Rabbi Michal Woll is a third career rabbi and graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. Raised in a reform synagogue in Chicago, she has been singing in synagogue since she was eight years old. Many of her early formative Jewish moments occurred in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, where she was a frequent camper at the Olin-Sang-Ruby-Union Institute. Prior to entering the rabbinate, Rabbi Michal studied biomedical engineering and worked in medical product development, primarily in the areas of dialysis and burn care. Transitioning from clinical engineering to clinical medicine, she received a masters degree in physical therapy and has worked in geriatric homecare.
Rabbi Michal discovered Reconstructionist Judaism while doing a year-long consulting assignment in Newark, Delaware, and was inspired by the creative liturgy, stimulating learning, progressive values, and high community engagement. She brought much of this back with her to her small community in Flagstaff, Arizona, and in 1995, the idea of the rabbinate arose after a powerful experience while serving as cantor for the high holidays.
As a rabbi, Michal blends her passions for music, movement, learning, self discovery and community building. She has been influenced by not only the Reconstructionist movement but also Jewish Renewal, the Havurah Movement, and the budding Jewish Emergent Network. She is pleased to be returning home to the Midwest and to a Reconstructionist affiliated congregation.
Rabbi Michal lives in Shorewood with her husband, writer and publisher Jon M. Sweeney, her daughters Ana and Sima, and their mutt Max.