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Who am I?

I am a rabbi, teacher, hospice chaplain, father, partner, ferroequinologist, and involved citizen.

I have been active the movement for Jewish Renewal for over twenty-five years, active in communites in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Jerusalem, and the New York area.

I am available to teach in your community.


I was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in NYC in 1982(5742) after studies at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles and Neve Schechter, the Hebrew University, and the Pardes Institute, all in Jerusalem, as well as JTS. I have served congregations in Hoboken, NJ, and Brooklyn, NY, as well as Jewish students at Penn State University. For the last ten years, my primary professional positions have been as a chaplain in medical settings. I have also served several communities for the Days of Awe, the High Holy Days.


For the many years, I have taught basic Judaism, including teaching people exploring whether they should become Jewish.
I have also taught aspects of Jewish healing as well as Hassidic texts at national and regional retreats sponsored by the National Havurah Committee, as well as leading workshops at ALEPH Kallot(study retreats).
I also taught History while a graduate student at the University of Maryland.


I have worked as a Jewish chaplain in New Jersey and New York City. Most recently, in New Jersey I worked as a hospice chaplain with Jewish Family Service of Central New Jersey, working with hopices in Union County and vacinity. The hospice I worked with most is Center for Hope. I was also a chaplain with the Joint Chaplaincy Board of Central New Jersey, visiting various nursing homes as well as patients in St. Elizabeth Hospital in Elixabeth, NJ. I also visited patients in the boroughs of New York City for the Visiting Nurse Service of New York Hospice Care. Hospice provides palliative care for terminally ill patients at home as well as in nursing homes. Center for Hope also has residential facilities for patients who are not able to remain at home.

Previously I worked as a chaplain at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. This was in conjunction with my chaplaincy training at The Hospital Chaplaincy, Inc. (now Healthcare Chaplaincy, Inc.)


I am the proud father of Rena Lillit Freedman-Marker, 12 years old and in the seventh grade at the Hannah Senesh Community Day School, a new progressive Jewish school which openned in Brooklyn in September, 1998. I was part of small group of parents who instigated the creation of this school because we were dissatisfied with the available Jewish education here in Brooklyn, NY.

My first adopted, however, was Kushi picture of Kushi
our schnoodle, who passed away at the age of 13 on the eve of Thanksgiving on 1995.

In Novenber, 1996 we adopted a two month old puppy, whom we named Tawny. He has grown into a small and spirited adult dog who still acts ver y puppyish. He looks kind of like a miniature golden retriever.


My partner in life for over twenty years is Paula Freedmanpicture of Paula. After many years of work as an administrator and researcher in health care she went back to school and became an RN and a certified nurse-midwife. She is now a midwife at Woodhull Medical Center in Brooklyn.
She is also a terrific partner and mom.
I am very proud of her.


This mean a lover of iron horses, particularly steam powered.

In the summer of 1995 I was able to spend some time riding narrow gage steam in the Rockies. I rode both the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad from Chama, NM, to Antonito, CO., and the Durango and Silverton Scenic RR between Durango and Silverton, CO. Later my daughter and I rode Amtrak east from Grand Junction, CO. to Rockville, MD.
In the summer of 1999, I road the Coast Starlight from Oakland into Oregon, and later Rena and I took Amtrak east from Seattle to St. Paul.

Involved Citizen

Both my upbringing and my religious conviction that we are to be partners with the Holy One in the perfection of the world lead me to a commitment to act in the world and make it a better place. Torah has much to teach us in these matters, as does our ability to think and observe the world we are living in. An awareness of the unfairness of the social and economic system under which we live led me to the conviction that the system must be changed. This involves both political involvement and spreading a conciousness that we all a part of an interconnected cosmos, and mistreating the whole is a recipe for disaster, materially and spiritually.

Torah in the broadest sense has much to teach us about how we treat ourselves and each other, both as individuals and as part of larger and smaller communities, as well as how we treat the earth which supports us.

Over the years, I have been involved in raising public consciousness on many issues, but an ongoing concern has be supporting those in the Middle East and elsewhere who believed that the only hope for the future was for Israelis and Palestinians to share the land they both are attached to. For many years this felt like a lonely struggle, but in recent years there seems at least a possibility that these people can end up living together or next to each other, instead of destroying each other.

I am the moderator of an email discussion list on for progressive political organizers and acitvists who find the roots of their commitment in the Jewish tradition. It is a closed list, for planning, brainstorming, and mutual support sponsored by the Shalom Center, part of ALEPH. If you are interested in joining this discussion, send me email and explain both your activism and your connection to Judaism.

This page was last revised 1/2/2001 by Jeffrey Marker