Rabbi Laurie Zimmerman was ordained in 2003 by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and became Shaarei Shamayim’s second rabbi. She is currently on the Board of Directors for the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, the professional organization of Reconstructionist rabbis, as well as an ex-officio member of the board of the Madison Jewish Community Council and Jewish Social Services. Rabbi Laurie served for two years as the religious co-chair of the board of the Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice of South Central Wisconsin, and she was also selected to be part of the PEER Executive Leadership Program through the national Jewish organization, STAR (Synagogues: Transformation And Renewal).
Upon ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College she was awarded The Rabbi Devora Bartnoff Memorial Prize for Spiritually Motivated Social Action. While in rabbinical school, she served as a student rabbi in a variety of Reconstructionist and Conservative congregations, interned for Rabbis for Human Rights in Jerusalem and Philadelphia, worked as an interfaith chaplain in a hospital trauma unit and as a Jewish chaplain at a geriatric center, and was elected President of the Reconstructionist Student Association during her last two years of school.
Rabbi Laurie graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin in 1996 and was a member of Shaarei Shamayim during her years at UW-Madison. While a congregant with Shaarei Shamayim, she served as Shaarei Shamayim’s first children's education teacher. Shaarei Shamayim was her first introduction to Reconstructionism, and the community played an important role in her decision to become a Reconstructionist rabbi.