Rabbi Josh Gischner

Pronouns: he / him / הוא

What people call me: Rabbi Gischner

Organization: Temple Shalom

Denomination: Reform

Where was I ordained? Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion

Where am I located? Maryland

What do I love most about my work? I love intergenerational, inclusive, and inspiring moments of Jewish Joy — when a child approaches the Torah as a Bet Mitzvah, when a couple stands under the chuppah at their wedding, and especially when a student discovers their own Torah and finds the words to share their wisdom with their loved ones.

How is Judaism valuable in my life? I feel that Judaism is a precious tool passed down from generation to generation to inspire us to live a meaningful life built on justice, hope, radically kindness, and supporting us in learning more about ourselves, others, and the planet.  Judaism is a way of life.

Why did I decide to become a rabbi? I chose to become a rabbi following the death of my grandmother at 16-years-old when I learned that the role of the rabbi or cantor can often be most important when a family experiences one of the worst days of their lives.  I understood one of my Jewish jobs in this world is to sit with families in grief. That said, I’ve also always loved radically inclusive Jewish education and have strived to be the teacher that I always needed as a child growing up with Tourette’s Syndrome.  That is why I am so grateful to be the rabbi educator at Temple Shalom where I get to not only direct our Religious School, but serve as one of the clergy to support people on their worst days, and on their most joyous days, and on the days in between to help them to be and feel seen.

What services do I offer? Weddings/Other Lifecycle Events, LGBTQIA Counseling, Conversions, Holiday Services, Young Family Opportunities, Counseling, Group Learning, 1:1 Learning Opportunities, Shabbat Services, and Interfaith Marriages.

For more information, visit Temple Shalom’s website, email me, or find me on Instagram and TikTok at @RabbiJoshG!