In this episode of the Seekers of Meaning Podcast, Rabbi Address continues a discussion of the new Israeli “nation/state” law, this time with Reform Rabbis Phil Cohen and Jeffrey Salkin.
About the Guests
Rabbi Phil Cohen, Ph.D., received his ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City. He earned a Ph.D. in Jewish thought from Brandeis University, and Master of Fine Arts degree from Spalding University in Louisville.
Rabbi Cohen is married to Betsy Gamburg and is Elly’s, and Talia’s father, and Ava Ruth’s saba.
He is a strong advocate of Israel, loves theology, Bible, Jewish History, exploring interfaith relations, and reading and writing fiction. He has just completed his first novel, Desolation Row: A Nick Bones mystery, which, by its title, suggests another might be on the way.
Rabbi Cohen resides in Greensboro, NC, with Betsy and Maggy, their rescued greyhound, and travels regularly to Albany, GA, where he serves as rabbi for Temple B’nai Israel.
Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin joined Temple Solel of Hollywood, Fla. as Senior Rabbi on August 1, 2015. He has a unique reputation among his colleagues. They call him an “activist for Jewish ideas.” He is recognized as one of the most thoughtful Jewish teachers of his generation. He describes his own life mission as: “I help people of all ages find spiritual meaning in Judaism.”
Rabbi Salkin is a noted author who has written nine critically acclaimed books, published by Jewish Lights Publishing and the Jewish Publication Society. Several of his books have won national awards. He first came to national attention with his book, Putting God on the Guest List: How To Reclaim the Spiritual Meaning of Your Child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah. The editor of two Torah commentaries, he is currently working on The Bar/Bat Mitzvah Torah, a “kid-friendly” commentary on the Torah and haftarot, to be published by the Jewish Publication Society. He has also written on such topics as the spirituality of work, masculinity and Judaism, interfaith relations, Israel, and Jewish history. He has also written articles for scholarly journals and encyclopedias.
Rabbi Salkin is one of America’s most-quoted rabbis. His articles have appeared in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Readers Digest, and the Forward. His blog, “Martini Judaism; for those who want to be shaken and stirred” (jeffreysalkin.religionnews.com) won the Wilbur Award for Best Religion Blog of the year. He has spoken in more than one hundred North American communities — in synagogues, community centers, churches, and seminaries. He has served on the faculty of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Molloy College, Columbus State University, and the Academy for Jewish Religion.
Rabbi Salkin has forged deep relations within the inter-religious world. He was one of the first rabbis to earn the Doctor of Ministry degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. He pioneered outreach to the Sikh community, and has created joint Jewish-Christian-Muslim study programs.
Rabbi Salkin has been an “entrepreneur for Judaism” – serving congregations; creating an adult study institute in Atlanta; producing religious television shows, and serving as the New Jersey director of the Anti-Defamation League.
Rabbi Salkin believes that his rabbinic mission can be summed up as follows: the translate Jewish texts and ideas into a modern idiom; To transmit these ideas and teachings, and to transform people’s lives, and the life of the entire Jewish community.