Rituals transform social facts into physical realities, and so the coronavirus is forcing us to change, adapt, or maybe even lose some of those concrete and physical connections.
Rabbi Geoffrey A. Mitelman is the Founding Director of Sinai and Synapses, an organization that bridges the scientific and religious worlds, and is being incubated at Clal – The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership.
His work has been supported by the John Templeton Foundation, Emanuel J. Friedman Philanthropies, and the Lucius N. Littauer Foundation, and his writings about the intersection of religion and science have appeared on the homepages of several sites, including The Huffington Post, Nautilus, Science and Religion Today, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, and My Jewish Learning. He has been an adjunct professor at both the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion and the Academy for Jewish Religion, and is a sought-out teacher, presenter, and scholar-in-residence throughout the country.
He was ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, where he received the Cora Kahn Prize from the Cincinnati faculty for the most outstanding sermon delivery and oratory. An alumnus of Princeton University, he received multiple prizes for outstanding scholarship in Biblical and Judaic studies.
He was selected to be a member of the first cohort of Clal’s prestigious Rabbis Without Borders fellowship, a national program that seeks to position rabbis as American religious leaders and spiritual innovators who contribute Jewish wisdom to the American spiritual landscape. Additionally, he was chosen to be in the first group of the Balfour Brickner Rabbinic Fellowship, a a joint program with Clal and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism that aims to integrate Jewish textual tradition with modern social and political issues. He is on the advisory board of several organizations, including the 92nd St. Y’s “7 Days of Genius” Festival, as well as the URJ’s 6-Points Sci-Tech Academy.
For seven years, he served as Assistant and then Associate Rabbi of Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester, and appeared on Jeopardy! in March 2016. He lives in Westchester County with his wife Heather Stoltz, a fiber artist, with their daughter and son.
How can a “Technology Shabbat” – a day away from screens – be informed by Judaism?
Like the paradigmatic blessing for rain, the Shabbat practice of blessing children offers the gift of love in exchange for nothing.
As Jews begin to prepare for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and a new season of “The Good Place” starts soon, what lessons can the show teach us for 5780?
What are religion and science useful for, and where do they need one another? This question is visualized in a short video.
When communicating science to a skeptical audience, it’s important who does the talking.
To lessen gun deaths, we need to truly feel our fear and anger. And then we need to be able to do research on potential effective ways to do so, even in our current political climate.
While we may say we want to live “forever,” we simply don’t emotionally or intellectually understand the size of ideas like “infinity” or “eternity.”
How much of science is a pursuit of truth for its own sake? And what happens when it leads to unanticipated consequences?
We all have our starting points, our tribes and our audiences. But we also need to push ourselves a bit, and to move into the “adjacent possible.”