What people call you: Rabbi Seidel

Congregation: Tifereth Israel Congregation

Location: 7701 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20012

Denomination: Conservative

Ordained from: Jewish Theological Seminary

What do you love most about your work? I love the face to face interactions, whether it’s teaching, or listening, or counseling, and whether it’s with Jews who know little or much about their heritage, or with non-Jews interested in learning. And I love the variety of what I do from day to day: Everything from teaching a child to juggle, to struggling over a difficult passage of gemara with a congregant, to learning a new tune with which to lead the congregation, to visiting a suffering soul in the hospital.

How is Judaism valuable in your life? I feel called to help the Jewish people. I became a Rabbi because some of my skills: a love of text study, openness to all different kinds of people, a wide and eccentric set of hobbies and interests, seemed like a good fit. Among the ways Judaism is valuable to me: it links me to something greater than myself: God (and in particular, the flexible way we allow ourselves to understand God), and also our community, past, present, and even future. The ritual and the vast literature help anchor me in this age of rapidly changing mores.

Programs/Services you run/offerWeddings and other Lifecycle Events, Group Learning, One on one Learning Opportunities, Conversions, Shabbat Services, Holiday Services, Young Family opportunities, Counseling