Hi. If you're looking at this website, there is a good chance that you're someone who is a non-affiliated Jew, or a partner or supporter of that person, who nonetheless is looking for some Judaism in your life right now. It's also pretty likely that you're considering some sort of rabbinic involvement in an upcoming life cycle event, whether a baby-naming, a bar or bat mitzvah, a wedding, or sadly even a funeral. Perhaps you just moved into a new home and want to acknowledge that event by hanging a mezuzah. Maybe you are just wondering how Judaism might fit into your life going forward. If any of these are going on, or anything else that might involve your working with a rabbi for that matter, then I would be very happy to talk to you about whether or not I can be of service.
A little about me...
I was raised in a Reform Jewish environment, trained for and had a Bar Mitzvah and then pretty much abandoned Judaism for the next 20 years until my wife and I had a child. I had very little connection to or interest in Judaism at that time, but we nonetheless ended up enrolling our son in a Jewish preschool because we wanted to give him the opportunity to develop some sort of Jewish identity. That began my re-entry into Judaism which ultimately led me to join the board of the synagogue in the town to which we later moved (Northampton, MA), become its president and teach in the synagogue's Hebrew school for many years. All that time I continued to run a non-profit that I had co-founded in 1990 that sends US high school and college students abroad to do service work. I had graduated from Yale's School of Management in the mid-80s with an MBA and had been very committed to developing that organization.
Something in me was always drawn to the role of rabbi, even though I knew I would never want to be in a pulpit. Ultimately I decided to "take the plunge" and enrolled in a rabbinic program, the Jewish Spiritual Leaders Institute (JSLI) in New York City. What I learned astounded me - that Judaism actually can be a very enlivening, spiritual, meditative and joyful experience. It's just that it's frequently not that way in synagogues.
I am particularly interested in the mystical aspects of Judaism that can help us lead better lives, be happier people and offer great insight into the nature of the world around us. I also believe that Judaism is a tradition that should be available to anyone who wants to embrace its unique wisdom and beauty. This is why I ascribe to Jewish Universalism and am a member of the Union of Jewish Universalist Communities (UJUC). This universalistic aspect of Judaism is an orientation I will most definitely bring to our relationship. No matter in what way we come together and for what purpose, I will try to offer you as much learning as possible from a place of non-judgment about various Jewish traditions, and you'll decide what works for you and what doesn't.