Welcome! I am a rabbi who believe passionately in uncovering the hidden treasure of the Old Testament and Jewish wisdom. My writing and speaking share these treasures with Christians seeking to enrich their own experience of faith.
Here is a list of my most requested speaking topics.
Here is a list of my most popular blog posts
Why, you may be wondering, does a Jewish rabbi feel called to teach those of another faith?
It began when I was fresh out of seminary. A neighboring church asked me to teach a class on the Hebrew Prophets.
The only time we found that worked for the church’s and my schedule was on a Sunday morning at 8:00 am. This was the dead of winter in Chicago. I expected a maximum of three people to show up.
Meeting a felt need
On the first day we had 25 students. The second day we had 32. By the end of the eight session course we had to move to the fellowship hall to accommodate the 80 adult students. This was more than I ever had at my synagogue classes!
This interest in the Jewish heritage of the Christian faith spans the gamut of denominations, from Evangelical to Unitarian. It is an interest without covert agendas. It is an interest deeply rooted in Christianity and committed to understanding more about the Jewish context from which Jesus came and taught. It has also become my personal teaching and writing passion.
What to expect from this blog
This site is the hub for my writing and speaking. It includes articles, prayers, quotes, videos and occasional recordings of sermons.
My Professional Story
I serve as the Senior Rabbi of Congregation Solel in suburban Chicago. The congregation began in 1957, and our membership numbers about 500 families. The Hebrew word “Solel” means “Pathfinder,” and it’s derived from a verse in the Book of Isaiah.
“Solu, Solu, hamesahleh,” Blaze, blaze the pathway!”
As a congregation, while serving the needs of our members, we also seek to blaze new paths in Jewish life. You can learn all about the array of activities we do by clicking here.
My Personal Story
My family is deeply rooted in the Midwest, though I was born in Houston, Texas, after my father had completed his army service and taken a position at the Baylor Medical School.
My passion in high school was debate, and I entered Stanford University in 1996 with a plan to study history and go to law school. Those plans changed when I took a class in religious studies class and became intrigued with both the Hebrew language and ancient Jewish texts. The Jewish community center on campus became a second home for me, and in 2000, I entered rabbinical school.
We spend the first year study in Jerusalem, and I felt an extraordinary awakening of spirit and love. It was not an easy. Terrorist bombings happened almost every week. Yet, I left the year deeply committed to the strength and centrality of the Jewish homeland.
After three years of intense study at the Jewish seminary in Cincinnati, I accepted a position as a rabbi at a wonderful congregation in downtown Chicago. I was also newly married, having met my wife during rabbinical school. She is also a rabbi and serves as the director of Interfaith Family/Chicago. We are the proud parents of Hannah and Allie. Amongst the greatest benefits of being a rabbi is living within walking distance of the synagogue!
I am delighted to connect as we learn and grow in faith together. Shalom!
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