Welcome, David Barak-Gorodetsky, PhD

Welcome, David Barak-Gorodetsky, PhD

From the Rabbi David Lyon

Welcome, David Barak-Gorodetsky, PhD

Welcome, David Barak-Gorodetsky, PhD, who is coming to Congregation Beth Israel, from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, in Jerusalem. David will be an intern for two weeks, beginning February 24th. He is a 4th year rabbinical student training to be a Reform rabbi in Israel.  

Over two weeks in February/March, and two weeks next fall, David will be shadowing our clergy team, participating in worship services, leading Torah study, participating in Shlenker School services and classrooms, and learning the ropes of a large and active congregation. Here is more to know about David: 

David Barak-Gorodetsky, PhD

David Barak-Gorodetsky was born in Israel. He is the student-Rabbi at the newly launched Ramat Hanegev Regional Council congregation, and was formerly the interim rabbi of Kibbutz Yahel. David is a Postdoctoral fellow at the Ben-Gurion Institute for the Research of Zionism and the State of Israel, where he founded RAID – the forum for the study of the Religious Aspects of Israel-Diaspora Relations. He also teaches at the Ruderman program for Jewish-American history at the University of Haifa. His book Jeremiah in Zion, and intellectual biography of Rabbi Judah Leib Magnes was recently published in Ben-Gurion University Press. David also lectures occasionally on Jewish peoplehood. He is formerly the director of KUMU for the politicization of Jewish Pluralism in Israel, and prior to that was the regional director of Hillel in Haifa. He has taught Batei Midrash on behalf of Elul, and was the facilitator of an interfaith group at the University of Haifa, and was a member of the Boston-Haifa Connection education committee. David lives with his wife Anat and two boys, Shalem and Illy, in Mitzpe Ramon.

You can see that David is already an accomplished Jewish thinker and leader. His decision to be a Reform rabbi in the Reform movement in Israel, is an inspiring decision that bodes well for the growing progressive movement in Israel, today. At Congregation Beth Israel, his aim is to see what is possible in a vibrant congregation. We were selected by HUC-JIR, unsolicited, to host David, because it is believed that his experience with us will contribute to his achievements as a rabbi in Israel. We couldn’t agree more. Please come meet David Barak-Gorodetsky at many of the places and times when you see our clergy in action. He’ll certainly appreciate our Houston hospitality and our congregation’s warm welcome. In Hebrew, we say, “Baruch Haba, David!”


Rabbi David A. Lyon is Senior Rabbi at Congregation Beth Israel in Houston, TX. Rabbi Lyon serves on the Board of Trustees of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and chairs its professional development committee. He is the author of God of Me: Imagining God Throughout Your Lifetime (Jewish Lights, 2011) available on Amazon.com. He can be heard on “iHeart-Radio” KODA 99.1 FM every Sunday at 6:45am CST. Listeners around the greater Houston area, and now the internet, tune in to hear his words about life and its meaning from a Jewish point-of-view. Each radio program is available as a Podcast, called “Heart to Heart with Rabbi David Lyon”. Click here to listen online, or download the iHeartRadio app. 

The Hurricane Harvey Flood Fund

Hurricane Harvey left Houston and surrounding areas in a shambles, but the great people of Houston are banding together to help and heal. Your help is welcome and needed. You may send Gift Cards (Kroger, Target, HEB, Lowe’s, or Visa/Mastercard, etc.) to Congregation Beth Israel. They will be immediately distributed to area neighbors to assist in replacing essential items and children’s school supplies.

You may also Donate directly to Congregation Beth Israel by clicking here. All funds will go directly to aid those who need immediate help. These funds will NOT be held to be allocated later. On behalf of our clergy (Rabbi David Lyon, Rabbi Adrienne Scott, Rabbi Joshua Herman, Rabbi Chase Foster, and Cantor Trompeter), David Scott, Executive Director, and Bruce Levy, Temple President, we are very grateful for your kindness, generosity, and help.

Hurt has no shame and no label; we just need to heal one another.

Rabbi David Lyon

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