Rabbi B. Elka Abrahamson is President of The Wexner Foundation. She oversees the Foundation's full range of activities and, in partnership with Foundation chairmen Abigail and Leslie Wexner, imagines how the Foundation might further strengthen and educate Jewish professional and volunteer leaders in North America and public service leaders in the State of Israel. Rabbi Abrahamson has been associated with the Foundation for many years. For close to a decade she served as a member of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship's faculty and selection committee. She was the Director of the Graduate Fellowship Program and Vice President prior to assuming her current role in 2011.
A proud member of the Frozen Chosen, Elka, a native Minnesotan, earned her teaching degree from the University of Minnesota and spent the early years of her career creating curricula for Religious Schools and Informal educational settings, particularly Jewish camps. Her Jewish soul sprang to life at Camp Herzl in Wisconsin and her Jewish leadership blossomed at Camp Swig in Northern California. She is still a camper at heart. Ordained at HUC-JIR, New York, Elka began her career as associate rabbi at Peninsula Temple Beth El, San Mateo, CA. and then, with her husband, Rabbi Martin (Misha) Zinkow, served as co-senior rabbi at Mount Zion Temple in St. Paul, MN.
Rabbi Abrahamson, a dynamic speaker and an engaging teacher, is optimistic about the Jewish future owing to the remarkable leaders she encounters in her rabbinate, many of them Wexner Alumni. She has served as High Holiday Rabbi-in-Residence at Chicago Sinai Congregation for a decade and has been a scholar, advisor, or keynote speaker in a wide variety of settings including the American Jewish World Service, Women's Rabbinic Network, Hadar, the Jewish Federation of Columbus, Columbus Jewish Day School, Pew Study, and The Conversation. She has taken up Mussar in the last few years as both a student and teacher. Elka loves a good football game, especially if the Vikings (or Buckeyes) are winning.
Rabbi Abrahamson has been published in magazines, books and journals including Moment, Shma, Jewels of Elul, and the CCAR Journal. She received the Bernard Reisman Award as an outstanding member of the professional Jewish community. Newsweek thinks she is one of the 50 most influential rabbis in North America. Elka and Misha - senior rabbi of Temple Israel, Columbus since 2004 - are Ima and Abba to four twenty-somethings millennials.