What people call you: Rabbi James
Organization: Jewish Social Service Agency (JSSA)
Location: 200 Wood Hill Rd, Rockville, MD 20850
Ordained from: Hebrew College Rabbinical School
What do you love most about your work? Being a rabbi, especially at JSSA, has been an invitation to work with people during some of most profound moments of their lives. As a rabbi, I am invited into hospital rooms, welcomed under wedding canopies and asked to counsel families in the midst of mourning. It is an immense privilege to say the least. I view myself as a Jewish treasure hunter, mining millennia of Jewish wisdom for gems that speak to the big questions and great challenges of our lives!
How is Judaism valuable in your life? As a drummer, I see Judaism as providing rhythm to life. Shabbat is a chance to pause, to soak in the silence and the sacredness of being. When everything really works, it transforms everyday life into song. My journey to become a rabbi began with my father (who served on pulpits for more than 25 years), and my mother, who raised me in a home infused with Jewish music, ethics, art and wisdom. I was also greatly influenced by the many teachers I met while interning at Elat Chayyim, a Jewish Spiritual and Medication Center in Upstate New York, and while training at the Jewish Healing Center in Manhattan post 9/11.
Programs/Services you run/offer: Weddings and other Lifecycle Events, Group Learning, LGBTQIA Counseling, Couples Classes, Young Family opportunities, Counseling