Rabbi David Jonathan Cooper was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York where he attended Hebrew day school for 10 years, and further pursued his Jewish studies on the high school, college, post-graduate and rabbinic program levels. His youthful synagogue participation was inter-movement: Conservative school and synagogue, regular Orthodox synagogue attendance and camp, Reform synagogue and camp. Part of his extended family owned an orthodox hotel in Monsey, NY where he celebrated becoming Bar Mitzvah.
Throughout high school, college, law school and several years of practice as an attorney, David was involved in anti-war, anti-sexist, pro-LGBT and affirmative action struggles while becoming increasingly involved in the embryonic Jewish Renewal Movement.
Rabbi David credits his eclectic exposures for his familiarity with the varieties of Jewish liturgy and practice. He credits his years of inter-disciplinary study and his grappling with the realities of our post-holocaust generation for his non-conformist theological outlook and the variety of Jewish and non-Jewish religious practices which continue to influence his spiritual endeavors.
Inspired by Rabbi Burt Jacobson’s vision of a community synagogue, Rabbi David became one of several co-founders of Kehilla in 1984. Prior to David’s service as Kehilla’s community rabbi—which began in 1999—he had various careers including political activist, community organizer, attorney, bookstore owner, religion/theology graduate student. He regards it as one of his highest joys that he has been able to be part of a synagogue of such wonderful, exciting and loving people.
You can contact Rabbi David by email at email@example.com or call (510) 547-2424 x103.