Rabbi Josh LobelPhone: 408-358-1751 x114
Hillel used to say, “Be like the disciples of Aaron; love peace and pursue peace, love all humanity, and bring them near to the Torah” (Pirke Avot 1:12). These words, uttered by one of the greatest sages of our tradition, have had a profound influence upon me and my conception of the rabbinate. They encapsulate a rabbi’s role as a spiritual leader, a teacher of Torah, a pastoral caregiver, and a communal leader and advocate. For me, these sacred functions are the foundation of the rabbinate.
After my ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2007, I accepted my first pulpit as the Assistant Rabbi at Temple Chaverim, a Reform congregation in Plainview, NY. I spent five wonderful years in that community, attaining the position of Associate Rabbi, working with all facets of the synagogue. While in Plainview, I was also the chairman of the Plainview-Old Bethpage Interfaith Clergy Council, as well as spent time as the Rabbi-In-Residence at the local JCC.
I am passionate about teaching Torah, rabbinic texts, and Jewish thought to Jews of all ages. I have a wide variety of Jewish interests, including, but not limited to, Midrash, liturgy, Mussar, Reform Jewish history and thought, and Jewish mysticism. I am also involved in the international Jewish community, serving on various committees of the World Union for Progressive Judaism, particularly those serving Latin and South American Jewish communities. I am an ardent Zionist, and a strong supporter of the Progressive Movement in Israel and ARZA. I am also currently working on several projects involving the utilization of social network media to strengthen and support synagogue life, both here and across the globe.
I am married to my high school sweetheart, Elizabeth, who is a child psychiatrist. We have one son, Aryeh, who is in preschool at Shir Hadash. As lifelong New Yorkers, we will be keeping our allegiances to our beloved Yankees, Knicks, and NY Giants, though we are open to adopting the Sharks as our hockey team! As a family, we all enjoy cooking, reading, and a few varied TV shows, with the Big Bang Theory being our favorite, when we are not watching Elmo. We are very excited to be a part of the Shir Hadash community!