Religion

David Ingber

Rabbi David Ingber talks about his relationship with Judaism as some might describe an acid trip.

Born and raised in a Modern Orthodox family, the 44-year-old founder of Romemu was drawn to ultra-Orthodoxy while on a gap year program in Israel in the late 1980s. He describes the next five years of his life as “flipping out.”

Indeed, for 10 years, Ingber turned his back on religion. Working nights as a waiter, he devoted his days to yoga and meditation. After nearly a decade of soul searching, he returned to rabbinical school.

Today, the congregation he founded only five years ago has grown from a handful of people to almost 500 member families. Nearly 900 people attended Yom Kippur services this year, with an additional 1,000 streaming it live.

In keeping with Ingber’s interests, yoga, silent contemplation and music are integral to his services. Loosely affiliated with the Renewal movement, Romemu appeals to Jews across denominations who feel that traditional synagogue models have become too impersonal.

“I want the community to be on fire for transformation, for individual and communal growth, and I want it to express itself not only in social action, but in feeling,” Ingber told the Forward in September. “I want it to be a place where every emotion is invited in and is safe. People get it — it’s real, we really mean it. We’re not just going through the motions.”

The next step for Romemu is a big one: After years of meeting in an Upper West Side church, the congregation is making plans for a building of its own.

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.