Rabbi Jay TelRav
“Judaism provides us, not simply a way to connect to God, but just as importantly a way to connect with each other.” Rabbi Jay TelRav has spent years developing a rabbinate based on sacred relationship and brings the same focus and approach to Temple Sinai. He doesn’t believe in a Judaism for the masses but rather a Judaism for a collection of individuals and he says, “the doors of our congregation are open widely enough to allow all to enter. Our community has a place for you and it would be my pleasure to help you find it.”
Rabbi TelRav has focused on connecting the community’s members to what they love. For some it is worship, for others learning, and others prefer to become active in volunteerism. His work has allowed him to focus on both the centrally involved members of the congregation as well as those who are less well connected to the Jewish community. He has spent a great amount of his time and attention on the youth of the congregation. He has created meaningful relationships with other congregations in the area and has been a vocal partner in the Interfaith Clergy Alliance of Stamford and is currently serving as Board of Rabbis president.
“One of the most often asked questions I receive is, ‘What made you want to become a rabbi?’ I’m not sure that I can say that I ever wanted to be a rabbi. Rather, I truly see our individual skills, gifts or inclinations as God-given. I have always viewed my own as caring for and about people, having a knack for teaching all ages and loving life as a Jew. When I factored those gifts together, it sure seemed like the Universe (or, if you prefer, God) was guiding me towards the path of the rabbi. So far, based on the amount of existential satisfaction it provides, it seems like I made the right choice!”
Rabbi TelRav holds a degree from the University of Michigan in psychology, a masters of Hebrew Literature and Rabbinic Ordination from HUC-JIR in New York. He lived in Israel for more than three years studying, volunteering and supervising archeological digs. He has served as a Chaplain to the Sailors and Marines in the United States Navy and as rabbi to the Boy Scouts at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. Congregations he has served are found in Michigan, Vermont, Ontario and Colorado. He writes about liturgical and ritual innovation and is powerfully influenced by tradition while living solidly in the present.
Known for his approachability and the open door to his study, Rabbi TelRav welcomes you to contact him to discuss whatever is on your mind: lifecycle needs, spiritual exploration, theological struggle, conversion to Judaism or any other topic.
Rabbi TelRav lives in Stamford with his wife, Dr. Julie TelRav and their children, Amitai and Nili Lu. He can be reached at the Temple Sinai Office or by email at email@example.com