Showing posts from 2009

Building a Covenantal Community© - Rosh Hashanah, 5770 (2009)

Building a Covenantal Community© Rosh Hashanah, 5770 (2009) Rabbi David Baum It is truly an honor to be back in South Florida after many years of experiences in many different places.When I left South Florida for college, I had just received my first email address on AOL.Before I left South Florida, I did not have a cell phone, although beepers were the craze back then.If someone wanted to get a hold of me, they would call my house phone, write me a paper letter, or come to my house.If I wanted to talk to a friend, I would actually meet them in person. I return to South Florida with six email addresses from AOL, Google, Yahoo, and Hotmail, two Facebook pages, a Twitter account, two blogs, a smart phone where I can manage all my email addresses and social networking pages. I thought about my connectivity and how much it takes to maintain all these ways to connect, and I realized that something was getting lost.It reminded me of a quote from a movie:He’s Just Not That Into You. “I had …

Beginnings and Ends

Shalom to all of our friends and family,

There are moments where you sit back, put your hands in back of your head after a long journey, looking back on your accomplishments, and even your failures. In my opinion, no matter what journey I have been on, whether it was college, my years in Israel, or the various positions that I have served as a Jewish educator and spiritual leader, I have always ended my journey with a sigh of accomplishment and pride. In fact, I have a ritual every time I finish a journey at a place. At Ramah Darom, I would wait until the whole camp was empty, walk to the dam that overlooks the lake and camp, and sit there alone, staring at the serene camp and remembering what was; and then I would dream about what would be.

Sometimes I share this moment with others, like after Yom Kippur services at the Fitzgerald Hebrew Congregation, where I sat in the empty sanctuary with Phil Perlis, Pension Kaminsky, and Jerry Heller, three men who keep this small congregation o…

Ha Rav David Zalman Ben Yitzhak Shlomo v'Rachel Esther

I was ordained today at JTS as a Rabbi of the Jewish people. Details to follow.


Dear friends and family,

It has been so long since we have all talked and we hope that you can forgive us. As many of you know, I (David) am graduating from rabbinical school and I (Alissa) will be completing my internship for my PsyD program officially making me a Doctor (next year). So after next year, you can call us Rabbi and Dr. Baum.

People used to joke that a Rabbi's kid and a Psychologist kid is going to need major therapy...well, its funny that they mention that because we are expecting! Alissa is about 4 months pregnant and we are expecting our new delivery on August 4th. We also found out this week where we will be next year for Alissa's internship...drum roll...and the winner is: South Florida. This has been a pretty high stress time for us and we are so glad to know where we will be next year.

On a personal note (this is David talking), I have gained a new found appreciation of Alissa's professional aspirations when I read the matching letter she received f…

Words of Torah - Find your inner Nachshon

A good friend of mine has been unemployed now for about 5 months and has had some personal issues as well. To add insult to injury, he lives in New York city, his roommate has moved out, and now he has to pay for an expensive apartment until he finds a subletter, something that he has not been successful in doing for the last couple of weeks. Years ago, this situation would not have happened. My friend would have found a job, and if he needed someone to sublet his apartment, it would have snatched up on Craigslist in 5 minutes. Yesterday, my friend had to do something that he felt was shameful: he asked his parents for financial help. When he told me this, I did not feel sorry for him, in fact, I was proud. His sense of shame, although misguided, reveals something in his character. My friend is a proud person, an independent person. My friend is an adult and his goal is to depend on himself. My friend got me thinking about the power of a free mind and the choices that we mak…

My Senior Sermon

The senior sermon is a rite of passage of sorts for Rabbinical students at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Every year, each senior Rabbinical student has the honor to teach his or her community in the seminary synagogue in the form of a sermon. I hope you enjoy the Torah that I taught to my community. It is just the beginning of the Torah that I hope to teach for years to come.

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Articles that I wrote from the Shpiel

You can find some of these articles on, the only student run Jewish newspaper in the country. As a campus rabbi at UF Hillel, I have the privelage of writing articles once a month for them. Please click on them to read and please post some feedback.

Story about me from National Ramah

Another Inspirational Ramah Story
David Baum and Ramah Darom
Interviewed by Rabbi Mitch Cohen on June 29, 2007David Baum is a 4th year rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary, and has spent nine summers at Camp Ramah Darom. As a freshman at the University of Florida in the late 1990's, never in his wildest dreams did he think that he would pursue a career as a Jewish professional, much less as a rabbi! Yet that is exactly his current career path and way of life, inspired mostly by his years of experiential learning and leadership at Camp Ramah, and the impact of his mentor and friend, RabbiLorenSykes.Last summer Dave was the Rosh Tefilah, helping with tefilah education for all the campers and staff, as part of Ramah's overall efforts to teach prayer skills, and to instill a deepened sense of spirituality. Over the years Dave has also served as a counselor, a rosh edah, director of staff learning, a yoetz (parent liaison and staff trainer), and a Juda…