Mitzvah Maker – Rabbi Teitelbaum

Mitzvah Maker - Rabbi Teitelbaum

What is great about Mesorah DC?
From the feedback that we get from our participants, everyone seems to enjoy our all-out efforts to create a warm , comfortable, accepting(and fun) environment, whatever the occasion or event.  People always seem to leave happy and come back for more.  Also people enjoy the range of activities from social events to enriching Jewish experiences.

If Mesorah DC were a Jewish food, what would it be and why?
Food-that’s a tough one!  I like to think of ourselves as a smorgasbord, but I guess the “Rabbi in me” would say: the “heavenly manna” that could taste what you wished it to taste like.  I just think we have a tasty appeal to almost everyone (rabbis are allowed to be corny).

Did i mention we are having a great Friday night event next week (the 19th). Elliot Brandt, one of the premiere speakers for AIPAC, will discuss the toughest challenges Israel is facing today.  Check it out www.mesorahdc.org

What has been one of your most successful events?
Hmmm.  It depends (you knew I’d say that) how you define “success.”  Certainly in terms of numbers of participants–we just had a smashing Purim event with probably close to 400 people!  Enjoying the food, the drinks, the live music and carnival.  Our bi-monthly Friday night  services and dinners  are attended by well over  a hundred people.  They are just as successful, in the sense that we touch a spiritual chord, as well provide a great socializing opportunity.  We actually have a few people who met and married through these dinners!!

I heard you eat sushi pizza, is that true?
No.  I can’t take credit for that brilliant invention BUT we do have sushi AND  pizza every Monday night, at Mesorah DC’s Cafenite.   And that’s not even the best part–it’s the great crowd that comes to learn each Monday–everything from Hebrew to Ulpan, history to ethics, or even join our very own think tank.  And you even get to eat great sushi and pizza (free dinner) as all the classes converge during dinner time to shmooze/socialize.

With hundreds of DC Jews involved in Mesorah, how do you remember everyone’s name?!
Easy–I just call everyone “Handsome,” or Jennifer.  Actually, it’s real tough because hundreds are involved, but I really work hard to remember not just their names but who they are and how I can possibly help them.  It also helps that most of the people are repeat offenders, we see them often.

Did I mention this great Friday night event on March 19th?  Dinner at 8 speaker at 9, followed by dessert reception and cocktails and Q&A-at Sixth and I synagogue?

I heard your wife was asked to be on Iron Chef for her Shabbat meals; when are they doing the filming?
My wife definitely is an incredible cook (as those that  join us for lunch on Saturday at Sixth and I can testify).  She doesn’t even let me hang around her kitchen, so I don’t see her letting in a movie crew.   Besides we don’t give away our recipes so quickly–you have to earn it.

What if I don’t know much about Judaism, is Mesorah still a good place to go?
MesorahDC is the perfect place for  people just getting involved.  We really care to make them feel “at home.”  We assume zero background knowledge.  And we offer multiple entry levels from real beginners to those  with somewhat more of a background.  You should come to the event to find out more about us. See you Friday night.