Stories reach over and underpin all our spiritual associations.
After much study, in 2009 I received s’micha as a maggid from Maggid Yitzhak Buxbaum, in the line of Shlomo Carlebach (zt”l) and R. Zalman Schacter-Shalomi (zt”l).
I don’t see myself as belonging to a particular “stream” of Judaism; my programs have been warmly received in Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, Reconstructionist and Renewal settings. I feel most at home within the Renewal movement, but find this (as all personal directions should be) to be more liberating than constraining.
I have been particularly active in interfaith dialogues, and believe that we understand our own religious foundations better when we see them in contrast with others. Toward that end I have led an extended dialogue between the Jewish and Muslim communities, and for many years I was a member of a dialogue group for Jews, Palestinians and Christians that has been active since the early 1980s.
I also lead or participate in study groups and related activities, including a weekly study group that has delved into multiyear studies of Tanach, Pirke Avot, and various Talmud tractates. A Chavurah I formed over a decade ago continues to meet monthly.
My professional and spiritual lives are closely intertwined. For over a decade I was a family therapist, utilizing clinical hypnosis and paradoxical interventions to help my clients move toward healing. My next decade was devoted to computer science, specializing in artificial intelligence and the way to understand and communicate human expertise, particularly in the medical arena. I now pursue my “parnassa” through the health information technology industry, where I find that the ability to understand and influence complex systems is – what would you know?! – through a story.
All told, I strive to bring those around me along on this joyful journey we call life, wrestling together with G!d, working hard for healing, and embracing the Eternal’s manifestation in this world.