Rabbi David Wirtschafter, Visiting Scholar in Jewish Studies
After serving as a rabbi-in-residence with the Jay Phillips Center for three semesters, Rabbi David Wirtschafter is now the center's visiting scholar in Jewish studies, teaching classes at the center's host universities and facilitating programs on and apart from their campuses. He has served congregations in California, New Hampshire, and New York, and is currently rabbi of the Ames Jewish Congregation in Iowa. Raised in Minneapolis, he graduated from Brandeis University with a degree in English literature and from Hebrew Union College in New York with an M.A. degree in Hebrew literature. Actively involved in interfaith dialogue, social justice, and community service, he is a playful storyteller and a serious scholar who has given presentations on a wide variety of topics, which he did in classes and in other venues as rabbi-in-residence with the Jay Phillips Center. Much of Rabbi Wirtschafter's current research focuses on troubling biblical texts and contemporary critiques of religion and on intelligent responses to both from within Jewish, Christian, and Muslim communities.