Speaker Profile Rabbi Baruch Frydman Kohl

Baruch Frydman-Kohl has been senior rabbi of Beth Tzedec Congregation since 1993 where he is the incumbent of the Anne and Max Tanenbaum Senior Rabbinic Chair.   The focus of his rabbinate has been: (1) a commitment to family education and life-long learning; (2) a deep dedication to provide hesed (the support which is nourished by loving-kindness) to the sick, the shut-ins and the bereaved; and (3) an on-going effort to "open up" the synagogue services to encourage more participation.  Rav Baruch initiated the development of a “synaplex” of diverse ritual and educational opportunities for the congregation.  

In addition to his pastoral responsibilities, Rabbi Frydman-Kohl has intellectual interests in the areas of Jewish law, philosophy and mysticism. In June 1992, the Rabbi was awarded a Coolidge Fellowship by the Association for Religion and Intellectual Life to pursue research in an inter-faith community at the Episcopal Divinity School at Harvard University.  In 2003, he was awarded the degree of a Doctor of Divinity (honorary) and in 2004, received his doctorate in Jewish Philosophy from the Jewish Theological Seminary. That year he also was named Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute of Jerusalem.

In addition to his congregational responsibilities, Rabbi Frydman-Kohl has been deeply involved in work with the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto; in 2000 he was honoured by the United Jewish Communities with their Rabbinical Award.  He is on the Advisory Board of the Kellogg Jewish Leadership program of Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, and the University of Toronto's Jewish Studies Advisory Committee. He is member of the Correctional Service of Canada's Interfaith Committee on Chaplaincy. 
Within the Conservative Movement, Rav Baruch serves as a member of the Rabbinic Leadership Council of the Jewish Theological Seminary and the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Rabbinical Assembly.  

Rav Baruch and Josette were married in 1970.  They are the parents of Yakov, married to Sarah, Rafi, and Amir. Rav Baruch still enjoys a friendly game of baseball and wishes that he could play second base for the Chicago Cubs.