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Meet Our New Rabbi, David Kudan


Rabbi LewisRabbi David Kudan was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and raised in Glencoe, Illinois. He is a graduate of Hampshire College and holds graduate degrees from Hebrew Union College and Harvard University. Rabbi Kudan has pursued graduate work in Aramaic, Ethiopic, and Hebrew Bible at New York University and at Harvard in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Literatures in the field of Second Temple Judaism.  He was ordained a rabbi in 1987. As an undergraduate, Rabbi Kudan spent a year at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, focusing on both Modern Hebrew and Yiddish. The previous summer, he served as the assistant photographer at an archaeological excavation at Tel Halif in the Negev.  After college, Rabbi Kudan returned to Chicago, where he worked for a brief time in the field of Stock Options, while continuing to study Yiddish and tutor students at his father's synagogue in preparation for bar/bat mitzvah.  During that period, the Rabbi and Barbara Abrams, (now Prof. Barbara Abrams,) renewed an old friendship, having first met on a trip to Israel at the age of 14.  At the age of 23 they were married and soon Rabbi Kudan enrolled in the Rabbinic program at Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion.  The young couple spent a year in Jerusalem, afterwards, returning to Cincinnati, where both pursued their studies.  The couple then again went abroad for their studies, this time to Paris.  Rabbi Kudan was granted leave from the rabbinic program to study Semitic Languages at the Catholic Institute of Paris and serve as rabbinic intern at a Paris synagogue, as his wife pursued a degree in French Literature and Civilization at the Sorbonne.  Over the years, Rabbi Kudan has served congregations in the New York, Boston, and Chicago areas. Rabbi Kudan also served as Reform Rabbinic Advisor and Director of Outreach at Harvard Hillel, and for a year enjoyed the unique privilege of serving as Rabbi in Residence at the Memorial Church at Harvard.  Rabbi Kudan has made outreach to the unaffiliated a major thrust of his rabbinic work, and enjoys encouraging individuals and families to create personalized courses of study and rituals to mark life cycle events such as Bar and Bat Mitzvah, Weddings, and Conversions. Rabbi Kudan is active in interfaith dialogue and is committed to building bridges between the Jewish community and other ethnic and religious groups. Rabbi Kudan is frequently invited to local synagogues and churches to lecture and teach on scholarly topics within his fields of specialization, including the ancient Jewish lore of angels, the Dead Sea Scrolls, modern and ancient Jewish History.

Rabbi Kudan's wife, Professor Barbara Abrams is specialist in 18th Century French Literature, Women's and Gender Studies, and is the founder and director of the Program in Global and Cultural Studies at Suffolk University. The couple divide their time between Cambridge, and Gloucester, MA, and Cork, Ireland.  They have two recently married children, Talia, who is in Commercial Real Estate, and Ari, a software engineer, who is relocating to Turin, Italy.  Rabbi Kudan enjoys baking and organic gardening.

Sun, July 3 2022 4 Tammuz 5782