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Of all the questions I’m asked, the one I receive the most is “why did you become a rabbi?”

The commentator Ramban wrote, “All communications to Moses, whether they are introduced by the word דבר (speak), by אמור (say), or צו (command), were preceded by a קריאה, a call. In other words, God said, ‘Moses, Moses’, and he answered, הנני, ‘Here I am’.”

Being a rabbi is often referred to as a calling, but the truth is I never heard the heavenly voice calling out ‘Adam, Adam’. There is no moment I can draw upon to say ‘and that is when I chose to become a rabbi’. Rather, the rabbinate forms part of my ongoing Jewish journey.

My parents provided me with a thick and joyful Jewish upbringing, which included weekly shul attendance, Jewish day school, USY and Camp Ramah. I went on to study in Israel and take on leadership roles in Hillel. Through Jewish life, I found community. Through Jewish study I found texts that challenged me intellectually and pushed me to rethink my worldly duties and obligations.

When the time came to choose a career, I was already headed toward life of serving the Jewish community. I chose to enter rabbinical school because I wanted to learn more and to open doors to the myriad organizations that employ rabbis.  

As the Senior Rabbi of Adath Israel Congregation, I spend every day trying to create a kehillah kedoshah, a holy community. I am blessed with the chance to help thousands of Jews connect with their religion and their people in a way that is grounded is traditional practice and relevant for the 21st century.

The best part of my role is getting to know the members of Adath Israel.  

My education includes a master’s degree and rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary. In the community, I have been president of the Rabbinical Assembly – Ontario Region as well as president of the Toronto Board of Rabbis. In the media, I have contributed to CBC television, CTV television, CP24, Rogers TV, CBC Radio One, AM 640, the Canadian Jewish News and more. Among several recognitions, I am especially honoured to be a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Award.

 

Mon, 22 April 2024 14 Nisan 5784