Mel Glazer, DD, DMIN, is Rabbi of Temple Shalom and is a native of Atlanta, GA. He celebrated his Bar Mitzvah and Confirmation at Ahavath Achim Synagogue. Rabbi Glazer was sent by his Rabbi, Harry H. Epstein, of blessed memory, to Akiba Hebrew Academy in Philadelphia and the Joint Program (now known as List College) at JTS and Columbia University. He earned a BA in 1969 in Philosophy and a BHL in Hebrew Literature, followed by an MA in 1973 and Rabbinic Ordination in 1974. He has served pulpits in the United States, Canada and South Africa since then, and has been the Rabbi at Temple Shalom in Colorado Springs since July 2007.
In 1995 Rabbi Glazer earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. His dissertation explores numerous sociological and theological perspectives on death and mourning. Rabbi Glazer is a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, and has conducted many individual and group Grief Recovery Seminars. In March 2001 he was awarded the honorary Doctor of Divinity degree by the Jewish Theological Seminary, as a tribute to his quarter century of service to the Jewish People. His wife Ellen is a Life Skills Coach and Behavioral Specialist, with a particular interest in Asperger Syndrome, Autism, ADHD and Learning Difficulties.
Rabbi Glazer has always been interested in Hevra Kadisha, the group of devoted women and men who prepare Jewish bodies for burial. He is a Board Member of Kavod V'Nichum (Honor and Comfort), an international organization devoted to Jewish burial and mourning practices, and is a permanent invited speaker at the annual Kavod V'Nichum Conferences on "The Out-Loud Feelings of Anonymous Hevra Kadisha Members." He is a member of their Board, and Editor of the Newsletter (http://www.jewish-funerals.org/cknewsmay2007.htm). His article on how he became interested in Hevra Kadisha may be found here.
He is the author of the book "And God Created Hope", which first connects Biblical stories of loss with our own personal stories of loss (http://www.andgodcreatedhope.com), and then leads mourners on a healing journey "from mourning to morning." His booklet "When Death Visits A Jewish Home: 99 Actions for Mourners," is a guide for those who have lost a loved one and want to learn what Judaism has to say about the way we say good-bye (http://www.whendeathvisitsajewishhome.com). He is a writer of articles on numerous topics, which may be read at http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Dr._Mel_Glazer, and his personal website (http://www.yourgriefmatters.com) helps mourners better understand grief and mourning.
Rabbi Glazer has been extremely active in interfaith activities, and has served as the President of Clergy Associations in many of his previous pulpits. He enjoys reaching out to the general community and teaching them about Jewish life, thought and practice.
Some random thoughts about life from our Rabbi:
"I am interested in developing the total person, not just the one who attends religious services. It's easy to be religious when you're sitting in the Sanctuary. The real question is what happens to you when you leave and go home. What do you do with the values you learn here? What lessons do you take home with you? How has coming to shul changed your life?"
"The scariest three words on any gift package are "some assembly required." Judaism is a gift-- God's gift to us and to the world. There is some assembly required. If you do not help God assemble your gift, that gift will be wasted."
"When I was a child, I took piano lessons and my teacher wanted me to become a symphony director. She died before I could tell her that actually, I am a conductor. That's what being a Rabbi is all about. Everyone has a place in God's orchestra and I'm the conductor."
"The key to helping people is to have experienced life myself. How can I counsel anyone at all if I don't know what you're talking about? I have lived a full life, with successes and failures, simcha and sadness. I get great satisfaction from helping people recover from losses. My father's death was a gift to me. It helped to propel me in a direction, it led me on a fruitful and joyful path -- helping people to celebrate again after losing someone, or something, very special."
Glazer's First and Only Law of Life"we only learn anything about ourselves by how we respond to the losses in our lives."
"We are God's Chosen People. Does that mean we're better than anyone else? No, it means we have more responsibility than anyone else. We have 613 mitzvahs to grapple with, while God's other children only have 7. It's not always so easy to be Jewish, sometimes I wish God had chosen someone else!"
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