Malka Drucker, HaMakom's Founding Rabbi, was ordained from the Academy of Jewish Religion in 1998. In 2000, composer and cantorial soloist Debbie Friedman, z”l, a friend, told Rabbi Malka, “I’m coming out. We’re going to do High Holidays.” Rabbi Malka and a small group of people had been studying Torah together on Saturdays and started to meet once a month on Fridays nights. It felt like a community was forming. We had a name—HaMakom—but no permanent home.
Under the direction of president Leslie Davis, z”l, from 2002-2004, the real foundation for HaMakom was created. The first B'nai Mitzvah class was in 2004. Hazzan Cindy Freedman began to serve HaMakom as Cantorial Soloist in 2004. HaMakom’s second “Entering the Heart of Judaism” class (a B’not Mitzvah class), in 2006, had eleven women called to the Torah. This class included Atma Wiseman, Cindy Freedman (now Hazzan), Ava Salman, and Margery Lazar.
Rabbi Malka, Hazzan Cindy, rabbinic student Yafa Chase, and later, Rabbi Jack Shlachter, became part of the spiritual leadership. HaMakom started offering a full morning of services and teachings each Shabbat, periodic Kabbalat Shabbat services, a full High Holiday schedule of services, a community Seder, and observations of other Jewish holidays. HaMakom has supported Torah and Talmud study groups, provided leyning sessions, and continued the “Entering the Heart of Judaism” class and other Jewish studies.
Under the guidance of Board President Atma Wiseman, the HaMakom community expanded in many ways into a more solid community by offering regular Shabbat services and other programs to its members and the Jewish community of Santa Fe: Continuing Education, a Book Club, HaMakom Film Festival, and a Yiddishkeit program.HaMakom’s third B’nai Mitzvah class, in 2010, had eight adullts called to the Torah.
Deborah Avren currently serves as president. The original concept of being a laboratory of living Judaism continues and we continue to experiment with ways in which to give our community meaningful learning, spiritual intimacy and religious experience.
In 2016, Rabbi Malka transitioned to the status of Rabbi Emerita. She now lives California, where she is continuing and expanding her wonderful work on spiritual eldering, focusing on the journey from “Age-ing to Sage-ing.”