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Mt Sinai
Congregation

Yom Sheini, 13 Heshvan 5779

Rabbi Boraz is honored to have been chosen to succeed our beloved Rabbi Emeritus Dan Danson as our new Rabbi. Though only here for two months, he is deeply touched by our openness, warmth, spiritual diversity, and commitment to serving the Jewish people of this region. He believes that we are as deeply committed as he is to the principle Yesh Makom l’chol Echad Po – that there is a place here at Mt. Sinai for everyone – and together will continue to do our best to make it so for all who walk through our doors.

As you will see from his bio, Rabbi is one of those “over-achievers” (30 years of formal education). However, there are only two, Meyer Anskey and Rabbi Ben Zion Wacholder, both having lived in Eastern Europe prior to the Shoah, whom he considers as having the greatest influence on his deep appreciation and love of our faith.

His background is one that has experienced the rich and varied textures of our faith. As a child, he studied with Meyer Anskey, z’l (may his memory be for a blessing), who was an enormous influence on his spiritual development. Meyer Ansky’s gentle and kind nature made Rabbi’s early Jewish education one that remains in his heart to this day.

Rabbi graduated cum laude from Loyola University in 1975 (he attended Hebrew Theological for one year) and in 1978, received his Juris Doctor from its School of Law. In 1988, he was admitted into the School of Rabbinics at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion and received his Smichah (rabbinic ordination) in 1993 and his Ph.D. from its School of Graduate Studies in 1998. Throughout this period he studied with Professor Ben Zion Wacholder, z’l, who shaped Rabbi’s approach to sacred texts and liturgy that is at the core of his rabbinate to this day. Rabbi Wacholder was an ilui (a Talmudic genius). Though observant, he believed in the religious diversity of our people, for he was as comfortable in a Reform Service as he was in a traditional one. For him, “prayer was prayer.” His deep commitment to Jewish learning - the idea that we are all learn from one another as we study together our sacred texts, whether ancient or modern – was profound and remains so with all who were so privileged to learn study with him.

From 1990 to 1998, Rabbi served both as student Rabbi and then as Rabbi (1993) at Congregation Bnai Tzedek in Cincinnati, Ohio.

 

In 1998, Rabbi began his tenure at Dartmouth College and the Upper Valley Jewish Community (Kol Haemek) at the Roth Center for Jewish Life. He was the first to be appointed the Michael Steinberg ’61 Rabbi of Dartmouth College Hillel. He also was the Associate Chaplain for Jewish Life and served as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Geisel School of Medicine.


Rabbi Boraz was one of the first to receive the prestigious Wexner Fellowship and at his ordination, was a co-recipient of the Simon Lazarus Award for Academic Excellence. He has published two works, “Understanding the Talmud: A Modern Reader’s Guide for Study” (Jason Aronson Press) and “The Bitter Waters at Marah and the Crossing of the Sea: Prayer, Comic Relief, and Trials in the CCAR Journal Fall 2017.

Longing to give back to the Reform Movement by serving a URJ Congregation, at the conclusion of his 20 year tenure, Rabbi applied for many congregational positions and of course and graciously accepted our offer to become our new Rabbi.

Rabbi loves music, running, films, people and golf (though he says the latter is more of a love/dislike relationship). He is the proud grandfather of his first precious grandson, Owen.

  

 

 

 

 

RabbiDan

 

 

Rabbi Dan Danson was the spiritual leader of Mt Sinai from 1988-2017. He leads weekly and holiday worship services, and provides pastoral services and education to Temple members. He was the glue that held our geographically far-flung Jewish Community together. Rabbi Dan was often the public representative of our Jewish community to friends and neighbors throughout north central Wisconsin. Usually, it was Rabbi Dan who is interviewed for radio, television, and newspapers concerning local, national, and international news about Judaism and Israel. He was an active member of local clergy and community organizations that worked to improve the lives of our citizens. His activities in the local community included serving on the Board of the Volunteer Center of Marathon County, the Wausau In-House Network, as chairperson of the NAOMI Clergy Caucus, and the Institutional Review Board of Aspirus and Marshfield Clinic. Rabbi Dan is an active member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) and the Midwest Association of Reform Rabbis (MWARR), and has served on the Board of the CCAR and as Chair of its Small Cities Committee, and as President of the MWARR. In the summer, he was a faculty member at the Union for Reform Judaism's Olin Sang Ruby camp in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. He and his wife now live in New York state.