Around the Island

Union Chapel welcomes Rabbi Daniel Geffen

Union Chapel in the Grove welcomes Rabbi Daniel Geffen on Sunday, July 28.

Union Chapel in the Grove welcomes Rabbi Daniel Geffen, Rabbi of Temple Adas Israel in Sag Harbor on Sunday, July 28 for an interdenominational service at 10:30 a.m. His sermon is titled “Radical Amazement: Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and the Pursuit of an Imminent God.”

Rabbi Geffen explains, “Rabbi Heschel developed a philosophy built around the idea of living life in ‘Radical Amazement’ of the world we are blessed to live in. I plan to explore some of his most powerful ideas and how we, regardless of our religious backgrounds and beliefs, can deepen our connection with God, through everyday acts of gratitude for the blessings that surround us.” 

In the summer of 2014, Rabbi Geffen became the Rabbi of Temple Adas Israel. He was ordained by the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in New York in May, 2014 and holds master’s degrees in both Hebrew literature and Jewish education. During his time at HUC-JIR, Rabbi Geffen earned several awards, including those for Modern Hebrew and Halakhic Literature, Rabbinics and was twice awarded the “Amitz Lev Prize for Spirit, Character and Strength of Heart.” He graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison with an undergraduate degree in history. He was born and raised in New York City, where he attended the A.J. Heschel School and the Fieldston School. 

Prior to assuming his position at Temple Adas Israel, Rabbi Geffen served as the rabbinic intern for Woodlands Community Temple in White Plains and Jewish Home Life-care of Manhattan. He was also the Schusterman Rabbinic Resident at Temple Shaaray Tefila in New York City and the administrative education intern at Leo Baeck Temple in Los Angeles.

He lives in Sag Harbor with his wife Lu (TAI director of community engagement), their daughter, Eva, and their dog, Stuart. Rabbi Geffen said he “is deeply honored to serve as the spiritual leader of Temple Adas Israel and hopes that his family will be in Sag Harbor for the rest of their lives.”

Music will be performed by chapel organist Linda Betjeman and Colin Van Tuyl on trumpet. Mr. Van Tuyl is a lifelong resident of Greenport and director of the Greenport Band. He also performs with the Riverhead No-Doubt-World-Famous Monday Night Band; Big Band East; and the East End Brass Quintet. He enjoys playing in pit bands for local musicals and is a member of the Orient Congregational Church choir and bell choir. 

Next Sunday, Aug. 4, is Choir Sunday. Summer Chapel Choir is open to all singers. Rehearsal will be at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 3, at the Chapel.