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Rabbi Michael Rothbaum

Rabbi Michael RothbaumRabbi Michael Rothbaum (he/him) became our spiritual leader in 2017. He is a graduate of the pluralistic Academy of Jewish Religion in New York (AJR-NY) where he received his Rabbinic S’michah (ordination) in 2006. He graduated from the New College of Florida in 1997 with a BA in Public Policy/Economics.

Rabbi Mike was raised in Rockland County, New York just north of New York City. As a teenager, Rabbi Mike became involved in social justice work and, in retrospect, he has identified  the Jewish imperative of r’difat tzedek – the command to pursue of justice – as the force that solidified his love of Judaism and his passion to become a rabbi. After his ordination, Rabbi Mike served as Campus Rabbi at Hillels of Westchester, serving students at Sarah Lawrence College and Purchase College. He has worked in Jewish communities for over 20 years as youth director, rabbi/educator, and pulpit rabbi, as well as serving as Co-Chair of the Bay Area Regional Council of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice.

Rabbi Mike has spoken and taught widely, addressing groups as varied as Moishe House, Jewish Community Relations Council, and "Nuns on the Bus." He has appeared in front of audiences at the US Senate and House of Representatives, Oakland City Council, and the New York State Democratic Party. In 2012 he joined a rabbinic delegation to Ghana, sponsored by American Jewish World Service, and was named a Global Justice Fellow by AJWS in 2018.  His writing has been included in the ForwardTikkun, Sojourners, Alma, Ha'aretz, and the anthology, Peace, Justice, and Jews: Reclaiming Our Tradition.

Rabbi Mike is devoted to creating and nurturing vibrant learning communities, teaching Torah that touches heart, mind, and soul, and continuing the Jewish mission he discovered as a teenager of pursuing justice.  He is a passionate advocate for the idea that every moment is an opportunity to make a Jewish choice.

Since joining us, Rabbi Mike has been nominated to the board of the New England Jewish Labor Committee, and the rabbinic advisory committee of Boston-based JALSA (Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action).

Rabbi Mike lives with his husband, internationally-acclaimed Yiddish vocalist Anthony Mordechai Tvzi Russell, who kindly tolerates his passion for fair-trade coffee, Bob Dylan, and manual transmission.

Sat, June 25 2022 26 Sivan 5782