of children’s trade books and textbooks, supplementary religious-school director, and for the last six years, as a spiritual care counselor for several hospices. She has migrated between membership in Reform and Conservative communities all her adult life but identifies theologically with Reconstructing Judaism. She has served as a board member of NECHAMA: Jewish Response to Disaster and was recently sworn in as a CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocate for children) in Brooklyn, N.Y., where she resides.