Rabbi Jim Morgan
Rabbi Jim Morgan joined the Worship and Study Minyan as rabbinic advisor in January 2012. He received his Rabbinic ordination from Hebrew College in Newton, where he focused on developing a vision for pluralistic Jewish communities and spirit-filled davvening (praying). He also holds a PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Yale University, where he wrote his dissertation on early 19th-Century Russian poetry.
Rabbi Jim also serves as Rabbi / Chaplain for Center Communities of Brookline, a part of Hebrew SeniorLife. In both roles, Rabbi Jim teaches Torah, leads services, performs pastoral duties, and creates Shabbat, holiday, and other programs. Previously, he served as Spiritual Counselor for the Elder Service Plan, a PACE program at Harbor Health Services in Mattapan and as Director of International Partnerships for the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston, where he facilitated collaborative programs in Israel and Ukraine as well as Boston-based Israel advocacy and engagement.
Please contact Rabbi Jim at RabbiJim@WorshipandStudy.org.
Rabbi Norman Janis, Emeritus
Rabbi Norman Janis was one of the founding members of the Worship & Study Minyan and was its rabbinic advisor from 2000 to 2011. He earned a PhD from the Harvard Linguistics Department with a dissertation on the cantillation of the Hebrew Bible, and he has served as Dean of Rabbinical Student Life at Hebrew College. He is a long time friend, student, and colleague of Rabbi Ben-Zion Gold, the founder of our congregation.
Rabbi Ben-Zion Gold of Blessed Memory, Founder
Director of Harvard Hillel from 1958 until 1990, Rabbi Ben-Zion Gold founded our congregation in the late 1960s and served for many years as its rabbinic advisor. Upon retiring, he became Director Emeritus of Harvard Hillel and has continued as an active member of our congregation. Rabbi Gold was raised in a traditional Orthodox home in Poland, where he studied in the Preparatory of the famous Yeshivat Chachmey Lublin. He received his rabbinical degree from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.
Rabbi Gold’s first book, Tradition and Contemporary Reality (1990), is a compilation of his sermons and talks. His more recently published Jewish Life in Poland Before the Holocaust, recalls the vibrant and vital community in which he grew up.
Beginning in 1976 and continuing until 2012, when he was 88 yeaars old, with the assistance of Jane Myers, Rabbi Gold recorded 25 songs and nigunim (melodies) that he remembered from his youth, now available on a CD, Touching the Memory: Songs Remembered from a Childhood in Poland. Many of these tunes have not been recorded elsewhere and if not for Rabbi Gold’s survival and his prodigious musical memory, this music may have been lost forever.
A rich resource to support continued learning and discussion about the life and legacy of Rabbi Gold — including photos, his writings, his teachings, the music he remembered from his youth, and the realization of his vision for Jewish life at Harvard, has been assembled at rabbibenziongold.com. The website will evolve as additional archival materials, writings, and other contributions are added over time.
Rabbi Gold’s d’var Torah on the occasion of Israel’s Yom HaAtzmaut (Independence Day) 5769 (2009): “The Challenge of Israel“