|The spiritual leader of a Jewish congregation is its rabbi. Our temple’s rabbi also serves as principal of our Hebrew School, the Mike Weiner School of Jewish Learning, and conducts the Rabbi’s Class as part of the temple’s Adult Education program.
Throughout his years of teaching, Rabbi Dr. Dubin never stopped pursuing his own studies too, which led to a master’s degree in 1992 and a doctorate in 2008, both from the Department of Bible and Ancient Semitic Languages of The Jewish Theological Seminary.
A 2014 ordinee of Hebrew Union College, Rabbi Dr. Dubin purposefully constructed a varied a student pulpit experience during his three years of training in New York., serving as Student Rabbi for Temple B’nai Israel (Albany, GA), Pastoral Care Intern for DOROT (NYC), Rabbinic Intern for Woodlands Community Temple (Greenburgh, NY), Religious School Principal and Rabbinic Intern for Union Temple (Brooklyn, NY), Student Chaplain at Weil Cornell Hospital (NYC), and Student Rabbi for Temple Beth HaSholom (Williamsport, PA).
Since 2013, Rabbi Dr. Dubin has been serving as the part-time Director of Hebrew Home Study and Adult Learning at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Synagogue (a position he will continue to occupy, so long as his schedule at JCNWJ permits). Rabbi Dr. Dubin also teaches privately and officiates major life-cycle events.
A native New Yorker, Rabbi Dr. Dubin lives in Manhattan and has four children, Shira, Liron, Rayn, and Ari.
The “Rabbi’s Message” appears in every issue of the JOURNAL, the newsletter of the JCNWJ. The most recent message appears below; past messages are also available. Selected sermons are also provided below.
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January 2024 Message from Rabbi Dubin
The end of December … a time of year when rabbis huddle together and pray for the strength to shepherd their communities through the “holiday” season, what feels like a very Christian season, without compromising on Jewish pride and identity. I understand the initial discomfort. I even share in the discomfort. Beyond the awkwardness, however, we may find great comfort and shared purpose in remaining open to the many humanitarian lessons of the Christmas season.
These are difficult times. Our people are held hostage, our homeland is at war. Political divisions continue to worsen. Gun violence is on the rise, virulent antisemitism is surging, and increasing numbers of Americans face food and shelter insecurity.
At any time – but particularly during such difficult days – we would be well advised to take comfort wherever we can find it, regardless of its origin.
To be sure, Christmas is not our holy day. All the same, that does not mean we can’t dwell in the aura of peace, joy, and generosity it seems to usher in each year. Yes, Jewish tradition maintains an imperative for tzedakah – it is a core mitzvah after all – but we have Christmas to thank for bringing it to the forefront of American consciousness at this time of year.
Gifting – figuratively and literally – is a funny thing. Though we can’t legislate what other people give us, nor how they give it, we certainly can control what we give others, and the spirit in which we give. We may not be able to establish peace throughout the world, but we can strive for peace within our families, neighborhoods, and workplaces. We may not be able to feed the entire world, but we can find the compassion to chip away at hunger in our own communities. We may not be able to clothe the entire world, but we can find the humanity within to collect and distribute warm coats to many in our greater community who otherwise would go cold this winter.
I am deeply grateful for each and every reminder to live peacefully and lovingly, wherever they may originate. One need not be Christian to embrace the Christmas spirit, just like one need not be Jewish to pray for the increase of light in these dark times. Christians may have exclusive rights to their own messianic understanding of Christmas, but generosity and Tikkun Olam by any name will always be values that we, as Jews, ought to support.
Read past messages on the Past Messages page.
- We Are Not Victims. We Are Jews. – Rabbi Dubin’s sermon in response to recent anti-Semitic attacks, January 3, 2020.
- What’s in a Name – January 8, 2016 (pdf, 40kb)
- In Its Mother’s Milk – February 5, 2016 (pdf, 110kb)
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Last updated: January 17,2021