Rabbi David Novak
Skype: rabbidavidnovak

Rabbinical Experience
Seeking settled rabbi position and hoping for long-term relationship

July 2019-Present        Rabbi, Temple Dor Dorim, Weston, FL (Interim)

  • Led 300 member unit congregation through time of transition, leading through complex congregational situations

  • Shaped Temple policy through participation on board, executive committee and finance committee, focusing on the positive and offering constructive input based on pre-rabbinate career in professional communications (see below)

  • Intentional relational demeanor with congregants across all settings, communal and individual, with a “Please Bother the Rabbi” open-study policy, complemented by outreach to auxiliary groups, parents, children and staff within Temple and throughout the community

  • Built connections with children and their parents in Early Childhood Education and Religious School

Worship and Life Cycle

  • Officiated at all worship and lifecycle events

  • Directed High Holy Day cantor, song leader(s), choir director and other lay worship participants in worship created from Mishkan Hanefesh

  • Provided pastoral care to congregants (including contacting all individuals on healing list in first two days in Weston)

  • Education and Youth

  • For adults, taught “Mining the Depths:  The Riches of Mishkan T’filah”

  • Led tefillah for religious school, for K-2 and 3-6.

  • Instructed Confirmands (10th grade), eighth and ninth grade students, b’nai mitzvah candidates, and 11th/12th graders

  • Led weekly Early Childhood Center Shabbat

  • Led monthly Tot Shabbat before Family or Class-Services


Administrative and Financial

  • Ensured timely production of newsletter and web communications

  • Reviewed financials

  • Contacted over fifty member units for outreach

November 2018-June 2019    Rabbi, Temple B’nai Israel, Clearwater, FL (Interim)

  • Led 280 member unit congregation after death of incumbent rabbi in all pastoral, worship, education, and community activities. In partnership with lay leadership participated on synagogue board and many committees as well as the life of the community while allowing congregation to mourn and build on rabbi’s legacy

Worship and Life Cycle

  • Officiated at all worship and lifecycle events

  • Attentive pastoral care to congregants in hospitals, nursing homes, at-home and counseled individually

  • Arranged for grief check-ins for professional staff


Education, Social Action, and Youth

  • Taught “In the Beginning” and Torah study through a historical-critical lens to adult learners

  • Participated synagogue initiatives including Mitzvah Day and Jewish Food Festival

  • Instructed Confirmands


Administrative and Financial

  • Updated webpage and ensured that newsletter was produced in a timely manner

  • Guided synagogue president, committee chairs and professional staff

  • Contributed to systems across the board, e.g. security, personnel, infrastructure, scheduling

2018        High Holy Day Rabbi, Rochester Institute of Technology    
Led university community (students, faculty, staff) in High Holy Day worship

2017        Educator, United Church of Dorset and East Rupert
Taught seven-week series on Isaiah and the Jewish understandings of same texts the church uses to prove Jesus’ nativity

2017        High Holy Day Rabbi, Rutland Jewish Center, Rutland, VT
Led 100-member unit congregation in High Holy Day worship

2007-2017    Rabbi, Israel Congregation of Manchester,  Manchester Center, VT

  • Led for ten years 180-member unit congregation in southwestern Vermont in all areas including worship, education, pastoral counseling, administration, staff supervision, and social justice.  In partnership with lay leadership participated in synagogue board and executive committee meetings, participated on many committees, actively participated in the life of the community, and played integral role in synagogue fundraising.  

Worship and Life Cycle

  • Successfully introduced use of Mishkan T’filah and Mishkan Hanefesh

  • Secured gifts to purchase prayer books at no cost to congregation

  • Officiated at baby namings, b’nai mitzvah, weddings, conversions, funerals, shiva minyans, and unveilings

  • Visited congregants in hospitals, nursing homes, and counseled individually

  • Created liturgies, including healing service

  • Created hybrid Shabbat morning programming for parents and children

  • Created early-start family-friendly services with story time and child-friendly length

  • Created Hanukkah and Purim celebration for families, featuring latkes/hamentaschen

  • Created annual interfaith service honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • Led annual interfaith seder and communal seder

Education, Social Action, and Youth

  • Created “Come as You Are” for Shabbat morning Torah study

  • Taught regular adult education classes on a range of topics; visit for a complete list

  • Created age-appropriate curriculum for religious school

  • Participated in many initiatives of the synagogue’s Tikkun Olam Committee, including researching and recommending beneficiaries

  • Created on-site Biblical Garden Oversaw small circulating library and the acquisition of books

  • Created informal “hang-out” time with youth, regularly taking time to engage

Administrative and Financial

  • Led multiple search processes for cantor/student cantor for High Holy Day worship

  • Secured large endowment gift

  • Guided synagogue’s transition to web-based communications, including newsletter

Communal Programs

  • Coordinated on multiple-programs that brought in speakers, films, Israeli scouts and more to foster a center for Jewish communal life in small town

Communal Activities

  • Ten-year participant, Interfaith Council of the Northshire, served as chair and Board member and committee chair, Manchester Community Library, Board member and volunteer, Community Food Cupboard

2006-2007        Student Rabbi, Occidental College Hillel, Los Angeles, CA
2006                 Student Rabbi, Congregation Or Hatzafon, Fairbanks, AK
2005-2006        Student Rabbi, Jewish Home, San Francisco, CA
2003-2005        Student Rabbi, Congregation Beth Hatikvah, Bremerton, WA

Related Experience

1989-2002    Communications Professional, Los Angeles, CA

  • Successfully achieving goals on time and on budget for a range of clients in fundraising/development, marketing, communications, branding, writing and public affairs.    

  • Raised more than $1 million annually for pro bono law office and more than $12 million annually for a major arts organization

  • Introduced cleaner-burning gasoline to California consumers

  • Provided crisis-communications counsel to severely-distressed Jewish organization

  • Introduced new image to constituents of non-profit organization that serves children with disabilities

  • Interim communications director for Los Angeles Office of the Mayor during crisis 1994 Northridge earthquake

  • Created and wrote new marketing materials for large Los Angeles-based synagogue and Jewish day school


Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion, Los Angeles, California
Rabbinical Ordination, 2007
Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters, 2005
Rabbinical Thesis:  “Know Before Whom You Stand and Know Among Whom You Are Standing:  Rabbinic Understanding of Humans in Communal Prayer”

University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
Bachelor of Arts, 1985, concentration in Political Science and English

Continuing Education

  • Central Conference of American Rabbis “Refresh Your Rabbinate: Three-Day Interim Training,” in-person three-day seminar, October, 2018.

  • HUC-JIR Alumni Learning, multiple sessions on a range of topics, online, 2007-present

  • Nefesh Yehudi, New York City conference on Israel Education, 2016

  • Machon Hadar Rabbis’ Intensive Yeshivah, 2013-2019

  • Hebrew College’s Oraita, 2007-2013


CCAR Newsletter “Torah Commentaries,” 250 word commentaries on Torah portions and Jewish festivals for newsletter distributed to CCAR membership, 2009-present

Volunteer boards

  • Member, Jewish Community Relations Commission, Los Angeles

  • Gabbai (responsible for organizing worship), Library Minyan of Temple Beth Am, Los Angeles and longtime worship leader

  • Participant, Synagogue 2000 Revisioning, Temple Beth Am, Los Angeles

  • Participant, New Leaders Project, Jewish Federation of Los Angeles

  • Member, Board and Executive Committee, Community Food Cupboard

  • Member and Chair, Interfaith Council of the Northshire

  • Board and Subcommittee Chair, Manchester Community Library

References provided upon request.  


© 2017- 2019

Rabbi David Novak