I was born in Far Rockaway, Queens, and spent my childhood in Brooklyn. I went to Meyer Levin Junior High and Tilden High School in East Flatbush, where I met my wife of 47 years, Rhonda, and I graduated from Cornell University with a B.A. in theater arts.
Greatly influenced by my Cornell Hillel rabbi, and after spending three years after college teaching in New York, I decided to attend the Jewish Theological Seminary, where I received my ordination. After graduation, I served Beth El Synagogue in East Windsor, N.J., for seven years and at the West End Synagogue in Nashville for 22 years. In 2007 I became the rabbi of the Fair Lawn Jewish Center/ Congregation B’nai Israel.
During my time as a rabbi, I’ve tried to emphasize outreach and education, teaching classes for those who want to know more about Judaism and strengthening my congregants’ commitment to social action. I enjoy interacting with and telling stories to the students in the nursery and religious schools and am a long-time supporter of Camp Ramah. I’ve led congregational trips to Israel and central Europe.
In Nashville, I taught at the Vanderbilt University Divinity School and was a consultant for McGraw Hill social studies textbooks. I was one of Nashville Life magazine’s 100 Coolest People in 1997, and in 2003 I was one of 15 Nashville clergy chosen to meet with President Bush. I also once rode in a NASCAR vehicle.
My hobbies include photography, going to museums and Broadway shows, reading the Mets’ boxscore with disgust each day and finishing the Tuesday and Wednesday New York Times crossword puzzle each week.
Rhonda and I are the parents of two adult children, Gabe and Deena.