Before coming to Temple Isaiah in June 2015, Rabbi David Lazar served for more than two decades as a congregational rabbi and educator in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Stockholm. He has lived in Israel for most of his adult life, from 1975 until moving to Sweden in 2010 where he served as Rabbi of the Stockholm Jewish Community. He traversed the world of Orthodoxy and returned to his liberal Jewish roots, becoming a Conservative Rabbi in 1993.
His wife, Sascha is a nurse. They are the parents of five daughters, four living in Israel and the fifth in the San Francisco Bay Area. Their first grandchild was born this past February (2015).
When asked about his work, Rabbi Lazar says, “I have endeavored to enrich the Jewish People by initiating and fostering cross generational programming that is authentic, creative and engaging. Foremost among my goals in my various roles as rabbi, fellowship director, academic lecturer and interfaith activist, has been to link intellectual growth (Torah), spiritual practice (Avodah) and social action (Gimilut Hasadim) as pre-requisites for relevant and meaningful Jewish life, both at the personal and communal levels.
As a Masorti/Conservative rabbi in largely secular societies, I have sought to create platforms for successfully bridging the gap between non-observant,or even disconnected Jews and their Jewish tradition. I have adopted a multi-denominational approach, to gain insight into most effectively building spiritual communities in contemporary society, without being limited by movement ideologies.”
The inclusion of all sectors of society in the spiritual enterprise – women, LGBTQ, non-Jews – has informed all aspects of my work.”
In addition to his rabbinical positions, Rabbi Lazar served as chaplain for the Israel AIDS Task Force, was director of the RIKMA Spiritual Leadership Training program in Israel and was a member of the faculty at the Hebrew Union College Rabbinical School in Jerusalem.