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Of all the questions I’m asked, the one I receive the most is “Why did you become a rabbi?”

The commentator Ramban wrote, “All communications to Moses, whether they are introduced by the word דבר (speak), by אמור (say), or צו (command), were preceded by a קריאה, a call. In other words, God said, ‘Moses, Moses’, and he answered, הנני, ‘Here I am’.”

Being a rabbi is often referred to as a calling, but the truth is I never heard the heavenly voice calling out ‘Adam, Adam’. There is no moment I can draw upon to say ‘and that is when I chose to become a rabbi’. Rather, the rabbinate forms part of my ongoing Jewish journey.

My parents provided me with a thick and joyful Jewish upbringing, which included weekly shul attendance, Jewish day school, USY and Camp Ramah. I went on to study in Israel and take on leadership roles in Hillel. Through Jewish life, I found community. Through Jewish study I found texts that challenged me intellectually and pushed me to rethink my worldly duties and obligations.

When the time came to choose a career, I was already headed toward life of serving the Jewish community. I chose to enter rabbinical school because I wanted to learn more and to open doors to the myriad organizations that employ rabbis.

As the Senior Rabbi of Adath Israel Congregation, I spend every day trying to create a kehillah kedoshah, a holy community. I am blessed with the chance to help thousands of Jews connect with their religion and their people in a way that is grounded is traditional practice and relevant for the 21st century.

My education includes a master’s degree and rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary. In the community, I have been president of the Rabbinical Assembly – Ontario Region as well as president of the Toronto Board of Rabbis. In the media, I have contributed to CBC television, CTV television, CP24, Rogers TV, CBC Radio One, AM 640, the Canadian Jewish News and more. Among several recognitions, I am especially honoured to be a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Award.