Rabbi Jo David is a specialist in meeting the needs of individuals and families who do not fit the traditional Jewish mold. She has had extensive experience working with interfaith and multi-cultural couples and families. A staunch supporter of equal marriage rights, she has performed a number of commitment ceremonies and baby namings for same-sex couples and families.
Bringing couples together under the chuppah is my greatest joy, says Rabbi Jo David, except, perhaps, for when I have the opportunity to hold their children in my arms and name and bless them.
Rabbi David has been performing memorable life cycle events since 1992. Ordained by the Academy for Jewish Religion, she delights in creating deeply moving life passages that incorporate the richness of Jewish tradition with a deep understanding of modern spirituality and ritual. See WeddingRabbi.org.
Pastoral Care is an important aspect of Rabbi Davids rabbinate. With extensive training in bereavement support, support groups, and pre-marital couples counseling, she conducts bereavement and healing support groups in the New York area.
Reaching Jews and non-Jews with a message of hope, healing, and meaning is the primary focus of the doctoral work she is now pursuing at New York Theological Seminary. In addition to Rabbinic Ordination, Rabbi David holds a Masters Degree in Judaic Studies from the Skirball Department of Judaic Studies at New York University, where she studied with Dr. Cyrus Gordon and Dr. Baruch Levine.
An experienced educator, Rabbi David has taught at the Academy for Jewish Religion, at Molloy College, and served as a member of the Derech Torah faculty (Introduction to Judaism) of the 92nd Street Y. In addition, she has taught and worked with Jews throughout Germany and around the world in such varied venues as Anchorage, Alaska; Barcelona, Spain; Alma Ata, Kazakhstan; and Sydney, Australia.
In addition to her lifecycle work and teaching, Rabbi David has served as a congregational rabbi to communities on Long Island, in Queens, Westchester, and in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Outreach to Jews and non-Jews alike is an important part of Rabbi Davids rabbinate. As Founder and Executive Director of the New York Citybased Jewish Appleseed Foundation from 1997 to 2007, she worked with communities throughout the United States and the world. Its mission was to work with Jews and non-Jews who live away from the Jewish mainstream and were in need of mentoring and strategic planning. One primary project was the support of the Jewish Community of Hamelin. Rabbi David continues to consult with the community, whose work is ongoing. For more information, please visit their Web site, JGHReform.org.
Rabbi David is a published author of books and articles on a wide variety of topics. Her most recent publication is an article on the transformative nature of the Rosh Chodesh experience in the newly released book, Women and Judaism (Praeger). Other publications include How to Trace Your Jewish Roots, a beginners book on Jewish genealogy. The Book of the Jewish Life, published by URJ Press is the life-cycle textbook for Reform religious schools. Her original prayers, poems, and meditations appear in Covenant of the Heart and Covenant of the Soul, both published by Women of Reform Judaism, and in The Reform Jewish Reader.
Rabbi Davids Books Currently in Print:
Click book covers for purchase information.
Rabbi David is married to the artist and scribe, Neil Yerman. See NeilYerman.com.
Rabbi Jo Davids Radio Show Three Steps to Freedom
As part of the Whitney Museums Biennial, in 2008, Rabbi David hosted a 30-minute radio show called Three Steps to Freedom on Neighborhood Public Radio in New York City. You may listen to the three broadcasts archived on this site:
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Thursday, May 8, 2008
(Click arrows to begin streaming audio.)