Rabbi Betsy Forester
As Rabbi of Beth Israel Center in Madison, Wisconsin, Rabbi Betsy Forester shares a living Torah focused on practice, grounded in text, and animated by passionate compassion. Rabbi Betsy is a master educator and religious leader skilled at helping people build meaningful lives through transformative Jewish experiences rich in authenticity, depth, empowerment, intellectual rigor, sacredness, and joy.
Rabbi Betsy’s path to the rabbinate prepared her to understand the needs of the present moment and to make Jewish learning and practice relevant to today’s seekers at every stage of life.
Rabbi Betsy has spent her entire life deeply engaged in Conservative Judaism, and her practice accords with traditional, egalitarian, forward-thinking, Conservative Judaism.
She chose the traditional model of private s’michah (ordination) through an individualized, thoughtfully designed, post-denominational program in which she studied with world-class rabbis and scholars across the denominational spectrum. Her training included coursework at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTS). Rabbi Forester’s rabbinical training and ordination were supervised by a beit din (rabbinic court), and she was ordained in 2018, by Rabbi Irwin Kula. She has also studied at the Svara Yeshiva and Hadar Institute and completed a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). Betsy treasures opportunities to study with colleagues of all faiths and backgrounds.