Contributors

Rabbi Jason Miller (co-creator)
Rabbi Jason Miller is an entrepreneurial rabbi and a self-described "Rabbi Without Borders" whose personal blog has been viewed by hundreds of thousands. The Detroit Free Press has called him “the most tech-savvy Jewish leader in metro Detroit" and the Huffington Post ranked him among the top five Jewish Twitter users. A technologist, Rabbi Jason is a popular speaker and writer on technology and its effect on the Jewish world. He writes the "Jewish Techs" blog and the monthly "Jews in the Digital Age" column for the Detroit Jewish News, and is a contributor to Time.com, the Huffington Post, Jewish Values Online and the CommunityNext blog.

Rabbi Jason Miller is the president of Access Computer Technology, a computer tech support and social media marketing company based in Michigan. He won the 2012 Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the West Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce and is one of the winners of a Jewish Influencer award from the National Jewish Outreach Program. He's worked on college campuses with Hillel and has gained a reputation as a pied piper with Jewish teens and twentysomethings. He can talk about sports and movies just as easily as he can talk about Torah and Jewish law. Rabbi Jason is a frequent guest on the “Mojo in the Morning” show on Channel 9-5-5 in Detroit, Fox News, and the Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer on CNN. Trained as a kosher supervisor, Rabbi Jason is the founder and director of Kosher Michigan -- a kosher certification agency. He serves on the boards of several national and local organizations including Kadima, the Jewish Outreach Institute, Michigan Jewish Sports Foundation, the Jewish Gay Network, and JARC.


Rabbi Joshua Hess (co-creator)
Rabbi Joshua Hess is an Orthodox congregational rabbi, a youth counselor and an accidental writer. When he realized that his dreams of playing professional basketball weren’t meant to be, Rabbi Hess pursued ordination at the Ner Israel Rabbinical College in Baltimore. He later became the Rabbi of the DAT Minyan in Denver, during which time he pursued a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Care from the Iliff School of Theology. In 2009, Rabbi Hess 'took his talents' to Central New Jersey and accepted a post as the rabbi of Congregation Anshe Chesed in Linden, NJ.

Rabbi Hess spends hours each week pouring over Biblical texts – and a similar number of hours reading the sports section. To merge his two passions, he started a blog, The Fanatic Rabbi, in which extracts religious lessons from the sports page. He is a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post, New Jersey Jewish News, and Jewish World Review. He also works for the New Jersey branch of the Jewish Student Union, a non-denominational organization, where he educates public high school students about Jewish ideals and values. He enjoys using sports themes to connect to his students, and as topics for his weekly sermons. Rabbi Hess is married to his beautiful wife, Naava, and they are the proud parents of four children.


RABBI RUTH ABUSCH-MAGDER
Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder Ph.D., Be'chol Lashon's Rabbi-in-Residence comes to us after serving as the Director of Continuing Alumni Education for Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. A graduate of Barnard College, she received her doctorate from Yale University. The recipient of many grants and fellowships for her work on Jewish food and women's history, in 2006 she was a Jerusalem Fellow at the Mandel Leadership Institute in Jerusalem, where she developed the pilot curriculum for the JCCA's adult learning Journeys initiative.

Rabbi Ruth is a frequent writer and teacher in the Jewish community, she has taught and published in Europe, Israel and North America. She is currently the Editor of Tzeh U'llimad: A Blog of Jewish Learning. She resides in San Francisco. She is proud to be an alum of Clal's Rabbis Without Borders fellowship. Follow her on Twitter at @RabbiRuth.



RABBI RACHAEL BREGMAN
Rachael Bregman is the founding rabbi for Open Jewish Project which seeks to enrich and invigorate young Jewish Atlanta by building personal relationships, developing individualized plans for Jewish engagement, bringing together the leaders of the rising generation and sharing the wisdom of today’s Jews with established institutions helping them to evolve to be the Jewish home of the future. Before Open Jewish Project, Rachael earned Smicha at Hebrew Union College in New York as well as an Education Master’s from Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has served as a chaplain candidate in the US Navy, studied at Pardes, and has traveled the world with various justice organizations especially American Jewish World Service.

Rachael has hiked the Appalachian Trail, is a certified bar tender and worked as a pastry chef for a year in New York City while writing her thesis on Justice, justice thou shall pursue: the changing face of justice in Rabbinic literature as seen through Deut. 16:20. Currently Rabbi Bregman’s justice energy is devoted to the fight against child sex trafficking.She has also been a fellow both with the National Center for Advancing Leadership and Learning (CLAL) and American Jewish World Service.


RABBI BEN GOLDSTEIN
Ben Goldstein was ordained from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in May of 2010. Since that time he has been working as the rabbi for a congregation in suburban New Jersey (yes, that’s right, I said New Jersey). He has been watching television and movies ever since he was old enough to have the core strength to sit up without falling over. Goldstein's love for the performing arts led him to pursue it as a career and he even managed to star in such cinematic triumphs as Jewz N The Hood.

After a number of Signs from our Creator (and more than a few casting directors) he realized that actors don’t take themselves nearly serious enough so he needed to find something else to do. Taking a look at the job description of a rabbi (writer, counselor, teacher, performer, student) he thought it sounded like a really great way to spend his life. In addition to being trained as a rabbi, Goldstein has an encyclopedic knowledge of television and movies from the mid-80s to today. That makes him either a fantastic Jeopardy contestant or the world’s most boring cocktail party guest. You can reach Rabbi Goldstein at rabbi@tbemc.org.


RABBI JONATHAN GROSS
Jonathan Gross is the Senior Rabbi of Beth Israel Synagogue in Omaha, Nebraska. Rabbi Gross is also a Partner at Noah's Dove Consulting, a Nebraska-based community and congregational consulting group, as well as a licensed mediator by the Office of Dispute Resolution in the State of Nebraska. Rabbi Gross is a Visiting Professor of Judaism at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. He founded an advocacy group called “Teens 4 Israel.” An early adapter to technology and social media, Rabbi Gross is always thinking of new ways to expand the synagogue walls and introduce the community to the wider world of Jewish learning. His writings can be viewed at www.amerabbica.blogspot.com.

His controversial book, "The Jewish Case for the One State Solution," earned him critical acclaim and provoked thoughtful discussion from across the spectrum of views on Israel and Zionism. This book is often used to bridge the gap between the right and left wing of Israeli politics and bring people together for productive discussions and dialogue. His next book project is called "The Synagogue as a Business" which focuses on how lay and clergy leaders can help revive congregations. Rabbi Gross is a featured speaker for the Union of Orthodox Synagogues (OU) addressing how the successes he has found in Nebraska can be replicated in other cities, communities, and synagogues. He frequently serves as a mentor to rabbis in other Jewish communities.


RABBI RACHEL GUREVITZ
Rachel Gurevitz is the Rabbi of Congregation B’nai Shalom, Westborough, MA. Hailing from London, England, she brings an international flavour (note correct spelling) to all things pop- culture. An organizer of interfaith dialogue for adult and teenage groups with Christians and Muslims, she was a founding member of the Tent of Abraham in her previous position at Congregation B'nai Israel, Bridgeport, CT.

In her congregation she is helping individuals to nourish and deepen their own path to positive Jewish living. A member of the founding cohort of the Rabbis W ithout Borders (RWB) Fellowship with CLAL, she also blogs regularly on the RWB page at http://myjewishlearning.com and her own blog. You can follow her on Twitter @RabbiGurevitz.


RABBI HEIDI HOOVER

While blessing her before her ordination, one of her teachers said to Heidi Hoover, "You're a truth-teller. You can't help it." It's true. Heidi is the rabbi at Temple Beth Emeth v'Ohr Progressive Shaari Zedek, a Reform synagogue in Brooklyn, NY. She was ordained in 2011 by the Academy for Jewish Religion and holds a Master's in Jewish Studies from Gratz College. She is member of Rabbis Without Borders, has been profiled in the New York Times, and guest blogged for The Lutheran magazine. She is a participant in the Sacred Stories Project, a joint venture between Clal and the National Museum of American Jewish History. Her interests include the relationship between Jews and Germany, the experience and history of conversion to Judaism (she is a Jew by Choice), and assumptions made about religious identity based on appearance and other superficial characteristics. Before rabbinical school, she had a career on the technology side of the publishing industry as a consultant and trainer.

Heidi seeks to model a Judaism that is open, joyful and also sustaining in hard times. As a rabbi, she works to bring anyone interested in Judaism into a living tradition, helping them become knowledgeable about it and empowering them to wrestle with it and make it their own, including reinterpreting it so that it is relevant to their lives, so that they want to live their Judaism. She feels honored to be leading a Jewish community that is warm, loving, supportive and open. She and her husband live in Brooklyn with their two wonderful daughters, and love to sing karaoke, watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and go to see musical theater.



RABBI RACHEL KOBRIN
Rabbi Rachel Kobrin is passionate about building Jewish community and engaging people in meaningful prayer, acts of social justice, and transformative Jewish learning. Rabbi Kobrin grew up in Rochester NY and London England, where her Jewish identity found its roots. She remembers the deep sense of connection she felt as a small child while walking to shul hand-in-hand with her beloved grandpa. Those same feelings emerged in high school youth group, where Rabbi Kobrin fell in love with the vitality of Jewish community and spirituality. After graduating from Ithaca College with a BA in Drama, Rabbi Kobrin spent several years learning in Israel and working for Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life at Swarthmore College and Temple University.

While at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the American Jewish University, Rabbi Kobrin co-founded Minyan Malei Shirah, a soulful and song-filled Friday night service in Los Angeles. She has used that same zeal for spiritual entrepreneurship in her leadership of Selah – a vibrant South Austin satellite community of CAA. Rabbi Kobrin loves to teach, and can often be found engaging in creative discussions with students of all ages at CAA, the Jewish Community Association of Austin, and the Austin Jewish Academy. She is a Clal Rabbis without Borders Fellow, a contributing author in the book God: Jewish Choices for Struggling with the Ultimate (2008) and a regular blogger on MyJewishLeearning.com. Rabbi Kobrin is married to Rick Brody -- also a rabbi -- and they are the parents of Noa, a budding performer, and Adin, aka “Superman.”


RABBI DARBY LEIGH
A life-long truth-seeker, Rabbi Darby Jared Leigh is a native New Yorker who loves mountains. A passionate snowboarder and fire-juggler, Leigh’s rabbinate is characterized by inclusivity and a commitment to diversity. He currently serves as the Associate Rabbi at Bnai Keshet in Montclair NJ, and as a Rabbi of The New Shul in New York City. Rabbi Leigh, a former actor with The National Theater of the Deaf, was recently featured in the ABC and NBC televised, Emmy-nominated documentary A Place for All: Faith and Community for Persons with Disabilities. He has been invited on stage with rock bands, Twisted Sister and Jane’s Addiction to perform songs in American Sign Language.

Rabbi Leigh worked with colleagues in Montclair to create the first ever, inter-synagogue, GLBTQ-Pride Seder/ Service in Essex County. Rabbi Leigh has also worked with MetroWest ABLE, a committee of UJC MetroWest, to ensure Bnai Keshet’s participation in the first iterations of Shabbat Shalem, a Shabbat designated to heighten awareness and sensitivity to issues of disability and inclusivity. For Shabbat Shalem 2010, Rabbi Leigh led an American Sign Language Shabbat service, which was voice- interpreted for the “deaf-impaired.”


RABBI DAVID LEVY
Rabbi David Levy is the Director of Teen Learning for the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. In this capacity Rabbi Levy works to strengthen and transform teen learning in and among Conservative kehillot, as well as leading USY and Kadima. Previously, Rabbi Levy worked as the director of admissions for The Rabbinical School and H. L. Miller Cantorial School and College of Jewish Music of the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Rabbi Levy worked for Colgate University, where he served as the University Chaplain and director of Jewish life. In 2007, while at Colgate, Rabbi Levy was selected by Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life as a recipient of the Richard M. Joel Exemplar of Excellence Award. Rabbi Levy is the author of “A Guide for the New Jewish College Student,” a resource published by Koach, the Conservative Movement's college outreach program. He is also a frequent contributor to Jewish Values Online. In 1999, Rabbi Levy earned a bachelor's degree in Political Science from Columbia University, as well as a bachelor's degree in Talmud from the Albert A. List College of Jewish Studies of JTS. He was ordained in 2004 at JTS, where he also earned a master's degree in Midrash from The Graduate School. You can follow “Rabbi Dave” on Twitter at @rabbidavelevy.


RABBI JOSH LOBEL
Rabbi Josh Lobel serves as the Associate Rabbi at Congregation Shir Hadash, a Reform synagogue in Los Gatos, California, who moved out west after spending the majority of his life on the east coast. He received his ordination at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2007, and went on to serve as Associate Rabbi at Temple Chaverim in Plainview. Rabbi Lobel is passionate about teaching Torah and rabbinic texts to Jews of all ages. He has a wide variety of Jewish interests, including, but not limited to, Midrash, liturgy, the Progressive Movement in Israel, Reform Jewish history and thought, and Jewish mysticism.

Rabbi Josh serves on several committees as a part of the World Union for Progressive Judaism, focusing on bringing the American Jewish community closer to their counterparts in Latin and South America. Most recently, he has been working on several projects involving the fusion of synagogue life with social network media like Facebook and Twitter. Rabbi Lobel is looking forward to sharing his love of sports, cuisine, and pop culture with the readers of this blog. You can also follow him on twitter at @RabbiJLobel.


JONAH RANK


Jonah Rank, a 3rd year rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary, is one of two Co-Founders and Creative Co-Directors of Oholiav: A Community for viewing Arts & Entertainment through a Jewish Lens. Oholiav examines Jewish identity, values and thoughts in relation to messages of arts and popular culture. Through a heavily pluralistic platform, Oholiav seeks to engage Jews, professionals in the pop culture and art worlds, seekers, and everyone in between.

Currently at work on his M.A. in Jewish Studies, Jonah holds a B.A. in Music from Columbia University, and another B.A. (Cum Laude, with honors) in Jewish Music from the Jewish Theological Seminary. Jonah is a recorded singer-songwriter and composer, a multi-instrumentalist, a blogger at The Times of Israel, and the Rabbi of Congregation Sons of Israel in Amsterdam, NY.


RABBI CHAIM STEINMETZ


Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz is a Rabbi, writer and activist. He has been a congregational Rabbi for over two decades, and has served as the spiritual leader of the T ifereth Beth David Jerusalem Synagogue in Montreal since September 1996. Prior to that, he served congregations in Mount Vernon, New York, and Jersey City, New Jersey. He has been involved in many community organizations, and is currently a V ice President of the Federation-CJA of Montreal .

Rabbi Steinmetz has been blogging for the last ten years, and has published articles in multiple newspapers, including The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, La Presse, The Jerusalem Post, The Canadian Jewish News and The Jewish Week. Chaim is married to Lisa Schwartz, and they have four children.



RABBI JOSHUA STRULOWITZ
Rabbi Joshua Strulowitz is the Rabbi of Congregation Adath Israel in San Francisco, and will be the rabbi of the West Side Institutional Synagogue beginning in August 2012. Originally hailing from North Miami Beach, Florida, his basketball career peaked at the age of eleven when at a JCC basketball camp he scored on the Miami Heat's Bimbo Coles in a one-on-one showdown. As a senior in High School he won the McDonald's sports writing contest and covered Super Bowl events for the Miami Herald.

He has organized multiple events discussing Jewish ethics and the Internet, both at Twitter headquarters and the San Francisco JCC. He has been profiled in the Wall Street Journal and in the book “Straight Down the Middle”, a book about golf and religion by Joshua Karp. He is a graduate of Yeshiva University and their Rabbinic school, RIETS. He is a tortured fan of the New York Jets, an ardent defender of LeBron James and believes that Quantum Leap is the most underrated TV show of all time.