Since the time of our biblical ancestors, Jews have been leaving Ethical Wills for their next generations. Join Temple Beth El as we welcome Rabbi Jack Riemer, renowned rabbi and expert in this tradition, who will guide us in the process of documenting our moral legacy.
Rabbi Wayne Dosick of California says:
“Wherever Rabbi Jack Riemer speaks, he spreads his magic.
Rabbi Jack Riemer is a keen observer of life, a storyteller and preacher who has the uncanny ability to describe the human condition brilliantly and insightfully and to lead the way towards new resolve and worthy living. His tales go directly to the hearts and souls of his listeners, and his messages are filled with warmth, wit and wisdom. His words bring smiles and tears, for he has the unique ability to tap into your hopes and your fears and the unique talent of knowing what you are thinking and feeling better than you do yourself. In short, he has the gift of explaining you to yourself.”
Rabbi Jack Riemer is one of American Jewry’s outstanding teachers. He recently retired from Congregation Beth Tikvah in Boca Raton, a congregation that quadrupled its membership under his leadership and became a model that other synagogues around the country turned to for guidance. He now serves as an advisor to rabbis and congregations that are going through transitions. As Danny Siegel, the Tsedaka teacher and poet has observed: “Jack Riemer is probably the most quoted rabbi in the country. Wherever I go, rabbis say to me: ‘have you heard this story or this word of Torah that I learned from Rabbi Jack Riemer.’”
If you have not yet heard Rabbi Jack Riemer speak, you have probably heard—and perhaps even spoken—his words, for he is one of the most prolific and profound writers of contemporary prayers. His poems and prayers appear in the prayer books of the Conservative and the Reform movement in the United States, Israel and South America. His prayer: “Now Is the Time for Turning” was recited by President Clinton at the White House Prayer Breakfast during his last year in office.
Rabbi Riemer has been called upon by his colleagues to give High Holy Day sermon seminars for the rabbis of New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Washington, Baltimore, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and other cities. He has published in all the major journals of Jewish Thought in America and abroad. One of his essays recently appeared in the Warsaw Jewish Literary Gazette in Poland and another one recently appeared in the literary journal of the University of Thailand.
Rabbi Riemer is the author or editor of many books including: So That Your Values Live On, a treasury of ethical wills, the three volumes of The World of the High Holy Days, which can be found on almost every pulpit in the country, Jewish Reflections On Death and Wrestling With the Angel, two books that have become classic resources that help mourners understand what they are going through and what resources the Jewish tradition has that can help them, and New Prayers for the High Holy Days, which is used in synagogues throughout the land.
Rabbi Riemer was ordained and received his M.H.L. and his D.D. from the Jewish Theological Seminary and did his graduate studies at Brandeis University. Before coming to Boca Raton, he served as rabbi in La Jolla, Ca. Miami, and Dayton, Ohio. He was a member of the special committee that prepared the new commentary on the Torah for the Conservative movement, and he has served as the editor of “Conservative Judaism”, the journal of the Rabbinical Assembly.
Rabbi Jack Riemer’s talks are intensely personal and yet universal in spirit. They are inspired by his understanding of what human beings want and need, think and feel, dream and hope. He believes that words that come from the heart enter the heart. As Elie Wiesel says of him: “Jack Riemer’s words are songs of hope faith. Listen to them as and I do.”