When we think about our “selves,” we think only about our bodies and everything inside of it. We forget that our “selves” actually extend far beyond our bodies.
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.
It’s not an unusual idea to think that Reform Jews are thinking in evolutionary terms. What’s different is that it is Darwin that they’re engaging with.
We need to keep rethinking what we believe about God based on new ideas and new experiences.
How good are we? And how can ritual help us become better?
On one level, evidence is what scientists use to discover truth. But there’s another profession that uses evidence, too: lawyers. And they each use evidence in different ways.
The Hanukkah lights remind us that it is upon us to bring ourselves – and our society – to a more peaceful and just place.
Whether religious leaders or scientific experts, as human beings, we begin by trusting our source.
How could we be thrilled with one deal in March, and then, when it actually happens in October, be so upset?
In today’s society, ideas have transformed into identity.
We need to remember that our creativity, our ability to shape the world and change it, is a gift from God.