Rabbi David

Rabbi David Evan Markus brings joyful passion for Jewish life in many forms — traditional and innovative liturgy, classical and modern music, spiritual poetry,  mystical practice, uplifting text study and heart-centered humor.

DEM rabbinic headshot croppedRabbi David is North America’s only pulpit rabbi simultaneously holding a full-time public oath of office. Unique in Jewish life, he weaves the spiritual and secular on terms faithful and authentic to the energy and ethics of each.

In spiritual life, Rabbi David is a dynamic, creative and empowering teacher. He serves as rabbinics faculty for the Academy for Jewish Religion in New York and spiritual direction faculty for the ALEPH Ordination Program. A Rabbis Without Borders fellow and sought-after life-event officiant, shabbaton anchor and scholar in residence for communities and colleges across North America, Rabbi David has served as guest lecturer at Yeshivat Maharat (Orthodox rabbinical seminary for women), and presenter at Isabella Freedman, Limmud Toronto, Limmud New York, Routes DC, CLAL and OHALAH (trans-denominational clergy association for Jewish Renewal).

Rabbi David is a syndicated writer for The Forward, The Wisdom DailyMy Jewish Learning and The Jewish Studio. His writings appear in journals, prayerbooks and online platforms (e.g. Kveller, Shma and T’ruah). With R. Rachel Barenblat, he co-edited the ritual volume Beside Still Waters (Ben Yehuda 2019).

Rabbi David has an active spiritual direction practice. He serves as mashpia for spiritual seekers, including clergy and students across and beyond Jewish denominations  (e.g. JTS [Conservative], HUC [Reform], AJR [pluralistic], Yeshivat Maharat [Orthodox], ALEPH [Renewal]).

With his background in governance and community leadership, Rabbi David also has served as congregational and board consultant for numerous synagogues both on and off the denominational spectrum.

Rabbi David earned rabbinical ordination after six years of study with ALEPH. Rabbi David spent a summer term at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem. In addition to ALEPH teachers, Rabbi David counts among his teachers Rabbi Dr. Arthur Green (Hebrew College), Rabbi Jeff Fox (Yeshivat Maharat) and Dr. Erica Brown. He earned a second ordination as mashpia (spiritual director), also from ALEPH, and a graduate certificate in spiritual entrepreneurship from Columbia Business School.

Rabbi David came to Temple Beth El as rabbinic intern in 2009. After he completed his internship, the community promoted him to Associate Spiritual Leader in 2011, then co-rabbi in 2015. For years, Rabbi David served alongside Rabbi Shohama Wiener, anchoring adult and b-mitzvah education programs, and officiating at community and lifecycle events. The congregation promoted Rabbi David to Senior Rabbi as of July 1, 2019.

Rabbi David was honored to serve as co-chair of ALEPH, umbrella organization for the Jewish Renewal legacy of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l. After completing his ALEPH service, Rabbi David became a Founding Builder of Bayit: Building Jewish, a trans-denominational Jewish creativity initiative for all ages and stages.

In secular life, David presides as Judicial Referee in New York Supreme Court, Ninth Judicial District, where he presides in New York’s first Foreclosure Court that he helped create. His prior public roles include Deputy Counsel under New York Chief Judges Jonathan Lippman and Judith Kaye, Senior Counsel to the New York Senate Majority, Deputy Director for Voter Protection of a winning presidential campaign, senior law clerk with the New York Court of Appeals, legislative director in the New York Assembly, and policy aide to environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

He has served on the faculties for 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.

Rabbi David is an accomplished vocalist, pianist, composer and director. He’s learning to play guitar, and thanks everyone for being patient with petulant plucking.

Rabbi David earned a Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude from Williams College; a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where he was history’s first student to earn Harvard’s global Innovator in Public Service designation and the Goldman Prize for Press-Politics and Public Policy); and a Juris Doctor magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, which named him Taubman Fellow for State and Local Government.

Rabbi David lives in Westchester County, New York.

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