Lev Friedman was ordained in 2018 by the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College in Newton, MA. He has served in a rabbinic role for almost forty years. Under the mentorship of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, zt"l, he founded B’nai Or Religious Fellowship of Boston in 1982. Reb Zalman empowered him as Maggid, Rabbinic Pastor and Cantor in 1990. Lev was the spiritual leader of B’nai Or, a Jewish Renewal community, from 1982-1996. He may be the only rabbinical student to lead a congregation prior to receiving ordination! During his tenure in this position he helped many Jews find a way back to their traditions in a contemporary and meaningful way.
As part of his rabbinic training, Lev wrote Shabbat as a Mystical/Spiritual Practice Through Selected Teachings of the Netivot Shalom for his Capstone. He translated portions of the Hasidic Master’s writings on Shabbat and reflects on them through the eyes of a modern seeker. His hope is that these teachings and reflections will inspire others to deepen their own Shabbat and other Jewish practices.
Lev is a seasoned service leader and enthusiastic teacher who brings life experience, knowledge and wisdom along with beautiful music, meditation, and the teachings of his teachers, Rabbis Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, zt"l, Arthur Green, Sharon Cohen-Anisfeld, Ebn Leader, and Nehemia Polen, to name a few, to the Jewish community. He has a warm voice and a subtle, sensitive way of playing guitar that helps bring congregations into the music. Lev believes that everyone is a singer and works wonders with willing participants to create community through music. He weaves prayer, kavvanot (teachings and intentionality about prayer) and stories that enliven and deepen the worship experience. He also believes in what Reb Zalman called "Producer Judaism," meaning that it is up to the community to create the prayer/spiritual experience along with the Shaliach Tzibur, the community prayer leader.
He was the owner of Kolbo Fine Judaica in Brookline for almost thirty years until 2011. Lev is also a singer-songwriter and skilled finger-style guitarist. His CD, Breathing Still, is a collection of original songs. He and his wife Joyce live in Newton and have three daughters, three sons-in-law and as of this writing two beautiful grandchildren.