After spending my first 18 years on Long Island, I got itchy feet and started traveling -- San Francisco, Europe, a few years on kibbutzim (communal farms) in Israel -- before settling in Boston, Massachusetts. I met and married Guntram, who was born in Germany and brought up as a Catholic. We have one child, Ariadne, who lives with her wife and their two children in the Boston area.
Once settled in one place, I focused on the writing I'd been doing all my life. I went to college then to graduate work in creative writing, after which I taught at the University of Massachusetts for 10 years. During this time I became immersed in Jewish study. I taught Hebrew school and tutored children for their bar and bat mitzvah; I wrote liturgy for a healing service and a women's service at my temple; and working with the clergy, I recreated the entire High Holy Days Machzor (prayer book) - from Slichot through the afternoon of Yom Kippur (the Days of Awe).
These years of study, at Hebrew College and other places, and inward journeying led to the rabbinate. However, because I am in an interfaith marriage, no traditional seminary would consider my application.
Meanwhile, people were asking me to officiate at weddings, at baby namings, and funerals. I led Friday night services for one year at a Conservative synagogue. As the requests kept coming, I realized how much I loved the work and the study; and I realized also that I had to accept responsibility for my spiritual calling. In January 2012, i was ordained through the Jewish Spiritual Leaders Institute, under the guidance of its founder, Rabbi Steve Blane. Now I lead weekly services and monthly Shabbat morning services at the online synagogue Sim Shalom. The journey has been long, the path winding with cutbacks and high hills, but now I am able to help others find their own path.
I have written of my journey and shared my thoughts along the way for interfaithfamily.com, where my articles can be found.
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