Hi, I’m Micah.
Halfway decent piano player
Vegetarian sushi enthusiast
I’m here because I love Jewish learning: studying ancient sources; discussing and debating ideas; seeking glimpses of ourselves, our values, and our traditions in our sacred texts.
I love that feeling when you’re reading or discussing a text and suddenly you realize that a hundred generations of fellow Jews have also read and discussed it. That they were also searching for meaning, connection, and community – and that you’re part of something much larger.
I think Jewish study is about finding our place in a tradition that is both ancient and constantly being renewed. That’s why I founded LAASOK.
A bit about me: Believe it or not, I fell in love with Judaism in Utica, Mississippi. That was where I went to summer camp as a kid. Growing up Jewish in the south and moving around a lot, it wasn’t always easy to feel at home in any one place. So Judaism became that home. The music, the ritual, the community and friendships – I loved it all. That’s what made me want to become a rabbi.
After a short stint in publishing (and a LOT of summers as a camp counselor, songleader, and Jewish program director), I became a rabbi in 2007 at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. I wrote my rabbinic thesis on Judaism and the environment. In fact, Jewish environmentalism is one of the areas that I remain passionate about today.
I’ve worked as a congregational rabbi for 15 years – in the United States and Canada, in both larger and smaller congregations (and a couple of tiny ones when I was a student rabbi). I love building Jewish community and leading services – but I especially love teaching and studying sacred texts. My favorite Jewish moments are the ones when we’re sitting around the Torah Study table digging into the weekly parashah, or debating what the Rabbis really mean on that page of Talmud. In those moments, more than almost any other, I feel a sense of belonging and connection.
That’s why we’re here. LAASOK exists because I want to share that experience – of study, belonging, and connection – with others. To create a Jewish learning space that is inclusive, egalitarian, and welcoming. Where we encourage pluralism, questioning, and honest/authentic exploration of the texts. Where we engage in serious study while meeting people exactly where they are.
I think that Jewish study is meant to be a conversation – with each other, with the Divine (in all the different ways we may – or may not – conceive of God), and with the generations that came before us. I think study is one of the best ways to build our connection with Judaism and with our own selves.
Finally, since people asked, here are some fun facts about me.
- Having grown up New Orleans and Denver, I am both a Saints and Broncos fan. Please don’t ask me to choose.
- I really like Star Trek (and I think it’s very Jewish, especially in its social awareness).
- I have three teenage boys. Two of them are a lot taller than me. All three of them are a lot smarter than me.
- I play the piano and the guitar. I’m really slow at reading music, but pretty good at playing by ear.
- I’m studying (slowly, part time) toward a Ph.D in Jewish thought at McMaster University.
- I’ve published some writings in various online outlets. If you’d like, you can read some of them here.
Thanks for coming on this journey with me. If you have questions, or want to explore what kind of Jewish learning is right for you please send me an email. I promise to get back to you quickly!
Are you ready to start learning? Let’s get started!