Mar 23, 2015

Federation’s Josh Broide Named One of “America’s Most Inspiring Rabbis” by Jewish Daily Forward

The Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County is extremely proud to share that on March 23, 2015, the national Jewish Daily Forward newspaper named our community’s own Rabbi Josh Broide to their 2015 list of America’s Most Inspiring American Rabbis/33 Men & Women Who Move Us.

Born in Capetown, South Africa 40 years ago, Rabbi Broide spent his later childhood in New Jersey. He moved to Boca Raton in 2000 when tapped by Rabbi Kenneth Brander to be Youth and Teen Director for Boca Raton synagogue with his wife, Simone. Serving the local Jewish community in a number of professional roles ever since, Rabbi Broide joined the Federation as its first Director of Community Engagement last year. He had most recently been Outreach Rabbi for Boca Raton Synagogue, where he previously served as Executive Director and Youth & Teen Rabbi. Rabbi Broide has also served as local Director of the Jewish Student Union and as Rabbi at Hillel of Broward & Palm Beach.

“We are absolutely thrilled but not surprised that Rabbi Broide’s remarkable work has again garnered national notice,” said Matthew C. Levin, the Federation’s President & CEO. “Rabbi Broide is renowned throughout our community for his dedicated, vibrant, innovative work to personally connect with Jewish residents of all ages from throughout South Palm Beach County. His gifts are unmistakable as one observes and experiences his efforts both heartfelt and strategic to reach those who are unaffiliated, and to inspire those already involved to connect more deeply with Jewish life.”

The Forward reports that the thirty-three who made their list were selected from hundreds of nominees. They include in Rabbi Broide’s profile a quote from Judith Klau: “As an 80-year-old volunteer at Florida Atlantic University, I wandered into the Hillel lounge in search of a Passover Seder. There, I met the Energizer Bunny of rabbis, Josh Broide. He found me a Seder and invited me to attend “Friday Night Live,” an inclusive service he holds at a traditional Orthodox Boca Raton shul. With Carlebach melodies and huge heartfelt love for Judaism, expressed through Rabbi Broide’s inimitable self-deprecating but enchanting style, the service lifts a group of not-young people into a beautiful Shabbos world.”

Under Federation’s auspices, Rabbi Broide continues to direct the nationally recognized Boca Raton Jewish Experience, an organization he founded with his wife, Simone four years ago “to give every Jewish person in South Palm Beach County a positive Jewish experience on their terms.” A tireless promoter of what he calls “all good things Jewish,” Rabbi Broide widely shares information about our community through social media vehicles. His work at Federation extends to leadership development through the Jewish Community Leadership Institute. Through Federation’s beneficiary agency, Ruth & Norman Rales Jewish Family Services, Rabbi Broide also provides chaplaincy services at hospitals and client-centered events, and works with the agency’s volunteer parachaplaincy program.

“Since well before he formally joined our Federation, Rabbi Broide has been instrumental in our accelerating efforts to bring our community together to care for each other and our people with pride, joy and a sense of belonging,” Levin continued, “Rabbi Broide had already established a strong, connecting Federation presence with pivotal roles at events of all sizes, in leadership development, at our rabbi lunches, on our Planning & Allocations Committee and Outreach Task Force, on the March of the Living (in a few weeks, he’ll head to Poland for his tenth March with local teens), and as a vital advisor in many areas of our work. With his unique combination of education, skill, experience and magnetic presence, Rabbi Broide just keeps inspiring our community and bringing us even closer together.”

“Rabbi Broide is truly a gift to our community,” said Larry Feldman, who chairs the Federation’s King David Society and its Marketing Committee. “As I quickly learned on our Community Leadership Mission to Israel, he has an amazing ability to connect with people and he’s never met a stranger. His brilliant smile, vibrant energy, positive attitude and joy in his heart are truly contagious. As my grandmother would say, ‘he’s a gutte neshama, a good soul.’ We are blessed to have him here to introduce the beauty and wisdom of our tradition to those who forgot or never experienced it, or to inspire others to learn and do more.”

Responding to being named one of America’s Most Inspiring Rabbis, Broide placed his characteristic emphasis on the community and its future rather than on his acknowledgements. “This is a recognition that our community is headed in the right direction, that we’re succeeding in helping find what they’re looking for – a place for every Jew to learn, to grow, to connect, to feel at home,” Broide said. “I’m excited to see how everyone can collaborate even further, bringing our resources together and discovering and developing new ones to strengthen this amazing Jewish community. When I see people who have been unconnected to Jewish life and community get so on fire, I just get energized to do more and more. I love this community, and it’s still in its infancy. Wait til you see what’s coming.”

“And one of the great things that’s coming is our Spirit of Israel Community Mission in November 13-19, 2015,” Broide continued, always looking ahead to bring people together. “Rabbis of all denominations, heads of agencies, leading volunteers have already signed up and are encouraging their constituencies, families, friends and colleagues to join. We know from celebrating our homeland together and standing in solidarity that nothing brings our community together like our love of Israel. This mission is an amazing chance for people from throughout our diverse Jewish community to spend time building relationships in our homeland and experiencing access to many places and people they would not otherwise be able visit.”

Rabbi Broide is a recipient of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County’s James and Marjorie Baer Outstanding Young Leadership Award, as well as the prestigious Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award for Excellence in Jewish Education. He was recognized by the Jewish Federations of North America as a Jewish Community Hero for his contribution to the Jewish Community and the ideal of Tikkun Olam. Rabbi Broide also received the National Jewish Outreach Program’s (NJOP) Leslie Nelkin Special Service Award for his commitment to outreach. Most recently, he was honored by Hillel of Broward and Palm Beach for his inspiring service to college students.

Rabbi Broide received his Rabbinical Ordination and earned a Masters degree in Advanced Talmudic Law from the Ner Israel Rabbinical College in Maryland. He also holds Masters Degrees in both Special Education and School Administration & Supervision from Johns Hopkins University. Rabbi Broide additionally received a certificate in Kellogg Management Education for Jewish Leaders from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He and his wife, Simone, live in Boca Raton with their six children.