Rabbi Dan Gordon

 e-mail:  rabbidangordon@gmail.com

OBJECTIVE

To provide leadership and guidance

while enhancing lives and strengthening community.

PROFESSIONAL  HIGHLIGHTS

Rabbi and Spiritual Leader, Temple Beth Torah, Humble, TX, 1998-present

(transdenominational, reform-style congregation, approximately 90 member households)

  • Lead weekly Shabbat services, High Holy Day and all other holiday services and community seders
  • Co-direct the Religious School while teaching Hebrew school, Confirmation classes and adult education
  • Officiate life cycle events (weddings, funerals, bar/bat mitvahs, baby namings, etc.)
  • Provide pastoral counseling as needed
  • Provide program development and aid in membership recruitment
  • Help conversion candidates through their educational and spiritual journeys
  • Write grants for special programming
  • Represent the temple to the Jewish and secular communities
  • Participate in pulpit exchange programs with local churches (through ADL’s Coalition for Mutual Respect)
  • Work with Board of Directors to clarify and implement the temple’s vision

Religious Leader-in-Residence, Jewish Community of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, 2004-2007

  • Led Shabbat weekend programs for rural chavurah that has no resident rabbi (up to 5 weekends a year)
  • Taught adult education classes, including Torah study, bibliodrama and other text based discussions
  • Worked with b’nai mitzvah candidates privately and as a group
  • Officiated life cycle events and provide pastoral counseling as requested

Faculty, Florence Melton Adult Mini-School, Houston, 2002-present (interim director, 2006-07)

  • Teach adult education on Ethics and Purposes and Rhythms of Jewish Living
  • Designed and implemented text-based post-graduate courses on midrash and Jewish folklore

Rabbinic Leader, Emery/Weiner School, Houston, TX, 1997-2002 (Jewish Middle School of 225 students)

  • Led daily morning religious services for entire student body
  • Integrated Judaic content into secular curriculum, teaching history, English, math and social studies
  • Educated students and faculty about Jewish laws and traditions
  • Trained students to lead worship services
  • Sponsored and chaperoned after-school “Mitzvah Club” for community service
  • Coordinated school wide holiday and community service activities

Chaplain, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, 2004-present

CHI Baylor/St. Luke’s Hospital, 2016-present

  • Volunteer visits with Jewish inmates for holiday observances, Torah study and counseling.
  • Hospital chaplain, visiting patients and facilitating “Sacred Vocations” (8 hour training developed by Rabbi Sam Karff) for hospital staff.

Scholar in Residence:  Multicultural Storytelling Project, Texas A & M University, February-March, 2000

  • Designed and implemented series of workshops to train undergraduates in integration of storytelling into the curriculum.
  • Lectured in 15 different undergraduate education classes on methodology, literature, multiculturalism, English as a second language, creativity, classroom management and student teaching
  • Coached students for a culminating concert of storytelling

Arts in Education: Performer, Consultant and Trainer, Texas Institute for Arts in Education, Young Audiences of Houston, Houston and Spring Branch School districts, 1993-present

  • Design and conduct seminars to train teachers (grades pre-kindergarten through high school) to incorporate theater arts, performance, creative expression and storytelling into core curricular subjects
  • Presented interdisciplinary artistic/academic workshops to over 4,000 students (grades pre-kindergarten through high school).  Specialize in creative communication skills for the dramatic arts.
  • Produced original plays written and performed by “at-risk” teenagers
  • Created and perform one-man show, presenting multi-cultural stories that teach general values

High School Principal and Youth Director, Congregation Beth Yeshurun, Houston, TX, 1993-98

  • Hired, trained and supervised faculty for Conservative Synagogue with 250 High School students
  • Developed new curriculum to balance study of sacred texts with modern-day issues
  • Coordinated special programs on prejudice awareness, drug education, AIDS and other timely topics
  • Coordinated programming for Conservative Jewish youth group
  • Planned and implemented annual educational retreats
  • Administered budget and collaborated with several lay committees

Journalist, Jewish Herald Voice, Houston, 2003-2005

  • Freelance feature writer, predominately themes related to Judaism or Israel.

Administrator/Director/Group Leader, Community Youth Israel Pilgrimage, Bureau of Jewish Education, Houston, 1993-94

  • Planned, supervised, directed and chaperoned five-week educational tour to Israel for 55 high school students
  • Planned and implemented preparatory year-round programs, including weekend retreats and educational seminars.

Program Director, Jewish Community Center of Houston, 1990-1993

  • Executive level, supervising four full-time professionals and numerous part-time workers in the administration of Children, Youth and Camping Departments
  • Directed Camp programs, including hiring, supervision and training staff for camp serving 350 campers
  • Provided supervisory support for other agency camp programs serving 1800 children
  • Introduced residential camping to traditional day camp program
  • Successfully led agency through American Camping Association accreditation and Day Care licensing for year-round after-school program
  • Collaborated with Board of Directors and numerous departmental committees
  • Managed budget for three departments and served on the executive staff team

Director, Fresh Air Camp, Family Resources of Pittsburgh, 1989-90

  • Supervised all aspects of residential camp program serving 800 disadvantaged youth
  • Developed program and recruited multi-cultural staff, including international counselors
  • Provided supervision and training for summer staff
  • Facilitated off-season family retreats and managed rentals of 260-acre facility
  • Managed $250,000 budget while developing and implementing grants

Assistant Director, UAHC (URJ) Eisner Camp Institute for Living Judaism, New York, 1988-89

  • Hired, trained and supervised camp staff while implementing educational and recreational programming for Reform Movement camp
  • Recruited campers from New York and Massachusetts region

Regional Director, B’nai B’rith Youth Organization, Richmond, VA, 1984-86

  • Supervised all program and organizational aspects for 20 chapters of a peer-led, teen organization in Virginia and North Carolina
  • Recruited and provided training for volunteer advisors and professional city directors
  • Helped teens develop their organizational and leadership skills
  • Developed grant proposals, managed $125,000 budget and collaborated with regional and local boards

Program Supervisor/Branch Director, Jewish Community Center of Pittsburgh, PA, 1983-84

  • Supervised all aspects of suburban community center while providing social, educational and cultural programming for children, teens, adults and seniors, including directing summer day camp
  • Managed budget
  • Collaborated with several departmental boards and committees

Recognitions, Awards and other Highlights   (partial list)

  • Co-chair, National Jewish Storytelling Network, Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education
  • Anti-Defamation League Community of RespectTM for work in interfaith relations and participation in the Clergy Institute, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011.
  • National Rabbinic Advisor, March of Remembrance, sole Jewish representative working with Priests and Ministers on an Interfaith Holocaust program that attracted 1,000 participants in Kingwood, TX, 2012-present.
  • Interfaith Partners for Peace, 2016 mission to Israel with 13 rabbis and 13 Christian ministers from across the U.S. to promote understanding and tolerance on spiritual, educational and political levels
  • Delivered Invocation for Texas State convention, 2012
  • Founding Board Member, Compassionate Houston, 2011
  • Shema Yisrael Award, State of Israel Bonds, for leadership and commitment to the Jewish community of Houston and to the State of Israel, 2001.
  • President, Jewish Educators’ Council of Houston, 2001-2003.
  • grant recipient, Texas Commission on the Arts, to provide educational performances as a multi-cultural storyteller specializing in Jewish folklore, 1995-2002.
  • Teaching Artist of the Year, Texas Institute for Arts in Education, 1997-98.
  • Outstanding Professional Supervisor, Jewish Community Center Association selected to participate in specialized seminar in Kansas City, 1991.
  • Outstanding Youth Administrator, Jewish Community Center Association, selected to participate in specialized seminar in Israel for youth workers from all over the United States, 1992.
  • Prejudice Awareness Summit Award Recipient, Jewish Women International, for serving on the founding committee and as a group facilitator, 1992, 1993.
  • The Very Best in Youth Award, Nestles Corporation for facilitating a full-day retreat for multi-cultural youth representatives, teaching prioritization and decision-making, 1991.
  • Presidential “Point of Light” Award, Office of President George H.W. Bush for spearheading a collaboration with the United Way, Mobay Corporation, Family Resources and the Air National Guard Reserves to construct a new Arts & Science Center at the Fresh Air Camp, 1990.
  • Commencement Speaker, University of Michigan Residential College, 1983.
  • President, Residential College Players, University of Michigan, 1982-83.

SCHOLAR–IN-RESIDENCE (partial list)

Featured service leader, teacher and workshop leader at family and organizational retreats

  • Congregation Brith Shalom, Camp Young Judaea, Wimberley, TX, 1993 (family retreat)
  • I. Weiner Jewish Secondary School, Camp Young Judaea, Wimberley, TX , annually, 1996-2002
  • Congregation Or Hadash, Houston, Camp Young Judaea, Wimberley, TX , 1995 (family retreat)
  • Congregation Beth Yeshurun, Houston, Camp Young Judaea, Wimberley, TX , 1997 (family retreat)
  • American Jewish Committee, Houston Chapter, Galveston, TX, 1999 and 2000 (board retreat)
  • Beth El Congregation, Emma Kaufmann Camp, Morgantown, WV, 2001 (family retreat)
  • Wolf-Fontana family Bat Mitzvah weekend, Camp Young Judaea, Wimberley, TX, 2001
  • Kona Beth Shalom, Kona, HI, 2003 (bat mitzvah weekend)
  • Congregation Agudath Achim, Shreveport, LA, 2006 (Selichot program)
  • Canyon Ranch Health Spa, Tucson, AZ, 2008 (Lectures on the spirituality of storytelling)
  • Temple Israel, Charlotte, NC, 2008 (Shabbaton honoring education and educators)
  • Houston Presbytery Clergy Retreat, keynote speaker, 2016

Organizational Affiliations

Co-chair, National Jewish Storytelling Network for Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education

Advisory Board, TRUTH (Travels Revealing Understanding, Trust-Hope), 2009-present

Board of Representatives, CANCARE, 2009-present

President, Jewish Educators’ Council of Houston, 2001-2003

Chair, Texas Institute for Arts in Education, Teaching Artists Advisory Committee, 1996-98

Chair of Contemporary Jewish Life, American Jewish Committee, Houston Chapter, 2002-2004

Board Member, American Jewish Committee, Houston Chapter, 1999-present

Committee Member, Jewish Community Center Bookfair Program Committee, 1999-2000

Board Member, American Camping Association (Western Pennsylvania), 1989-90

President, University of Michigan, Residential College Players, 1982-83

Memberships:  Jewish Educators’ Council, Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education, University of Michigan Alumni, Anti-Defamation League’s Coalition for Mutual Respect, Houston Storytellers Guild

 

EDUCATION

Rabbinic Ordination, Mesifta Adath Wolkowisk Rabbinical Academy of America, ordained 2009.    Rabbi Abraham Henenberg, president, Rabbi Charles Agin, dean.

Clinical Pastoral Education, 2016 – Completed one unit (400 hours) as a Chaplain Intern, CHI BSLMC.  Currently teach “Sacred Vocations” staff training program for hospital employees.

University of Michigan, Earned BA’s in both Drama and Creative Writing, 1983

School of Advanced Jewish Studies, Pittsburgh, PA.  Certified teacher for Jewish Social Studies, 1979

Other Graduate-level University Studies:

Siegal College of Jewish Studies, Department of Jewish Education, 1999-2003

Virginia Commonwealth University, Graduate School of Social Work, 1985-86

Other Seminars and training programs: (partial list)

Coalition for Mutual Respect Interfaith Mission to Israel, 2006, 30 Christians, Muslims and Jews together

Interfaith Partner’s for Peace Mission to Israel, 2015, partnering with 13 rabbis and 13 Christian ministers

Davening Leadership Training Institute, Eilat Chayyim with Rabbis Marcia Prager & Shawn Zevit, 2000-01

International Melton Faculty Seminar:  Teaching Sacred Texts to Adults, Hebrew University, 2003

Spirituality of Education, Naropa Institute, Boulder, CO, 1997

references and publications available on request