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Commuting With The Rabbi

Temple Shaaray Tefila (NYC)

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Commuting With The Rabbi

Commuting With The Rabbi

Temple Shaaray Tefila (NYC)

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About Us

Rabbi Joel Mosbacher interviews special guests, explores the current cultural conversation and zeitgeist, discusses engaging upcoming events, and leaves you with a compelling, reflective thought or challenge for the coming two weeks — all at the intersection of inclusive, progressive, social-justice-minded Reform Judaism.

Latest Episodes

An Interview with Abby Stein, Trans Activist and Author of Becoming Eve; Plus: Pride & Black Lives Matter

In a very special season finale episode, trans activist, educator, and author Abby Stein ("Becoming Eve: My Journey from Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi to Transgender Woman") talks with Rabbi Mosbacher about LGTBQ Pride as "a very Jewish thing" (even the Talmud may have things to say about it!). Ms. Stein, born as the first son in a dynastic rabbinical family, poised to be a Hasidic leader, examines how leaving the Ultra-Orthodox community and rejecting her faith entirely allowed her to come back to her faith in a years-long renewal that's allowed her a richer realization of her own faith experience, and a new love for Jewish traditional texts. She reflects on discussions with LGBTQ people still living within the Orthodox community today, and shares her thoughts on the Hasidic community ever possibly accepting LGBTQ folks. Importantly, Ms. Stein also shares how people who aren't trans can support the trans community as allies. Rabbi Mosbacher also offers happiest Pride wishes and addresses the need for our continued support for the African American community and the Black Lives Matter (#BLM) movement, posing some very important questions we must all ask ourselves at this juncture in history. Chag sameach and Pride sameach! This episode was executive produced by Kirsten Major and produced and edited by Josh Walker. Thank you for being with us for our inaugural season! We invite you to like, comment, and share us with friends, and we look forward to seeing you this fall for season two ️

36 MINJUN 7
Comments
An Interview with Abby Stein, Trans Activist and Author of Becoming Eve; Plus: Pride & Black Lives Matter

A Conversation with Rabbi Sarah Reines; Plus: The Omer's Special Resonance This Year

Rabbi Mosbacher interviews Rabbi Sarah Reines, who reveals a secret hobby she's developed during her time in quarantine (at the 10:04 mark), talks about the one thing she misses most during this time of social distancing (at the 11:27 mark), and considers her own complex feelings about the field hospital treating patients in Central Park (at the 15:56 mark). Rabbi Mosbacher explores the renewed meaning of the Counting of the Omer this year, recommends an excellent Isaac Asimov novel from 1957 with uncanny resonance to our current time (at the 18:24 mark), and closes with a moving, poignant poem for the remarkable chapter of human history we're living through (at the 20:54 mark), which also happened to inspire the title of one of Ernest Hemingway's greatest literary works. Thanks for being with us! We're glad you're here.

23 MINMAY 17
Comments
A Conversation with Rabbi Sarah Reines; Plus: The Omer's Special Resonance This Year

Dr. John Mittermeier on Birds You Can Hear from Your Window or Walk; Plus: A Time of New Purpose

Seven weeks into social distancing measures, Rabbi Mosbacher asks, 'Are we all hitting a wall?' In the interview, Dr. John C. Mittermeier, Oxford-trained ornithologist, talks to Rabbi about four birds you might hear from your window in the Northeast, or even on a (socially distanced) walk in the park. Dr. Mittermeier reveals a bird call you might think you know, but likely have completely wrong, as well as a bird that sings with two voices, and unveils his favorite bird, which portends the arrival of spring. Have you been watching "Unorthodox" on Netflix? Join our upcoming online event discussing the show. In the closing segment, Rabbi asks us three questions we might all consider about counting, grief, and new purpose, even in these strangest of times. Thank you for listening! We're glad you're here.

1 sMAY 3
Comments
Dr. John Mittermeier on Birds You Can Hear from Your Window or Walk; Plus: A Time of New Purpose

An Interview with Rabbi Jessica Lenza; Plus: The Applause in NYC Celebrating Essential Workers

In our most moving episode to date, Rabbi Mosbacher takes a look at what it means to commute in these unprecedented times. In the interview, Rabbi Mosbacher talks to TST's own Rabbi Jessica Lenza, exploring her extraordinary path to the rabbinate (especially for someone who was raised Catholic). At the 8:20 mark of the episode, Rabbi Lenza reveals the lovely and meaningful thing Jewish texts call us to do in these very challenging times. Rabbi Mosbacher also pays tribute to the nightly 7pm applause in New York City, celebrating essential workers, and includes audio of the thunderous applause and banging pots heard from his windows on the Upper East Side. Lastly, instead of asking "So, how are you doing?" in these times, Rabbi Mosbacher has three questions he'd like to ask you instead. We'd love to hear your answer! Feel free to e-mail them to us at comms at tstnyc dot org. Who knows—we may just share them on air! Thank you so much for tuning in. We're glad you're here with us.

23 MINAPR 19
Comments
An Interview with Rabbi Jessica Lenza; Plus: The Applause in NYC Celebrating Essential Workers

An Interview with Melissa Stoller, Author & TST Congregant; Plus, Living In These Times

Rabbi Mosbacher interviews author Melissa Stoller, Temple Shaaray Tefila board member and congregant. Rabbi talks with Melissa about how she persevered through mountains of rejections to become a successful author, and Melissa unveils a treasure trove of TV and book recommendations for adults, as well as outstanding reads and free resources for kids who are distance learning at home. Rabbi closes with a beautiful thought for living in these unprecedented times and suggests something interesting to keep in mind as Passover approaches.

25 MINAPR 5
Comments
An Interview with Melissa Stoller, Author & TST Congregant; Plus, Living In These Times

'Faith Is A Movement Celebrating Truth': An Interview with Father Dennis Yesalonia

This week, Rabbi Mosbacher goes in depth with Father Dennis Yesalonia, of New York City's St. Ignatius Loyola. Among many topics, Father Yesalonia explains how the Christian season of Lent doesn't actually call the faithful to give things up, but instead to do more, and to relate to the suffering of society's marginalized people, including the displaced, the homeless, migrants, and immigrants. Father Yesalonia also explains why he believes Easter is not just about egg hunts and candies, but about refugees at the American border, lack of access to healthcare in our country, the degradation of people because of their faith, the lack of consideration of people because of their gender identification, and so much more. You won't want to miss this thoughtful, fascinating interview. Please Note: This episode was recorded before coronavirus and COVID-19 exploded onto the world stage, so this episode doesn't address the issue directly. However, our previous two episodes of Commuting with the Rabbi do address coronavirus and COVID-19, so please tune in to those episodes as well, particularly our informative and important exclusive interview with NYC Council Member Ben Kallos.

18 MINMAR 22
Comments
'Faith Is A Movement Celebrating Truth': An Interview with Father Dennis Yesalonia

COVID-19 Special Edition: NYC Council Member Ben Kallos on What To Know & How To Help

EXCLUSIVE: Rabbi Mosbacher talks to NYC Council Member Ben Kallos about the very latest on #COVID19. "We're all in this together," Kallos says. "This is not a snow day. I would implore folks to be home." Kallos shares what to do if you're feeling sick, how food insecure NYC kids and elders can still get food assistance during this time, and lets us know how we can all work together to fight the virus. Still feeling healthy and want to help more vulnerable New Yorkers? At the 10:57 mark of the interview, Council Member Kallos shares a powerful way to help that goes beyond social distancing efforts or donations. Kallos also shares how his Jewish faith guides him both in these unique times and as a community leader. In the final minutes, Kallos turns the interviewer tables on Rabbi Mosbacher as he asks Rabbi a very important question. Tune in, and let us know what you think.

18 MINMAR 17
Comments
COVID-19 Special Edition: NYC Council Member Ben Kallos on What To Know & How To Help

Special Edition: Rabbi Mosbacher Addresses TST Closing During COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

“Our building is closed. It’s a strange thing, and it’s a difficult time. We’re here for you, and we're going to go online as much as we can.” Rabbi Mosbacher explains how we'll all stay in touch during the time ahead, how to attend virtual services and events, and leaves us with a hopeful note to take with us as we all prepare to take a little time away from the general public to keep both ourselves and our community as healthy and strong as possible.

6 MINMAR 14
Comments
Special Edition: Rabbi Mosbacher Addresses TST Closing During COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

A Trip to Jewish Prague, A Talk With Cantor Todd Kipnis & Rabbi's Favorite Holiday (Shhh!)

Rabbi Mosbacher shares his adventures in Prague with a group of Temple Shaaray Tefila teens, including exploring Prague's Jewish Quarter (and its 1,000 years of Jewish history), the moving power of visiting the Theresienstadt concentration camp in Terezin, Czech Republic, and an unexpected bright spot visitors can find there. In the interview, Cantor Kipnis reveals his favorite genre of secular music and favorite secular singer (bet you can't guess!), the exact moment he knew he wanted to be a cantor, and why he loves living in New York City. Rabbi Mosbacher divulges his favorite holiday (something rabbis don't often do!), shares a great podcast you'll want to check out, and sets out a challenge that, if undertaken, might just enrich your life. Temple Shaaray Tefila is located at 250 E. 79th St. in New York City. Find us on Facebook at Temple Shaaray Tefila NYC, and on Instagram @shaaraytefila. For Commuting with the Rabbi underwriting and sponsorship opportunities, e-mail us atcomms@tstnyc.org. Thanks for listening! We're so glad you could join us.

21 MINMAR 1
Comments
A Trip to Jewish Prague, A Talk With Cantor Todd Kipnis & Rabbi's Favorite Holiday (Shhh!)

Best Pizza & Bagel on NYC's UES, A Talk with Amy Schwach & A Must-See Exhibit

Rabbi Mosbacher reveals his pick for best bagel and best pizza on the Upper East Side. (Did he get it right??) In the interview, Amy Schwach, executive director of Temple Shaaray Tefila, reveals something that flabbergasted her when she read through decades-old TST newsletters, confirms a job she had when she was younger that you'd never guess, discusses the mystery novel her father wrote (which may or may not contain versions of TST members!), and talks about why she's not afraid to have difficult conversations at work. Rabbi Mosbacher also examines why it's more important than ever to visit the Museum of Jewish Heritage's current exhibit (and why to make sure to bring your teens, too, before the end of August), and why voting in the World Zionist Congress elections before March 11 is mission critical. Lastly, Rabbi Mosbacher issues a challenge for the next two weeks that might just make your life, and your family's life, a little bit better.

19 MINFEB 16
Comments
Best Pizza & Bagel on NYC's UES, A Talk with Amy Schwach & A Must-See Exhibit

Latest Episodes

An Interview with Abby Stein, Trans Activist and Author of Becoming Eve; Plus: Pride & Black Lives Matter

In a very special season finale episode, trans activist, educator, and author Abby Stein ("Becoming Eve: My Journey from Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi to Transgender Woman") talks with Rabbi Mosbacher about LGTBQ Pride as "a very Jewish thing" (even the Talmud may have things to say about it!). Ms. Stein, born as the first son in a dynastic rabbinical family, poised to be a Hasidic leader, examines how leaving the Ultra-Orthodox community and rejecting her faith entirely allowed her to come back to her faith in a years-long renewal that's allowed her a richer realization of her own faith experience, and a new love for Jewish traditional texts. She reflects on discussions with LGBTQ people still living within the Orthodox community today, and shares her thoughts on the Hasidic community ever possibly accepting LGBTQ folks. Importantly, Ms. Stein also shares how people who aren't trans can support the trans community as allies. Rabbi Mosbacher also offers happiest Pride wishes and addresses the need for our continued support for the African American community and the Black Lives Matter (#BLM) movement, posing some very important questions we must all ask ourselves at this juncture in history. Chag sameach and Pride sameach! This episode was executive produced by Kirsten Major and produced and edited by Josh Walker. Thank you for being with us for our inaugural season! We invite you to like, comment, and share us with friends, and we look forward to seeing you this fall for season two ️

36 MINJUN 7
Comments
An Interview with Abby Stein, Trans Activist and Author of Becoming Eve; Plus: Pride & Black Lives Matter

A Conversation with Rabbi Sarah Reines; Plus: The Omer's Special Resonance This Year

Rabbi Mosbacher interviews Rabbi Sarah Reines, who reveals a secret hobby she's developed during her time in quarantine (at the 10:04 mark), talks about the one thing she misses most during this time of social distancing (at the 11:27 mark), and considers her own complex feelings about the field hospital treating patients in Central Park (at the 15:56 mark). Rabbi Mosbacher explores the renewed meaning of the Counting of the Omer this year, recommends an excellent Isaac Asimov novel from 1957 with uncanny resonance to our current time (at the 18:24 mark), and closes with a moving, poignant poem for the remarkable chapter of human history we're living through (at the 20:54 mark), which also happened to inspire the title of one of Ernest Hemingway's greatest literary works. Thanks for being with us! We're glad you're here.

23 MINMAY 17
Comments
A Conversation with Rabbi Sarah Reines; Plus: The Omer's Special Resonance This Year

Dr. John Mittermeier on Birds You Can Hear from Your Window or Walk; Plus: A Time of New Purpose

Seven weeks into social distancing measures, Rabbi Mosbacher asks, 'Are we all hitting a wall?' In the interview, Dr. John C. Mittermeier, Oxford-trained ornithologist, talks to Rabbi about four birds you might hear from your window in the Northeast, or even on a (socially distanced) walk in the park. Dr. Mittermeier reveals a bird call you might think you know, but likely have completely wrong, as well as a bird that sings with two voices, and unveils his favorite bird, which portends the arrival of spring. Have you been watching "Unorthodox" on Netflix? Join our upcoming online event discussing the show. In the closing segment, Rabbi asks us three questions we might all consider about counting, grief, and new purpose, even in these strangest of times. Thank you for listening! We're glad you're here.

1 sMAY 3
Comments
Dr. John Mittermeier on Birds You Can Hear from Your Window or Walk; Plus: A Time of New Purpose

An Interview with Rabbi Jessica Lenza; Plus: The Applause in NYC Celebrating Essential Workers

In our most moving episode to date, Rabbi Mosbacher takes a look at what it means to commute in these unprecedented times. In the interview, Rabbi Mosbacher talks to TST's own Rabbi Jessica Lenza, exploring her extraordinary path to the rabbinate (especially for someone who was raised Catholic). At the 8:20 mark of the episode, Rabbi Lenza reveals the lovely and meaningful thing Jewish texts call us to do in these very challenging times. Rabbi Mosbacher also pays tribute to the nightly 7pm applause in New York City, celebrating essential workers, and includes audio of the thunderous applause and banging pots heard from his windows on the Upper East Side. Lastly, instead of asking "So, how are you doing?" in these times, Rabbi Mosbacher has three questions he'd like to ask you instead. We'd love to hear your answer! Feel free to e-mail them to us at comms at tstnyc dot org. Who knows—we may just share them on air! Thank you so much for tuning in. We're glad you're here with us.

23 MINAPR 19
Comments
An Interview with Rabbi Jessica Lenza; Plus: The Applause in NYC Celebrating Essential Workers

An Interview with Melissa Stoller, Author & TST Congregant; Plus, Living In These Times

Rabbi Mosbacher interviews author Melissa Stoller, Temple Shaaray Tefila board member and congregant. Rabbi talks with Melissa about how she persevered through mountains of rejections to become a successful author, and Melissa unveils a treasure trove of TV and book recommendations for adults, as well as outstanding reads and free resources for kids who are distance learning at home. Rabbi closes with a beautiful thought for living in these unprecedented times and suggests something interesting to keep in mind as Passover approaches.

25 MINAPR 5
Comments
An Interview with Melissa Stoller, Author & TST Congregant; Plus, Living In These Times

'Faith Is A Movement Celebrating Truth': An Interview with Father Dennis Yesalonia

This week, Rabbi Mosbacher goes in depth with Father Dennis Yesalonia, of New York City's St. Ignatius Loyola. Among many topics, Father Yesalonia explains how the Christian season of Lent doesn't actually call the faithful to give things up, but instead to do more, and to relate to the suffering of society's marginalized people, including the displaced, the homeless, migrants, and immigrants. Father Yesalonia also explains why he believes Easter is not just about egg hunts and candies, but about refugees at the American border, lack of access to healthcare in our country, the degradation of people because of their faith, the lack of consideration of people because of their gender identification, and so much more. You won't want to miss this thoughtful, fascinating interview. Please Note: This episode was recorded before coronavirus and COVID-19 exploded onto the world stage, so this episode doesn't address the issue directly. However, our previous two episodes of Commuting with the Rabbi do address coronavirus and COVID-19, so please tune in to those episodes as well, particularly our informative and important exclusive interview with NYC Council Member Ben Kallos.

18 MINMAR 22
Comments
'Faith Is A Movement Celebrating Truth': An Interview with Father Dennis Yesalonia

COVID-19 Special Edition: NYC Council Member Ben Kallos on What To Know & How To Help

EXCLUSIVE: Rabbi Mosbacher talks to NYC Council Member Ben Kallos about the very latest on #COVID19. "We're all in this together," Kallos says. "This is not a snow day. I would implore folks to be home." Kallos shares what to do if you're feeling sick, how food insecure NYC kids and elders can still get food assistance during this time, and lets us know how we can all work together to fight the virus. Still feeling healthy and want to help more vulnerable New Yorkers? At the 10:57 mark of the interview, Council Member Kallos shares a powerful way to help that goes beyond social distancing efforts or donations. Kallos also shares how his Jewish faith guides him both in these unique times and as a community leader. In the final minutes, Kallos turns the interviewer tables on Rabbi Mosbacher as he asks Rabbi a very important question. Tune in, and let us know what you think.

18 MINMAR 17
Comments
COVID-19 Special Edition: NYC Council Member Ben Kallos on What To Know & How To Help

Special Edition: Rabbi Mosbacher Addresses TST Closing During COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

“Our building is closed. It’s a strange thing, and it’s a difficult time. We’re here for you, and we're going to go online as much as we can.” Rabbi Mosbacher explains how we'll all stay in touch during the time ahead, how to attend virtual services and events, and leaves us with a hopeful note to take with us as we all prepare to take a little time away from the general public to keep both ourselves and our community as healthy and strong as possible.

6 MINMAR 14
Comments
Special Edition: Rabbi Mosbacher Addresses TST Closing During COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

A Trip to Jewish Prague, A Talk With Cantor Todd Kipnis & Rabbi's Favorite Holiday (Shhh!)

Rabbi Mosbacher shares his adventures in Prague with a group of Temple Shaaray Tefila teens, including exploring Prague's Jewish Quarter (and its 1,000 years of Jewish history), the moving power of visiting the Theresienstadt concentration camp in Terezin, Czech Republic, and an unexpected bright spot visitors can find there. In the interview, Cantor Kipnis reveals his favorite genre of secular music and favorite secular singer (bet you can't guess!), the exact moment he knew he wanted to be a cantor, and why he loves living in New York City. Rabbi Mosbacher divulges his favorite holiday (something rabbis don't often do!), shares a great podcast you'll want to check out, and sets out a challenge that, if undertaken, might just enrich your life. Temple Shaaray Tefila is located at 250 E. 79th St. in New York City. Find us on Facebook at Temple Shaaray Tefila NYC, and on Instagram @shaaraytefila. For Commuting with the Rabbi underwriting and sponsorship opportunities, e-mail us atcomms@tstnyc.org. Thanks for listening! We're so glad you could join us.

21 MINMAR 1
Comments
A Trip to Jewish Prague, A Talk With Cantor Todd Kipnis & Rabbi's Favorite Holiday (Shhh!)

Best Pizza & Bagel on NYC's UES, A Talk with Amy Schwach & A Must-See Exhibit

Rabbi Mosbacher reveals his pick for best bagel and best pizza on the Upper East Side. (Did he get it right??) In the interview, Amy Schwach, executive director of Temple Shaaray Tefila, reveals something that flabbergasted her when she read through decades-old TST newsletters, confirms a job she had when she was younger that you'd never guess, discusses the mystery novel her father wrote (which may or may not contain versions of TST members!), and talks about why she's not afraid to have difficult conversations at work. Rabbi Mosbacher also examines why it's more important than ever to visit the Museum of Jewish Heritage's current exhibit (and why to make sure to bring your teens, too, before the end of August), and why voting in the World Zionist Congress elections before March 11 is mission critical. Lastly, Rabbi Mosbacher issues a challenge for the next two weeks that might just make your life, and your family's life, a little bit better.

19 MINFEB 16
Comments
Best Pizza & Bagel on NYC's UES, A Talk with Amy Schwach & A Must-See Exhibit
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