David L. Kline

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David L. Kline

1962            Beth El, Somerville, NJ  Agreed to pay same salary as a military chaplain, the condition of my being exempted from entering the chaplaincy as a conscientious objector.  Resided on top floor of temple’s property.


1963            Matriculated Columbia University Graduate School in Biblical Archaeology; Akkadian and Art History.  Got involved with antiwar movement.


1963            Beth Hillel, South Windsor, CT.  Weekly.  Carved mezuzah for temple dedication.

1964            Beth Jacob, Concord NH.  Biweekly

1965            Beth Torah, Nyack, NY.  Weekends with my new wife, Barbara.  (Married by father, Alexander S. Kline, C33, Morris Kertzer, Cantor Edward Graham, Louis Bogage, Eli Burkow, Sh’muel Kehati) We lived on Lower East Side. (Congregants wondered why we moved to the place they had struggled to get out of.) Invested in Pesach dishes and cookware, Brooklyn.     During the course of the year, the death of my academic advisor,  and ever increasing  activities in antiwar movement, led me to opt out of  PhD program in favor of pulpit.


1966            Riverdale Temple, NY.  Assistant to Charles Shulman.  Bought required tuxedo for bar mitzvah celebrations.  Barbara was assistant to Avis Shulman.


1967-72  Shalom, Little Neck, NY.  Biked to work.  Commenced jogging.  Elected delegate to Democratic National Convention on behalf of Eugene McCarthy.  Arrested along with Dick Gregory, REV. Richard Neuhaus, Murray Kempton in attempt to interpose between police and young demonstrators.  Wrote “A Rabbi at the DNC,” for Jewish Spectator.  Avram and Aliza born. Birth of first child brought on a religious experience that changed career focus from social action to spiritual practice. Annual pulpit exchange with a Harlem minister.  Active in LIARRs and Interfaith Clergy Association.  Broadcast Jewish commentaries on WBAI.  “Proverbial Mother’s Day,” appears in The Jewish Digest, May 1969.  New writers award, Sh’ma Magazine,  “Anti-anti-establishmentarianism” published 1971.


1972-76  Adath Israel of the Main Line, Merion, PA.  Conservative.  Assistant to Martin Berkowitz.  OUTREACH Programs for young adults, 18-25.  Phone invitations to individuals till 10-12 accepted for Shabbat dinners at Kline house..  Barbara roasted chicken and baked challah.  Added songs to preprandial drama of candles, wine, bread, blessing of children and all present.  More songs and full birkat hamazon.  Table talk continued in living room till midnight.  Chicken parts became soup, frozen into portions and delivered to any of the 300 member congregation within the congregation who got a cold.  Free form RH and YK worship in synagogue basement, with rock music and films and much discussion.  Shira born.  Studied mysticism with Zalman Schachter at Temple University.  Davened Shabbat mornings at Germantown Jewish Center chavurah.)  Engaged with predatory Jews for Jesus.  Produced translation in Mikra’ot G’dolot form of Isaiah 53,54 with all commentaries for young people needing to know what to say to the proselytizers.  Published in Sh’ma: “Instead of tying yourself in knots…,” an article about tsitsit: meaning, tying and wearing.  Developed an alternative Confirmation curriculum – substituting experiential learning in monthly weekend stays at nearby Weiss Family Farm (super frum) for weekly class. YMHA commissioned Barbara to  choreograph “Shabbat for Today” for performance by her dance company, Zeir.  Director of Philadelphia Zionist Council, produced Israel Day Parade.


1976-89  Temple Shalom, Colorado Springs.  Reform Erev Shabbat, Conservative Shabbat morning.  Created curriculum and taught Hebrew school. The Colorado College: taught classes in Judaism, Hebrew.  Police Chaplain, served in the initial corps.  Studied meditation.  Changed focus of  my story telling from Midrashic, Chassidic, Yiddish, etc. to Bible stories as such, without reference to Midrash or medieval commentaries.  Followed the critical approach to text. Taught and converted Susan Miller and hired her as soloist/cantor.  Following congregation tour to Israel she, as Shoshanah, made aliyah, was rejected by government: Bagatz, Supreme Court, following a year of argument and politics, accepted the conversion.  Barbara founding artistic director of presenting organization, Colorado Springs Dance Theater and starts statewide arts advocacy organization.


1989-2004  B’nai Israel, Monroe, LA.  University of Louisiana, Monroe: taught Intro to Bible.  Monroe Interfaith (IAF), founding member.  CCAR Journal:  “Small-town Experience Then and Now,” a dialog with my father, a.h., who had written about the subject in the Journal of 1954; review of Dictionary of Judaism in the Biblical Period.  With Barbara, initiate award-winning day-long interfaith programs on life-cycle and holy day celebrations with participation of area churches, booklet with parallel columns illustrate similarities and uniqueness of each. Barbara employed as marketing director for Monroe Little Theater and a regional ballet company.  Played rabbi in “Fiddler on the Roof,” modern major general in “Pirates of Penzance,” and four Shakespeare productions. Played flute in Monroe Concert Band.


2004-present   Boston.  With birth of first granddaughter, retired to Boston to be sabba.  Brandeis Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, teach Bible courses (prophets, wisdom literature, narratives, Deuteronomy).   Began a blog for occasional writings: “Good to be a Jew.”   Major project of translating/editing/telling Biblical narratives from the story teller’s perspective.  “Sh’ma Echad,” in  Spring 2012 CCAR Journal.