BZBI, where you belong


    Abe Friedman, Senior Rabbi

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    Rabbi Abe Friedman found his love of Jewish community as a camper, counselor, and Rosh Edah (Division Head) at Camp Ramah in Palmer, Massachusetts. His rabbinic work focuses on community engagement, Jewish learning, and spiritual counseling, and he expresses his love of music through electric guitar, piano and the occasional DJ set. Rabbi Abe and his wife, Rebecca Krasner, are the proud, amused, and tired parents of Odelia, Azriel, and Yonah.

    Rabbi Abe joined BZBI in 2015 after serving for five years as a rabbi at Anshe Emet Synagogue in Chicago. He also serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Rabbis of Greater Philadelphia. A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Rabbi Abe lived in Israel for a year as part of USY’s Nativ Leadership Program before attending Boston University. He received his rabbinic ordination from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at Los Angeles’ American Jewish University, where he also earned an MBA in Nonprofit Management.


    Yosef Goldman, Rabbi & Director of Sacred Music

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    Rabbi Yosef Goldman is a teacher, spiritual artist, and pastoral caregiver. He is passionate about building sacred community. Yosef received his rabbinic ordination in 2013 from the Jewish Theological Seminary with a concentration in pastoral care and counseling and earned a Masters in Sacred Music.

    At JTS, Yosef received the Rabbi Sidney Greenberg Prize in Homiletics, the Lillian M. Lowenfeld Prize in Practical Theology and the Alexander Kohut Memorial Prize in the field of Talmud. He has trained in spiritual direction with Lev Shomea, and in community organizing with JOIN for Justice’s Seminary Leadership Project. Yosef joined BZBI after serving as a chaplain resident at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia.

    Raised Orthodox in New York City, in a mixed Ashkenazi and Mizrachi home, Yosef has since taught and facilitated sacred prayer space in communities throughout the Jewish denominational spectrum, including Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, B’nai Jeshurun, The Carlebach Shul, and Romemu. As a singer and percussionist, Yosef has performed and recorded with a wide range of Jewish artists and has curated showcases for the Sephardic Music Festival. He currently performs as a vocalist with Joey Weisenberg and the Hadar Ensemble, and with the Middle Eastern Jewish music ensemble the Epichorus. He is a founding member of the Philadelphia Jewish music collective the Shir Singing Circle.

    In his free time, Rabbi Goldman likes to take walks in the Wissahickon with his wife, Rabbi Annie Lewis, and their daughter, Zohar.

    Ira F. Stone, Rabbi Emeritus

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    Ira F. Stone served as Rabbi of Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel in center city Philadelphia from 1988 to 2015, at which time he became Rabbi Emeritus.

    Before coming to Philadelphia he served as spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Shalom in Seattle, Washington for nine years.  Rabbi Stone is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara where he received a BA in Religious Studies.  He attended the University of Judaism in Los Angeles and graduated from The Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 1979 with a Masters of Hebrew Literature and was ordained as a rabbi at that time.  Prior to attending rabbinical school, Rabbi Stone worked for the Jewish Family Service of Long Island as an outreach worker in crisis intervention with drug abusing Jewish youth and also developed and implemented a pioneer project for brain injured children with emphasis on integrating them into a total day camp and winter recreational program at the YM/YWHA.

    Ira Stone’s poetry has appeared in various journals and he is the author of two volumes of poetry: “The Really Perfect Poem Has An Infinitely Small Vocabulary” (Mellon Press) and “Sketches For A Book of Psalms (Xlibris.)

    He served as the Daniel Jeremy Silver Fellow at Harvard University for the Spring 2005 semester.

    In addition to his work in the pulpit, Rabbi Stone has written articles on theology and rabbinics for various journals including Conservative Judaism, Wellspring Journal, Middlebury College Magazine and Kerem.  He also authored “Seeking the Path to Life” which was published in 1992 by Jewish Lights Publishing and “Reading Levinas/Reading Talmud” which was published in 1997 by The Jewish Publication Society.  “A Responsible Life: Mussar As A Spiritual Path,” was published by Aviv Press in the Fall of 2006.  The Jewish Publication Society also published Rabbi Stone’s contemporary commentary on Mordechai Kaplan’s translation of Messilat Yesharim by Rabbi Moshe Hayyim Luzatto.

    Rabbi Stone served as lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at the Jewish Theological Seminary and adjunct and visiting lecturer in Modern Jewish Thought at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.

    Rabbi Stone is married to Annie and they are the parents of Tamar, Yoshi and Shuli.