CONNECTIONS 2017

Rabbi David J. Gelfand

Co-chair, World Union for Progressive Judaism Rabbinic Circle
Rabbi David Gelfand

Rabbi David J. Gelfand

Rabbi David J. Gelfand arrived at Temple Israel, one of New York City’s synagogues, in 2007, and is committed to teaching Torah in the broadest sense and helping people strive to “Be Torah” in their lives, as individuals and in community.

Having created cutting-edge models for contemporary Jewish life based on pluralism, inclusivity, social justice, spirituality, outreach, and excellence in education, he uses his love of Klal Yisrael, having taken over 1,000 people to Israel and led trips to Eastern Europe, Cuba, Spain/Morocco, Argentina, Chile and Brazil.

Previously, he was Rabbi of the Jewish Center of the Hamptons, where he initiated the Hamptons Jewish Summer Institute, a forum for Jewish learning, spirituality and culture. Having begun his career at Temple Beth-El in Great Neck, New York, he has also served synagogues in New Jersey (Har Sinai) and Ohio (Fairmount Temple). For over a decade, after helping found the Interfaith Alliance in Washington D.C., he served as a national officer.

Rabbi Gelfand has been a voice for human rights, social justice, interfaith relations, outreach and inclusion, and was recognized by the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ), of which he’s Co-Chair of their national Rabbinic Circle, a member of their International Assembly and a leader of their North American Advisory Board (NAAB), with their International Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Pursuit of Justice. He serves on the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR)’s Board of Governors and their President’s Rabbinic Council.

He, his wife, Kathy, and their four children and two grandchildren, reside in New York City and East Hampton.