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Rabbi Michael Rothbaum

Rabbi Michael RothbaumRabbi Michael Rothbaum became our spiritual leader on July 1, 2017. He is a graduate of the Academy of Jewish Religion in New York (AJR-NY) where he received his Rabbinic S’mikhah (ordination) in 2006. He graduated from the New College of Florida in 1997 with a BA in Public Policy/Economics.

Rabbi Rothbaum was raised in Rockland County, New York just north of New York City. Following completion of religious school and confirmation class, Rabbi Rothbaum felt impelled to get involved in social justice causes. As Rabbi Rothbaum looks back, it was the Jewish imperative of r’difat tzedek – the pursuit of justice – that solidified his love of Judaism and his passion to become a rabbi. Rabbi Rothbaum was the Campus Rabbi at Hillels of Westchester (NY), during which he served as sole rabbinic figure for students at Sarah Lawrence College and Purchase College. He has served as Director of Congregational Learning at Kehillat Lev Shalem – the Woodstock, NY Jewish Congregation and Rabbi Rothbaum was the rabbi at the Philipstown Reform Synagogue in Cold Spring, NY.

Before leaving the west coast to lead our community, Rabbi Rothbaum was Co-Chair of the Bay Area Regional Council of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, as well as Rabbi-Educator at Beth Chaim Congregation in Danville, CA. Rabbi Rothbaum 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. He is devoted to creating and nurturing vibrant learning communities, and sharing his love of Torah and commitment to justice in formal and informal settings.  His writing has been included in the Forward, Tikkun, the Huffington Post, and the anthology, “Peace, Justice, and Jews:  Reclaiming Our Tradition” (2007). Rabbi Rothbaum is a passionate advocate for the idea that every moment is an opportunity to make a Jewish choice.

Since joining us, Rabbi Rothbaum has been nominated to the advisory committee of Boston-based JALSA (Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action).

Rabbi Rothbaum lives with his husband, internationally-acclaimed Yiddish vocalist Anthony (Mordechai Tvzi) Russell.

Sun, January 23 2022 21 Shevat 5782