February 21, 2008

About Rabbi Deborah R. Prinz

Deborah R. Prinz serves the Central Conference of American Rabbis as Interim Director of Program and Member Service. She is also the Rabbi Emerita of Temple Adat Shalom, Poway, California, having served as its Senior Rabbi for almost twenty years. Prior to that she was, for seven years, the Rabbi of a synagogue in Bergen County, New Jersey, and also the Assistant Rabbi of Central Synagogue in Manhattan.

In recent years she has pursued research on the topic “Jews on the Chocolate Trail” reviewing the historical connections as well as contemporary ones. She was awarded the Starkoff Fellowship from the American Jewish Archives as well as a fellowship from the Rockefeller Library to pursue this research.

Rabbi Prinz has held a number of leadership positions in the national and regional Reform movement. She was honored to conduct the worship services at regional and national biennials of the Union for Reform Judaism. Elected by her colleagues, Rabbi Prinz held each office of the Board of the Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis and assumed its presidency in 2005. She continues to participate in the work of the Reform movement’s National Commission on Rabbinical-Congregational Relationships. For many years she served as a member of the Executive Committee of the U.R.J.-C.C.A.R. Commission on Outreach & Synagogue Community. Rabbi Prinz has contributed to the local Jewish community as well. She held all offices of the Executive Committee, including President, of the San Diego Rabbinical Association. In her position as a member of the Steering Committee of the United Jewish Federation’s Task Force on Jewish Continuity and Co-Chair of the Interfaith Committee, she was instrumental in bringing the Pathways program (outreach to interfaith children and families) to San Diego. In 1991, she was named “Woman of the Year” by Brandeis University National Women’s Committee. Together with other community leaders, she successfully worked to change the calendar of the Poway Unified School District to avoid the conflict of the first day of school falling on Rosh Hashanah. Along with an Episcopal colleague in Teaneck, she developed an interfaith dialogue program which included an interfaith tour to Israel. Temple Adat Shalom, under her leadership, participated in a dialogue with the Lutheran Church of the Incarnation of Poway and with Chabad of Rancho Bernardo. She has led six congregational trips to Israel.

The author of several articles, she has published in scholarly, professional and popular journals such as CCAR Journal, Hebrew Union College Annual, American Rabbi, Journal of Reform Judaism, and Central Conference of American Rabbis’ Yearbook. Articles about, and interviews of, Rabbi Prinz have appeared in the national and local press. She has delivered many talks to community organizations. Rabbi Prinz is married to Rabbi Mark Hurvitz and is the proud mother of Avigail and Noam.

Jews & Chocolate

There are some surprising Jewish connections with chocolate, including Jews in the early chocolate trade and early Jewish chocolate makers. Because the discovery of chocolate and the Spanish Inquisition, along with the Expulsion of Jews from Spain and later from Portugal, coincided, the Jewish connection to chocolate in the early days was primarily through Conversos in Portugal, France, Belgium, Holland, the Caribbean and North America. Later on, Jews engaged in candy making as well.

As we travel, my husband, Rabbi Mark Hurvitz and I explore local chocolate opportunities and culture.

I research the associations between Jews and chocolate, both historical and contemporary.


Got Gelt?


Shanah Tovah u’Metukah! But, Where’s the Chocolate?

Chocolate Travel

Exploring Chocolate in Spain and Southwestern France

On the Trail of Belgian Chocolate Museums

Milk & Chocolate in the Promised Land

Mixing Chocolate & Work in the East Bay

Rabbi Deborah R. Prinz

Upcoming Events

Project: Divine Chocolate!™

Past Events

Lecture: Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis, Annual Convention, Palm Spring, California; January 2009

Lecture: Hazon Food Conference, Asilomar Conference Center, California; December 2008

Lecture: Temple Shaarey Tefillah, New York City; September, 2008:

Lecture: Hazon New York Jewish Environmental Bike Ride Shabbaton; September 2008

Chocolate Day in New York City
May 4, 2008

Lecture: “Jews on the Chocolate Trail,” part of “Taste Matters” series at the Magnes Museum, Berkeley, CA; December 6, 2007

Visit: The New York Chocolate Festival; November, 2007

Links to this project

The Jew and the Carrot

"On A Chocolate Chai"
in The Jewish Week, May 14, 2008


2009: Recipient of the Gilder Lehrman Fellowship of the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library

2008 (Fall): Director's Fellowship from the American Jewish Archives to research Jews and chocolate in the colonial period

2008 (Spring): Recipient of The Starkoff Fellowship from the American Jewish Archives to research Jews and chocolate in the colonial period

© Rabbi Deborah R. Prinz
Last modified January, 2009
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