I have offered Jewish Rabbinic services in the Greater Philadelphia area for many years including helping to prepare for Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, conducting Bar/Bat Mitzvah services, and officiating weddings. Given my broad academic and religious background, I have a unique personal approach to both helping to prepare for these events as well as officiating these important Jewish ceremonies. On this page, I would like to share with you my general philosophy as well as my approach to each service. Please do not hesitate contacting me to find out more information about my approach, or if you just need advice in regards to these Jewish ceremonies.
About Me and My General Philosophy
I have been a teacher in elementary school, high school and on the university level for the past fifty-five years teaching courses in Bible, the Hebrew language and Jewish literature. I am also the author of tens of books and articles on the religion and culture of Judaism. Living as a Jew in Iraq, then in Israel and now in Jewish America I have passed through many different doors, each reinforcing for me the necessity of pluralistic views in both one’s religious and one’s secular life. Respecting and honoring individual decisions concerning one’s faith, education and lifestyle is based in essence on my beliefs and convictions as a teacher, rabbi and Jewish educator.
My approach to both teaching and conducting Jewish ceremonies is spiritual and personal, but at the same time concise to make the experience both enriching, interesting and even fun for everyone. I have an ecumenical approach to religion – one that seeks to include all Jewish denominations and philosophies.
In my preparation for one’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah lessons and ceremony, my emphasis is on a clear understanding of the Hebrew vocabulary of the prayers as well as their philosophical and historical dimensions. This is done to allow the student to grasp both the emotional and the intellectual aspects of these serious religious rituals and their implications in the life of the young Jewish adult. My lessons also include the learning of life cycle events in the life of a Jew and knowledge of the Jewish festivals and holidays in order to familiarize the student with the large perspective of our dear Jewish heritage.
Preparation for a Jewish wedding includes comprehensive discussions with the couple concerning their future expectations for their emotional and intellectual commitment in their shared life together. The couple is encouraged to reflect not only on their love and devotion to each other, but also on the social and psychological challenges beyond the ritualistic religious ceremony. The couple will also be made aware of various past and present customs and mores related to Jewish marriages in various Jewish denominations. The couple is encouraged to continue meeting with me on a monthly basis in order to both confirm and reevaluate previous notions and ideas connected with former discussions and to offer the specific preparations for the wedding itself as the date approaches.
My approach, without exception, is characterized by both humanity and understanding of the unique and sensitive elements of both lives in this joyous union.
I consider myself a progressive rabbi centered in the Reform and the Re-constructionist traditions and values and I am eager to offer the young and adults my life experience as well as knowledge along with my deep Jewish faith and its religion and culture.
I am more than happy conducting inter-faith wedding ceremonies, since love has no religious boundaries, and I welcome non-Jews to experience the beauty of the Jewish wedding service.
Phone: (610) 296-4652
Shalom and Welcome to my Web Pages and Blog!
In this site I would like to tell you about my Jewish Rabbinic services that include helping young people to prepare for Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah (tutoring and teaching Hebrew, and preparing to read the script) , officiating Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah services, and wedding ceremonies. I also hope to make contact with people who would like to exchange ideas with me. My objective is to further understanding and dialogue with people of various backgrounds and faiths as well as publish my ideas and thoughts as a Jewish scholar and rabbi.