Mark Dov Shapiro named Rabbi in Residence for Western Mass. cathedral

By Gavin Drake
Posted Jul 27, 2016
Western Massachusetts Bishop Doug Fisher, Rabbi Mark Dov Shapiro, and the Rev. Canon Tom Callard Photo: Diocese of Western Massachusetts

Western Massachusetts Bishop Doug Fisher, Rabbi Mark Dov Shapiro, and the Rev. Canon Tom Callard. Photo: Diocese of Western Massachusetts

[Anglican Communion News Service] Bishop Doug Fisher of Western Massachusetts has appointed a Rabbi in Residence for the diocese’s Christ Church Cathedral in Springfield. From Sept. 1, Rabbi Mark Dov Shapiro will take adult education classes and will also “preach periodically in the Sunday liturgy.”

The announcement was made July 25 by Fisher and Canon Tom Callard, the cathedral’s priest-in-charge. In addition to preaching and teaching, Fisher said that Shapiro would “offer his wisdom on a host of social justice concerns.”

Speaking to the masslive.com news website, Shapiro said that the new post “offers me and parishioners of the cathedral an opportunity to explore faith and history in ways we have never done before … I anticipate a unique opportunity to teach and preach as well as see my own tradition from a new very rich perspective.”

Speaking to the same website, Fisher explained the thinking behind the appointment: “Christians and Jews share so much – a common father in Abraham, the Hebrew scriptures, belief in a God who is both transcendent and within us, and a common challenge from the Prophets.

“Jesus was Jewish and constantly quoted the Prophets. Rabbi Mark will expand our understanding of both Judaism and Christianity by his preaching and teaching.”

Shapiro’s journey to the rabbinic ministry began at home in Toronto, Fisher said in a statement. After completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in intellectual history at York University, Shapiro attended the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati where he was ordained as a rabbi. He earned the Doctor of Divinity degree from the same institution in 2002.


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Comments (3)

  1. Bruce McCallum says:

    I hope this starts a trend. After all, the Bible is all one book. We should gain greater insight into the mindset of those who wrote the New Testament.

  2. Wow! That’s marvelous! I find it a fitting story to run alongside another story about the appointment of an “advisor for reconciliation” for the Archbishop of Canterbury. This is an example of reconciliation incarnate.

  3. Dr. Erna Lund says:

    Indeed the national Episcopal Church is in desperate need for some proactive progressive steps–and if the appointment of a “Rabbi in Residence” is a start on social justice issues in our church(es) certainly a similar step would be the appointment of an “Iman in Residence”–all three major religions share the same patrimony of Abraham–and we Christians know so little of Islam. Few have read The Koran and the notable chapters(suras) on Jesus and Mary for example. And in these turbulent times we should share some responsibility for our lack of knowledge and appreciation of Islam and the Muslims. We have so conveniently filled in the gaps w/negative stereotypes and distorted information so readily provided by the media and political special interests…

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