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My grandparents on both sides were Orthodox Jews, and that was my earliest influence. I can still remember going to services at SouthEast Hebrew Congregation, an Orthodox synagogue in Washington, DC, with my grandfather when I was no more than 4 or 5 years old. We moved to the suburbs and my parents became founding members of Temple Israel in Silver Spring, a conservative congregation where I attended Hebrew School and where I celebrated becoming a Bar Mitzvah.
When Temple Israel closed, I started my journey for another spiritual center, which led to Temple Emanuel, a Reform synagogue in Kensington, Maryland. With the support of Rabbi Warren Stone and the then Cantor, Gershon Sillins, I studied Torah in earnest, and I became an active member of the congregation. Eventually, I was given the opportunity to substitute at Friday night services for the cantor, and then, the fateful day, when I conducted a Friday night service as the substitute for the rabbi. These experiences inspired me to study to be a para-rabbi at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. My training continued, and I was eventually ordained as a rabbi by Rabbi Joseph Gelberman (of blessed memory) of Rabbinical Seminary International in New York City. (Rabbi Gelberman is the one in the white robe, sitting behind me during our ordination ceremony).
Through the years, I continue to study Biblical Hebrew, Talmud, and Kabbalah. I conduct Friday night services three times a month at Riderwood, an Erickson Living Community in Silver Spring, Maryland and I also conduct their High Holy Day services. I've written my own translations of the Torah and the Book of Psalms and I speak on topics of Jewish interest to a variety of organizations..
For the Jewish community of the Washington, DC metro area, particularly for those who are not affiliated with a congregation, it is my honor to perform weddings, funerals, baby namings, and other life-cycle events.
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