SENIOR RABBI

Rabbi David Ariel-Joel

Rabbi David is the head of Adult Education, the B’nei Mitzvah Training Program at The Temple, and the Caring Committee. He is the Religious & Hebrew School Rabbinic Liaison, as well as the 7/8th Grade Hebrew Teacher in The Temple’s Religious School. Rabbi David created and teaches in the Temple Scholars program and is the Rabbinic Liaison to Chavurat Shalom.

Before coming to Louisville, Rabbi David served for four years as Executive Director for the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism (the Reform Movement in Israel). With a staff of more than twenty, he represented the IMPJ internationally, in contacts with the Israeli government and in all other matters. He also served on the boards of the Council of Reform Rabbis, the Joint Conversion Institute — where Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Rabbis teach together more than 2,000 people — and at the Israel Religious Action Center.

Prior to that, Rabbi David held positions as rabbi for Har-El Congregation, the first Reform congregation in Israel; as Director for the Progressive Beit Midrash; as Director of the Education and Culture Department for Beit Shmuel; and Executive Director and Educational Director of Hamdat, the Association for the Freedom of Science, Religion and Culture in Israel.

A founding member of Kibbutz Lotan, the second Reform Kibbutz in Israel, Rabbi David has dual American and Israeli citizenship. For four years, he served in the paratroopers unit of the Israel Defense Forces.

Rabbi David has edited three books: Baruch She’assani Isha (Praised be the One Who Made Me a Woman) about the women in Judaism from biblical times to the present, The War of Gog and Magog: The Jewish Messianic Idea, and Who is a Jew in Our Times?. He wrote about the portion “Be-ha’alotekha” for the book Opening the Week. He has also published articles in scholarly journals.

Rabbi David is married to Yaala Ariel-Joel. They are the parents of Haggai.

​Rabbi David is a graduate of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem, where he received his Master of Arts in Jewish Studies and was ordained in 1994. He received a Master of Arts in Jewish Philosophy from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1993. His undergraduate career was spent at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he majored in Jewish Philosophy and graduated in 1990.