Rabbi David Markus brings to Temple Beth-El of City Island a joyful passion for Jewish expression in many forms — traditional and innovative liturgy, classical and modern music, spiritual poetry, uplifting text study and heart-centered humor.
Rabbi David earned rabbinical ordination from ALEPH, a “seminary without walls” emphasizing Jewish spirituality, and earned a second ordination as mashpia (spiritual director) from ALEPH. He came to Temple Beth-El as rabbinic intern in 2009 while studying with Rabbi Shohama. After he completed his internship, the community voted to promote him to Associate Spiritual Leader in 2011. Rabbi David co-leads services with Rabbi Shohama, anchors our adult and bnai mitzvah education programs, and officiates at community celebrations and life cycle events.
Rabbi David was honored to serve as co-chair of ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal, umbrella organization of the Jewish Renewal movement. He is a Rabbis Without Borders fellow and syndicated writer for The Forward, The Wisdom Daily, My Jewish Learning and The Jewish Studio. He serves as adjunct rabbinics faculty in the ALEPH Ordination Program, and previously presented for Isabella Freedman, Limmud New York, Routes (DC Limmud), CLAL and OHALAH (trans-denominational clergy association for Jewish Renewal). Rabbi David’s rabbinical and liturgical writings regularly appear in siddurim, academic journals, books, Kveller, Shma and T’ruah.
Rabbi David has a private spiritual direction practice, and serves as a mashpia ruchani (spiritual director) for ALEPH students as well as for clergy graduates and students of other seminaries such as JTS (Conservative), AJR-NY (trans-denominational) and Yeshivat Maharat (Orthodox rabbinical seminary for women).
In the secular world, David serves as Judicial Referee in New York Supreme Court. His prior positions include Deputy Counsel under New York Chief Judges Jonathan Lippman and Judith Kaye, Senior Counsel to the New York State Senate Majority, Deputy Director for Voter Protection of a major presidential campaign, counsel in a regional law firm specializing in estate planning and disability law, senior law clerk with the New York Court of Appeals, legislative director in the New York State Assembly, and policy associate to environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Rabbi David has taught graduate public administration at Pace University, and undergraduate political science and public policy at Fordham and Pace Universities. He has been a regular lecturer in continuing legal and judicial education programs across New York State.
Rabbi David also is an accomplished vocalist, pianist, composer and director, as well as a poet. He’s learning to play guitar, and thanks everyone for being very (very) patient with his petulant plucking.
Rabbi David earned his Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude from Williams College, his Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government (where he was history’s first student to win Harvard’s Innovator in Public Service designation), and his Juris Doctor magna cum laude from Harvard Law School.
Rabbi David lives in Westchester County, New York.