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This profile was last updated on 1/30/16  and contains information from public web pages.


Jewish Family Service

Employment History

  • Chaplain
    Jewish Family Service
  • Member of the Professional Staff
    Jewish Family Service
  • Spiritual Leader
    Congregation Sinai
  • Rabbi
    Congregation Sinai
  • Rabbi
    First Hebrew Congregation
  • Rabbi

Board Memberships and Affiliations

  • Member


  • University of Connecticut
44 Total References
Web References
Jewish Family Service of Connecticut, 30 Jan 2016 [cached]
Rabbi Dana Bogatz - Chaplain
Jewish Family Services of Connecticut Wellness Center, 19 Jan 2009 [cached]
Jewish Family Service of Bridgeport welcomes Rabbi Dana Bogatz as the newest member of the JFS professional staff.Rabbi Dana joins the agency as the Chaplain for Unaffiliated Elderly and the spiritual leader of Healing Services at the agency.
As Chaplain, Rabbi Dana will visit seniors at Bridgeport Hospital as well as area nursing homes.She will provide pastoral counseling as well as Holiday programs.She will also co-facilitate Healing Services with JFS social workers.
Rabbi Dana will provide the Jewish spiritual component and the JFS social worker will look at therapeutic issues.
Rabbi Dana is presently the Rabbi at Congregation Sinai in West Haven.Prior to this position, she was the assistant Rabbi at Congregation Beth El in Fairfield.
Rabbi Dana Z. Bogatz will co-facilitate and through meditation, guided visualization and prayer will provide tools for conversing with one's inner self and developing healthy coping skills.
Partners Task Force - Religious Declaration on Marriage Equality, 29 Sept 2005 [cached]
Rabbi Dana Bogatz, Conservative, Member of the RA, Congregation Sinai, West Haven
"My being a woman, by the ..., 10 Sept 2015 [cached]
"My being a woman, by the fact of my gender, screams change," says Rabbi Bogatz. Courtesy of First Hebrew Congregation
Rabbi Dana Z. Bogatz is happy to talk about her journey to the rabbinate, her warm welcome as the new rabbi at First Hebrew Congregation in Peekskill and her ambitions for the community.
Instead, what impressed Newman and the search committee was Rabbi Bogatz's "outside-the-box approach way to connect."
Still, both Newman and Rabbi Bogatz acknowledge that having a woman in the pulpit sends a projects a powerful optic.
"My being a woman, by the fact of my gender, screams change," said Rabbi Bogatz. "We have a female cantor, so this says we're different."
Rabbi Bogatz, who had previously served as the rabbi at Congregation Sinai in Milford, Conn., as well as Temple Beth Sholom in Stratford, Conn., and as assistant rabbi of Congregation Beth El in Fairfield, Conn., recognizes that the Jewish world has been "turned on its head. We are all Jews by choice."
With synagogue affiliation no longer a foregone conclusion for the non-Orthodox, the rabbi is eager to do whatever she can to entice people to First Hebrew.
"We want to be more flexible and allow more kinds of people to feel comfortable here," she said. "There are people who don't necessarily want a religious experience, but are interested in intellectual, social and social-action involvement."
One of Rabbi Bogatz's initiatives, which is already under way in the few weeks since she's arrived in Peekskill, is meeting people, especially the non-affiliated, outside the synagogue building, at neutral places like the Hudson Valley Community Center of the Arts.
Raised in Meriden, Conn., where her family always had Shabbat dinner and went to services Friday night, Bogatz went to the University of Connecticut to study agriculture, specifically agricultural economics and rural sociology (she is still a dedicated equestrian who takes to the trails whenever possible, and she and her husband have two dogs). At college, Bogatz needed extra credits, so took Hebrew, which led to other Judaic courses. Although she started her working life in agribusiness (including a stint as a wholesale florist), Bogatz's involvement with a chavurah, "renewed the idea of Judaism as a practice" for her, and in turn led to a chavurah summer institute. Initially focused on becoming a community organizer in the Jewish community, Bogatz ultimately was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary.
She's thrilled that First Hebrew Congregation offers professional support in the synagogue, personal support in the community and "a tremendous volunteer corps."
First Hebrew Congregation in Peekskill, Rabbi Dana Z. Bogatz, Women rabbis
After 13 years as spiritual leader ..., 18 June 2015 [cached]
After 13 years as spiritual leader of Congregation Sinai in Milford (formerly in West Haven), Rabbi Dana Bogatz has accepted a full-time position at First Hebrew Congregation in Peekskill, N.Y. The first woman rabbi to serve the congregation in its 119-year-old history, she will succeed Rabbi Lee Paskind, who is retiring after seven years on the bimah. (Coincidentally, Paskind's daughter, Ita, will begin her tenure this summer as the new rabbi of Congregation Beth El in Norwalk.)
A Meriden native, Bogatz was ordained in 1998 at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. She served as rabbi of Temple Beth Sholom in Stratford (now merged with Congregation B'nai Torah in Trumbull) and as assistant rabbi of Congregation Beth El in Fairfield before joining Congregation Sinai in West Haven in 2002. The congregation relocated to a new building in Milford in 2007. Trained in Clinical Pastoral Education, Bogatz served as a chaplain at Bridgeport Hospital, Jewish Family Services in Bridgeport, Tower One/Tower East in New Haven and, since 2013, at Brownstein Jewish Family Service in Southbury.
Bogatz is founder of the Connecticut's first - and only - "Death Café," a discussion group where people can talk openly about death with the aim of making the most of their finite lives. The Southbury-based Death Cafe will continue on a modified scale, and Bogatz was asked by First Hebrew Congregation leadership to establish a group in Peekskill.
As a rabbi, Bogatz strives to create a welcoming environment of lifelong learning for all ages and levels.
"If you were 80 years old and going to synagogue for 70 years and you didn't know what the word Amidah is, you could ask and find out and not be intimidated - you would be honored for wanting to learn more," she says. "A Sinai congregant told me that she's been an active member for 65 years and no one ever suggested that she learn Hebrew. So I did, and she learned Hebrew and has read from the Torah and done a lot with it. She said, 'For the first time after 65 years, I feel like I was a part of this community.'"
Bogatz is also passionate about being a source of support during hardship. "If I had any calling, I felt that it was being with people in crisis," she says: "showing up at homes, nursing homes, and hospitals when things were going wrong or when families were in distress."
This kind of personal pastoral care is what Bogatz also offers the elderly members of Congregation Sinai. "This is one of the last communities where you have a group of people who gave their lives to the synagogue," she says. "It wasn't the synagogue after the vacation home and after the sports - it was synagogue first. I feel like these folks, perhaps more than anybody else I've met, really deserve to be loved and cared for in their dotage."
To be sure, Bogatz will be missed. Describing the rabbi as "compassionate, funny, a straight shooter, and kind," Debby Horowitz, director of Brownstein Jewish Family Service Director says Bogatz "has touched so many lives here, and has created wonderful, imaginative programs for us."
Bogatz had hoped to remain at Congregation Sinai, where financial strains reduced her position from full-time to part-time.
Once unaffiliated Jews in our area meet Rabbi Dana, I believe they will want to connect with her and with our vibrant Jewish community."
CAP: Rabbi Dana Bogatz, an accomplished equestrian, with Ranger.
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