PAST ARTICLES AND SERMONS FROM RABBI BAIR
Rabbi Ethan Bair
JULY 2013 TO JUNE 2018
Rabbi Ethan Bair grew up in Boston where he was raised by spiritual seekers who rediscovered their Judaism through the Jewish Renewal movement. A graduate of Oberlin College and a former Fulbright scholar to Germany, Rabbi Bair was ordained at the Reform seminary, Hebrew Union College, Los Angeles, in 2011. He wrote his Rabbinic thesis on “Re-Envisioning Reform Jewish Prayer,” with Dr. Rachel Adler. While in rabbinical school, he was a recipient of the prestigious Schusterman Rabbinical Fellowship, which brought together future Reform and Conservative rabbis to learn about volunteer engagement, strategic planning and synagogue management. Stemming from this experience, Rabbi Bair would describe himself as a member of a new generation of Jewish leaders for whom denominations are secondary to transformational Jewish experience. For more than 11 years he has served congregations in Ogden, Utah; Vancouver, British Columbia; Sun Valley, Idaho; and San Rafael, CA. Most recently, he worked at American Jewish World Service, a global Jewish non-profit working to realize human rights in the developing world. Before that, he served as Campus Rabbi at the University of Southern California Hillel.
Rabbi Bair served Temple Sinai as our Senior Rabbi for five years before moving on to an an Assistant Rabbi position at Temple Beth Shalom in Miami Beach, FL. Rabbi Bair is committed to creating a participatory and authentic Jewish prayer culture; promoting inter-faith social justice work; and integrating Jewish studies with traditional Jewish sources into his repertoire of teaching. He enjoys running, hiking, singing, and welcoming Shabbat guests into his home with his wife, Nadya who has a PhD in Art History.
Dear Friends: On certain holidays, we add special prayers of thanks into our liturgy. These “hoda’ah inserts” are part of Sukkot and Simchat Torah, Purim, and Chanukah, among other times. Somehow, considering how many thanks we have, perhaps we need a post-virtual-HHD hoda’ah insert. Maybe: “Thank you, everyone, who participated, contributed, logged in, offered words […]
Dear Friends, I have a fondness for what most people call useless knowledge. Random facts, esoterica, trivia, I love it all. But I often quip that it is only useless, until you find a way to use it. Part of what attracted me to the rabbinate was that I might be able to employ some […]
At the start of the pandemic, I was optimistic that this would be here and gone in just a few weeks. It was exciting to be at home more with the family at first and was nice to get a lot done around the house. As some of you know, besides my position here at […]
There is a story about the Chazon Ish, an early 20th Century Orthodox rabbi, who ran into a congregant on Election Day. When the congregant admitted having not voted because he could not afford the poll tax, the rabbi told him to sell his tefillin, the boxes he wound around his arm and head each […]