Moshe Waldoks

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Moshe Waldoks

Along with an infectious laugh and a soulful voice, Rabbi Moshe Waldoks brings many years of deep and eclectic experiences to his Rabbinic vocation. Educated in a Yiddish-speaking yeshiva and earning  a doctorate in Jewish intellectual history from BrandeisUniversity, he received smicha, a post-denominational ordination in 1996, by his mentors, Rabbis Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Arthur Green and Everett Gendler.

One of the hallmarks of Reb Moshe’s career has been his activities as a bridge-builder across cultures and faiths. Participating in a groundbreaking encounter with Polish Catholicism in 1988 as a guest of Krakow’s Cardinal Macharski, Reb Moshe and his colleagues confronted the age-old anti-Semitic teachings of the pre-Vatican II Polish Church. This encounter was especially poignant, as Reb Moshe and his group from the anti-defamation league, led by Lenny Zakim z”l, touredAuschwitzwith the Cardinal. Almost all of Reb Moshe’s maternal relatives were murdered at Auschwitz, and his father is a soul survivor of his family massacred in theUkraine. In 1989, Reb Moshe was instrumental in arranging the first meeting between the leader of Tibetan Buddhism, the Dalai Lama (which means, literally, Ocean of Wisdom) in a Buddhist monastery here in the United States. This encounter led to the historic “Jew in the Lotus” trip toDharamsala,Indiain the fall of 1990 and Reb Moshe’s continued involvement in Jewish-Buddhist Dialogue. In 1996 he founded Nishmat Hayyim; The Breath of life Jewish meditation project. He is a student of Sylvia Boorstein .

In recent years, Reb Moshe has been active in creating a center for Jewish-Muslim Relations in Boston and has initiated and supported TBZ’s affiliation with the Greater Boston Inferfaith Organization. In addition, Reb Moshe is an active member of the Brookline Clergy Association.

A storyteller and stand-up comedian (he is co-editor of The Big Book of Jewish Humor), Reb Moshe has used humor to animate our once-diminished shul. “I’m a real advocate of joy,” he has noted. His joyful congregants agree.

Since 1998, Reb Moshe has transformed the Temple Beth Zion (TBZ), an independent  congregation inBrookline,MA) from a few dozen (mostly-elderly) members, to a vibrant and diverse community of nearly 600 adults and 150 children,. Based on his unique talents and TBZ’s remarkable growth, Reb Moshe is a much-sought lecturer on evolving Jewish culture and spiritual renewal.

With his wife, Anne, and their three daughters, Reb Moshe infuses our community with spirit, song, laughter and learning.