NOAH LEAVITT ’00
Noah Leavitt ’00 serves as the Senior Rabbi of Oheb Zedek Cedar Sinai Synagogue in Cleveland, Ohio. He graduated from Columbia University with a BA in history and completed an MA in Jewish philosophy at Yeshiva University. Noah received rabbinic ordination from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School. As a Tikvah Rabbinical Fellow, he took part in a seminar to advance rabbinic involvement in American political discourse. Before coming to Oheb Zedek Cedar Sinai Synagogue, Noah served as the Assistant Rabbi of Congregation Orach Chaim in New York City.
Mr. Leavitt’s reflections on St. Bernard’s School:
Recently, in an interview for a rabbinic position, I was asked how I would respond if during a hospital visit to check on a congregant, another patient asked me to recite the Lord’s Prayer with him. “That wouldn’t be a problem,” I replied. “I know the Lord’s Prayer quite well, from my days at St. Bernard’s.”
Time spent at St. Bernard’s may seem like an unusual formative period in the life of a rabbi, but it provided me with an incredible educational and intellectual foundation. I developed my first analytic and public speaking skills, preparing my presentation for Mrs. Gridley’s Native American research project in fifth grade, and discovered a love for history in Mr. Chant’s classroom. One of my most vivid memories of St. Bernard’s is from gym class. I was, and still am, particularly inflexible. Gymnastics was never my strong suit. One day Mr. Munoz took my aside to teach me how to do a cartwheel. After failed attempt followed failed attempt, he said to me, “This may not be something you’re good at, but there will be something else you excel in.” At St. Bernard’s I was not the best student or the greatest athlete, but St. Bernard’s instilled in me the ability to uncover where my greatest strengths lay and the self-confidence to follow my passion.