LinkedInJeffrey Wildstein
Jeffrey Wildstein

Jeffrey Wildstein

Rabbi at Temple Beth David

Location
Greater Boston Area
Industry
Religious Institutions
Previous
  1. Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation,
  2. Temple Israel - Minneapolis, MN
Education
  1. Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion-Cincinnati
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Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion-Cincinnati

Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion-Cincinnati

Rabbinical Studies

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Background

Experience

Rabbi

Temple Beth David
– Present (8 years 5 months)Westwood, MA

Leadership
• Supervise four staff members; focus professional staff on developing and achieving annual goals
• Interact with town officials and committees to resolve difficulties and challenges including interacting with the Westwood Town Manager the Medfield Superintendent of Schools, and Westwood, Medfield and Walpole School Superintendents over school calendars and Jewish holidays
• Fundraise to assist operating budget and restore fiscal stability of congregation with lay leaders, raising $210,000 over five year period; raise money for specific projects and congregants in need

Worship
• Conduct life cycle events; lead, reinvigorate and reimagine worship and holiday services to meet congregants' needs and desires, introduce interactive learning during worship, add an intergenerational service, and lead all worship and holiday services

Teaching
• Conduct and manage adult learning calendar averaging at least one session per week during the program year
• Teach courses specifically designed for beginning learners, including Understanding the Worship Service, Adult Learning for Beginners, and the Jewish View of Death and Dying
• Teach series of 10 and 20 session Torah courses beginning with Exodus, examining issues and questions in the parashot and integrating classical and modern midrashic sources and commentaries
• Teach advanced Talmud courses on Issues of Prayer and Issues of Justice for advanced and new learners, Taste of Judaism and Introduction to Judaism

Social Action
• Join with local ministers and priest in Westwood Interfaith Clergy Association, coordinating annual Interfaith Thanksgiving service and joint programming
• Participate and support annual Interfaith Mini-Walk for Hunger

Israel
• Teach iEngage: A New Look at Israel, a modern and updated approach to understanding Israel
• Teach Israel and the Palestinians, using primary sources to trace the Israeli/Palestinian conflict from Biblical origins to modern times

Associate Rabbi

Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation
(1 year)Indianapolis, IN

• Liaisoned with Dor Atid Young Adults program to develop and institute program ideas. Provide a point of contact, support and caring for young adults who both grew up at congregation and who are new to the area
• Taught adult learning courses on Basic Judaism: Jewish Views on God and Life, Ethical Answers through the Responsa, and Looking at Jesus through Jewish Eyes. Teach Shabbat Torah study and lunchtime learning programs
• Participated in Congregational One Hundred Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration events
• Plan and conduct three hundred attendee Rosh HaShanah Family Retreat at Goldman-Union Camp Institute on Judaism and the Environment. Collaborate with lay steering committee, lead morning and havdalah services, and teach learning sessions
• Lead all worship services, including erev Shabbat, Shabbat morning, holiday and festival services, and shiva minyanim
• Officiated at all life cycle events, including Brit Milah, Brit Bat, B’nei Mitzvah, Confirmation, weddings, conversions and funerals
• Involved in all aspects of religious school including review and development of curriculum, advise and assist teachers with lesson plans and classroom management issues, generation of weekly lessons on Jewish values based on each letter of the Hebrew alphabet, lead services, and teach all grades including classroom visits on particular topics and in post-B’nei Mitzvah Derech Torah program
• Assisted all B’nei Mitzvah students in class of approximately forty to write their Divrei Torah and other speeches for their services
• Supervised youth program of Rishonim (fifth and sixth grade), JIFFTY (seventh and eighth grade), and IFTY (high school). Train and assist advisors, provide rabbinic support and contact for students, and offer rabbinic presence at local and regional events
• Visited congregants in hospital, nursing homes and homes, and provide pastoral counseling

Associate/Assistant Rabbi

Temple Israel - Minneapolis, MN
(4 years)Minneapolis, MN

Worship and Life Cycle Events
• Led all services including Friday night services with monthly sermons, every-generational services, holiday and festival services, Yizkor services, shiva minyanim, havdalot, and Passover sederim
• Helped develop and organize 5:45 p.m erev Shabbat worship initiative, which added Tot Shabbat, Classical Reform, Shabbat Unplugged, Hebrew, Mishkan Tefillah, and Elderly Care Facility services
• Officiated at life cycle events; provided pastoral care through hospital and nursing home visits and office counseling appointments

Teaching
• Revised and coordinated new Adult Learning marketing materials leading to a one thousand percent increase from approximately fifty to five hundred enrollees in first year
• Conceptualized and developed 3-session adult learning program called Jewish Learning Institute which offered an intellectual and spiritual opportunity, which was attended by approximately one hundred fifty adults in each semester session
• Taught Adult Learning sessions including Torah, Talmud and Prophets Study, Liturgy, Women in the Mishnah, Israel and Shabbat, Reform Judaism: Past Present and Future, and Jewish Ethics through Star Trek
• Rewrote and re-energized Confirmation curriculum focused on students’ personal beliefs

Outreach
• Restructured Outreach program to resume annual “December Dilemma” program on ways interfaith families cope with the numerous pressures of the Christmas season, wrote Service Survival guide to welcome and inform newcomers, and held “Outreach Shabbat” which explained the themes and meanings of Jewish prayers in an informal and open manner
• Reorganized and marketed annual Introduction to Judaism course by initiating Experiential Learning Component, revising materials and reading list, and reviewing and adjusting curriculum
• Established and provided rabbinic support for 20/30 Young Adults program, attended by over 150 young adults, providing a point of entry and welcoming into the congregation

Organizations

CCAR Northeast Region

President/Treasurer, 2013-present; First Vice President, 2011-2013; Second Vice President, 2012-13
– Present

• Lead regional organization of 200 CCAR members
• Organize Kallah study conference for 30 rabbis for one year, and monthy learning sessions for two years
• Explore ways to revitalize organization, including greater outreach and on-line availability of learning sessions

Westwood Interfaith Clergy Association

President, 2010-2011
– Present

• Join with local ministers and priest in Westwood Interfaith Clergy Association, coordinating annual Interfaith Thanksgiving service and occasional joint programming

Union for Reform Judaism, Ask the Rabbi Program

Author
– Present

• Answer questions for URJ’s “Ask the Rabbi” program on topics including conversion, Hebrew names, kashrut, and gay and lesbian rabbis.

Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas

Speaker/Organizer

• Spoke at numerous churches and schools about Judaism and Comparative Religion on topics such as the Jewish view of Exodus and why Jews do not believe in Jesus as the Messiah, through Speakers Program of JCRC of Minnesota and the Dakotas
• Composed and organized joint Jewish community Day of Remembrance service with the JCRC on the Friday following September 11, 2001, in answer to President Bush’s call for noontime prayer, providing a place of gathering and support for hundreds of Jews in the Minneapolis area

Publications

“Hebrew in the Reform Movement"

CCAR Journal
2005

Authored article, “Hebrew in the Reform Movement,” CCAR Journal, Winter 2005.

“Writings of Jacob Radar Marcus: A Bibliography”

Brandeis University Press
2004

Co-Compiled “Writings of Jacob Radar Marcus: A Bibliography” in The Dynamics of Jewish History. Brandeis University Press, 2004.

Tort Remedies in Connecticut

Michie Law Publishers
1996

Co-authored Tort Remedies in Connecticut, with Richard L. Newman, Michie Law Publishers, Charlottesville, VA, 1996.

Certifications

Non-Profit Management for Rabbis

Hebrew College & Boston University's Institute for Nonprofit Management and Leadership
– Present

Education

Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion-Cincinnati

Rabbinic Smicha & Master in Hebrew Letters, Rabbinical Studies

Senior Thesis: Monetary Damages for Bodily Injuries: A Comparison of Talmudic Law and Modern Tort Reform.
• Cora Kahn Prize for Sermon Delivery and Oratory Co-Recipient, 2001.
• Rabbi Abraham J. Feldman Prize for paper on the History of Reform Judaism, 2000.
• Essay Competition Winner, “The Challenges to Religion in the 21st Century,” 2000.

Cornell Law School

Doctor of Law (J.D.)

Yale University

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), History

Skills

  • Religion
  • Hebrew
  • Pastoral Counseling
  • Liturgy
  • Theology
  • Preaching
  • Religious Studies
  • Interfaith
  • Adult Education
  • Social Justice
  • Pastoral Care
  • Teaching
  • Community Outreach
  • Jewish Studies
  • Spiritual Direction
  • Lifecycle
  • Synagogues
  • Not for Profit
  • Public Speaking
  • Jewish History
  • Community Organizing
  • Volunteer Management
  • Bible
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