The High Holidays at Aitz Hayim are best when we have intellectual challenge, well facilitated discussion, innovative integration of the new and old, improvisational interaction with prayer, ideas and music and multiple ways of creating a transcendent spiritual experience.
Through the years, we have gained from many bright, talented and venerable thinkers and teachers. But the truth is, it takes a person with a unique set of qualities to create the high-energy intensity and thoughtfulness we aspire to.
Rabbi Elan Babchuck understands our needs and has the ability and desire to facilitate the New Year we want. His background is extraordinary. He is a fifth-generation rabbi with an MBA and over 20 years of entrepreneurial experience, and has served as the Director of Innovation for Irwin Kula’s CLAL since 2016. He created and runs a joint program with Columbia University Business School to teach spiritual entrepreneurship. He works with creative young Jewish innovators as well as those of other faiths who want to reshape the $1.2 trillion business that is religion in America. He has ideals and he is realistic.
An expert in design and innovation, he teaches and trains clergy all around the country in the process of “ritual design”, and looks forward to applying those principles to the coming high holidays.
Like Irwin, he quickly became the beloved assistant rabbi at a large Conservative congregation, and like Irwin, he chose not to stay but instead to pursue the opportunity to have an influence on the larger Jewish world.
With musicians Howard Levy, Larry Gray, Kalyan Pathak and, of course our cantor, David Landau, he will experiment with us to make our Jewish time together engaging, relevant and useful.
Familiarize yourself to Elan by watching these videos on our website which include