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Rabbi Taff Bio

 

Born and raised in Albany, New York, Rabbi Reuven Taff is the Rabbi Emeritus of Mosaic Law Congregation.  Before his retirement, Rabbi Taff was the Rabbi of Mosaic Law Congregation from 1995 to 2020. Prior to his arrival , the rabbi served for seven years as Headmaster of Gesher Jewish Day School of Northern Virginia, the only Jewish Day School serving that suburb of Washington, D.C.  From 1974-1985 he served Beth El Congregation in Phoenix, Arizona as Cantor and Director of Education.  He also founded and directed Camp Shemesh, a Hebrew-speaking Jewish summer day camp.  During the early seventies and eighties, the rabbi served as Rosh Musica (Music Director) at Camp Ramah in Ojai, California.

A trained educator and cantor, Rabbi Taff studied at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York City.  He received his B.A. in Religious Studies from California State University, Northridge and holds a Masters of Arts Degree in Teaching (M.A.T.) and another Masters of Arts Degree in Judaica, (M.A.) both from the American Jewish University, formerly the University of Judaism in Los Angeles. He pursued his rabbinic studies at Ohr Torah Rabbinical Seminary in Israel, where he was ordained in 1988.  In March of 2017, Rabbi Taff was awarded a Doctor of Divinity (honoris causa) by the Jewish Theological Seminary.

A past president of the Board of Rabbis of Greater Sacramento, Rabbi Taff is affiliated with the Rabbinical Assembly, the Cantor’s Assembly, the Jewish Educators Assembly, and the Northern California Board of Rabbis and is active in the Interfaith Council of Sacramento.

He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Northern California Region of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and currently serves on AIPAC’S National Council.  In addition, the rabbi is a member of the Rabbinic Cabinet of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), where he also has served on the JFNA Speakers Bureau.  In 2004, the rabbi, along with members of his congregation, founded the Sacramento Committee on Conscience, a grass roots organization whose goal was to bring about an end to the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan. The Committee was instrumental in the California State Assembly passing a bill mandating divestment from companies doing business with the government of Sudan, which supported the Darfur genocide.  Governor Schwarzenegger signed the bill in September, 2007.

In October 2003, Rabbi Taff was honored by the State of Israel in recognition of his exemplary leadership and unwavering support for the State of Israel and Israel Bonds.  In 1999, he was honored by President George H.W. Bush to preside over and conduct the first annual White House Chanukah Celebration with the President, Vice-President and their families.

Since his arrival in Sacramento, he has been asked to give testimony to committees in the California State Legislature on a variety of issues, including the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the Minimum Wage Act.  In March 1998, he was the keynote speaker for the Annual Conference on the California Interfaith Coalition.  In November 1999, at the invitation of Bishop William K. Weigand, the rabbi was invited to give the homily at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, considered to be the first time a rabbi has preached at a Catholic Mass in Sacramento.   In October, 2015 the rabbi was honored to speak at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Charleston, South Carolina, the oldest AME church in the south (http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/on-sunday-the-rabbi-went-to-church/).  Rabbi Taff’s articles and op-ed commentaries have been published in the Sacramento Bee, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Jerusalem Post, Times of Israel and other newspapers and periodicals. 

Rabbi Taff’s passion is teaching children and adults of all ages.  Outside of his rabbinic and pastoral duties, he is a devoted sports fan and is particularly fond of the Sacramento Kings (especially when they are winning!). In his “spare time”, the rabbi enjoys reading, music, writing and spending time with his wife, Judy Abrams Kahler Taff, her adult son Matt and daughter Chelsea, his adult sons and daughter-in-law, Avi, Amy, Josh and Ari and his three precious grandchildren, Ethan, Eliana and Noa.  Rabbi Taff can be contacted at rabbi@mosaiclaw.org or (916) 488-1122 x113.

Wed, August 3 2022
6 Av 5782

Thu, October 6 2022 11 Tishrei 5783