I was born and raised in Houston, TX and have lived in Arlington, VA; Jerusalem, Israel; New York City; and Aspen, CO. I studied Classics and Judaic Studies at Princeton University (2003) and was ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in New York in 2010. From 2010-2017, I was the rabbi of the Aspen Jewish Congregation, serving the Roaring Fork Valley of Western Colorado. My wife, Cantor Rollin Simmons, was my co-clergy.
As of July 2017, we live in Houston, TX, where my wife is the cantor at Congregation Emanu El. I am teaching, writing, and doing interfaith social justice work. As of August 2017, I am the Texas Organizer with the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, building a statewide organization of Reform synagogues in Texas (RAC-TX) and working with congregations across the state to make their justice work more strategic and rooted in their people's stories.
Growing up in Houston, I attended Congregation Emanu El, a Reform synagogue. I was a "lifer" (K-12) at St. John's School. I graduated from Princeton University with a BA in Classics and Jewish Studies. After graduation, I worked at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington, DC for two years, after which I went to rabbinic school, in Jerusalem and then New York. During my rabbinic training, I was blessed to serve as Student Rabbi in a number of settings, including: Bates College Hillel in Lewiston, ME; Temple Israel in Uniontown, PA; Princeton University Hillel in Princeton, NJ; and Beth Haverim Shir Shalom in Mahwah, NJ. I spent summers interning as a hospital chaplain in Seattle, WA and as a community organizer with the URJ's Just Congregations in Boston, MA.
In March 2014, the Jewish Forward named me among America's Most Inspiring Rabbis. I am an alumnus of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship, where I continue to gain valuable leadership experience and build relationships with Jewish professionals across denominational lines. During my time in Aspen, I was on the board of the Manaus Fund, the Valley Settlement Project, and the Aspen Homeless Shelter. From 2012-17 I wrote a monthly column for the Aspen Times, for which I won a 2015 and 2016 Colorado Press Association award for Best Humorous Column Writing, and I am a freelance writer for the Houston Chronicle and other media. I dabble in stand-up with my comedy trio Three Rabbis Walk Into a Bar.
I'm interested in religion and spirituality, faith in public life, politics, gender, parenting, pop culture, Americana, humor, and more. I've taught classes on Biblical and modern literature, aging and end-of-life issues, humor, and more.