Rabbi David Widzer

RabbiWQAidzerheadshot-206x259Rabbi David S. Widzer has been the spiritual leader of Temple Beth El of Northern Valley since July 2012.  Raised in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, Rabbi Widzer describes himself as “a pure-bred product of the Reform movement.” While growing up he was very active in his congregation, especially its youth group. Reform Jewish summer camps have also been an important influence on him, as Rabbi Widzer has been a camper, counselor, educator and supervisor, as well as a rabbinic faculty member, at Reform Jewish summer camps in Massachusetts, Indiana, Texas, and New York. Rabbi Widzer currently is a rabbinic representative on Reform Judaism’s Commission on Social Action and chairs the Policy Task Force of the Justice Peace & Civil Liberties Committee of the Central Conference of American Rabbis.

Following ordination in 2000, Rabbi Widzer served as an Assistant and Associate Rabbi at Temple Shalom of Newton, Mass., for six years.  He was the spiritual leader of Temple Etz Chaim in Franklin, Mass., from 2006 to 2012.  His focus on youth work and social action in both congregations reflects a long history of involvement with the Reform Jewish youth movement and his passion for tikkun olam.

In 2004, Rabbi Widzer was among 19 rabbis selected to participate in an innovative continuing rabbinic education program focusing on non-profit organizational management and spiritual leadership. At the conclusion of the program he was honored as one of only six recipients who each received a $10,000 follow-up innovation grant for a congregational social action project.

While pursuing his rabbinic studies at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City and Jerusalem, he was the rabbinic intern for the Commission on Social Action. He was also the founding director of the Heller Social Action Program, mentoring 15 teens from the URJ Kutz Camp summer session in a year-long series of social action activities.

Rabbi Widzer graduated magna cum laude from Brown University where he received an A.B. in Judaic Studies and in Ethics and Political Philosophy.

He is married to Karen Loewy, a senior staff attorney with Lambda Legal, and they have two children, Judah and Elisheva.

For Rabbi Widzer’s 5777 Erev Rosh HaShannah sermon about the election, “Values and Voting,” click here.

For Rabbi Widzer’s 5777 Rosh HaShannah morning sermon about fear and hope in our time, “The Eternal Possibilities of Today,” click here.

For Rabbi Widzer’s 5777 Kol Nidre sermon, “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story,” click here.

For Rabbi Widzer’s 5777 Yizkor remarks, “Points of Memory,” click here.

For Rabbi Widzer’s 5777 Yom Kippur morning Haftarah Drash, “When We Heed Isaiah,” click here.

Rabbi Widzer is featured in the August Jewish Standard – Five Rabbis, Five Perspectives.

Email Rabbi David Widzer at rabbiwidzer@tbenv.org