My name is Rabbi Eric and I am the College Rabbi. I’ve been working with high school and college students for a number of years. I was ordained at Yeshiva University as a rabbi, and I received a second ordination from Rabbi Ephraim Greenblatt zt”l. I got a Specialist Certificate in ED from YU as well, but alas the dissertation did not get completed. I’m also a proud member of the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA). After hiding in school for most of my natural life I decided to make it a go in the working world. As I was calling around to different universities to see if they needed a Jewish chaplain I received the answer numerous times that the Jewish Student Unions would like to have one but they can’t for a variety of reasons: money, the Jewish population of the school was too small, or the issue of separation of Church and State. It came to me that I could provide some of the resources Jewish students who don’t have access to a campus rabbi can’t otherwise get. Besides my activities on the regular social media sites (FB, Twitter, UStream etc..), my work has been featured in a number of online and print publications including IsraellyCool, the Times of Israel, the Jewish Voice, and 5 Towns Jewish Times. I’m always looking for new venues to write in as well.
My street credit comes from the fact that I did not grow up religious, and I went to college just like you. I started getting religious in high school and continued getting more serious, my semester in Israel was a turning point for me. It was the first time I got to experience Judaism as a living, breathing thing. I spent those six months meeting Jews living as Jews from more backgrounds and headsets than I had ever experienced, even in college. I prayed with Moroccans and Tunisians, worked in an Ethiopian orphanage, studied with Hasidim complete with coats down to their ankles. I had one of those trippy spiritual moments looking out over the city of Beer Sheva as the sun rose. Now I wear a kippah, I have a beard, I’m married and I have three little kids at home that everyone thinks are sooooo cute. And they are. I’ve been religious since college, and metal since elementary school. The first tape (yes tape) I bought myself was “Powerslave.” and I’ve been a music snob ever since. I have a fretless bass sitting in my closet that I just got a setup done on, and I’ve just started playing again. MTV’s decision to cancel Headbanger’s Ball in favor of trashy reality shows heralded the end of rock and roll as I was weaned on, and the lack of a proper rock station in NY is proof music has tanked. I’m big into Martial Arts and I’ve done Judo, Aikido, Mu Duk Kwon, and Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan I’ve also run in a bunch of 5K or longer races, and next on the agenda is Tough Mudder. And like many college students I don’t really believe in sleep. But unlike most of you I don’t bother with coffee and just occassionally fall asleep in the middle of a sentance. It’s not polite though so you shouldn’t do it.