David Goodman | Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

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David Goodman

 

Like the Israelites spending 40 years in the wilderness, David took the long road to his Promised Land: rabbinical school. After campus activism at the University of Michigan, he worked four decades in journalism, mainly with the Associated Press in Detroit. But he always aspired to serious Jewish learning and jumped at the chance when retirement incentives (and loving help from parents Joyce, z”l, and Bernard Goodman) made RRC seem possible.

David grew up in Columbia, Mo., and Cincinnati, Ohio, where he was active in Isaac M. Wise Temple’s youth programs. He spent a summer at NFTY’s Torah Corps and six months in its Israel high school exchange. David joined Detroit’s Reconstructionist Congregation T’chiyah, where he co-led services. He also engaged in Israeli-Palestinian peace advocacy with New Jewish Agenda and spent a year volunteering and studying in Jerusalem.

Aside from expanding his knowledge of Jewish texts and civilization, RRC let David practice a range of rabbinic vocations — teaching at West Philly’s Kol Tzedek; mentoring students at West Chester University; and most recently, serving as spiritual leader of Nafshenu, a Reconstructionist community in Cherry Hill, N.J. He hopes to continue this deeply fulfilling congregational work after graduation.

David may have come from Detroit seeking wisdom, but he also found his bashert in Philadelphia, Pearl Raz. Married in 2018, their blended family includes three adult children, Reuben, Susannah and Nisa; their respective partners, Retsina, Aaron and Ben; and grandchildren Michaela and Saul.

 


הגיד לך אדם מה טוב ומה יי דורש ממך: כי אם עשות משפט ואהבת חסד והצנע לכת עם אלהיך
(מיכה ו:ח)

People, YAH has told you what’s right and what’s expected from you: enacting justice, treasuring lovingkindness, and walking modestly with your God.
Micah 6:8

 

אשרי אדם מצא חכמה ואדם יפיק תבונה כי טובה סחרה מסחר כסף ומחרוץ תבואתה…ארך ימים בימינה בשמאולה עשר וכבוד…עץ חיים היא למחזיקים בה ותמכיה מאשר
(משלי ג:יג-יח)

It’s a happy person who discovers wisdom, who attains understanding. Wisdom is worth more than silver and gold. … It’s a tree of life to those who embrace it, and attaining it brings happiness.
Proverbs 3:13-14,18

 

יפה שתיקה לחכמים קל וחומר לטיפשים שנאמר אויל מחריש חכם יחשב
(בבלי פסחים צ״ט:ש)

Silence befits the wise; so much more so the unwise. As the Bible says, “A fool who keeps quiet comes off like a fount of wisdom.”
Babylonian Talmud, Passover 99A; Proverbs 17:28

 

The redemptive truth brought by [Adam and Eve’s punishments for eating from the Tree of Knowledge] is that patriarchal social relations construct a world that cries out to be mended.
Rabbi Rachel Adler, “Engendering Judaism: An Inclusive Theology and Ethics”