Who is the Coffee Shop Rabbi?

I’m Rabbi Ruth Adar, the Coffee Shop Rabbi.

When I was in rabbinical school, I had an idea.  I wanted to create a place where people could talk and study Jewish topics without a lot of expensive overhead.  The result was Coffee Shop Rabbi.  Today I teach primarily through Jewish Gateways in Albany, CA, and my online “Introduction to the Jewish Experience” classes can come to your home by way of the Internet. You can also search on this website for my answer to “Basic Judaism” questions.

Movies are a great way to learn about Jewish life and to explore Jewish ideas, as long as you can tell what’s real from what’s Hollywood. My website A Rabbi At the Movies makes films accessible to people who want to use them to learn more about Judaism. It’s not a movie review site, but rabbinical commentary about the Jewish topics within each film.

Judaism is not simply a religion:  it is a culture, indeed, a civilization, and there are many ways to approach it.  Whether you are born Jewish, feel Jew-ish, love someone Jewish, have a Jewish ancestor, or are just curious about Judaism, I’d like to help.

I’m a Reform rabbi, a member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, a graduate of the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion,  the Divinity School at the University of Chicago, and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.  I’ve been an active participant in the East Bay Jewish scene since 1993.  Before I went to rabbinical school, I was a Regional Outreach Director for the Union of Reform Judaism

I live in the SF Bay Area with my spouse Linda and our dog Ginsberg, not far from our adult children and our grandchildren.

For my publications and other background, see my LinkedIn profile.

— Rabbi Adar