Rabbi Mark Kaiserman became the Senior Rabbi of The Reform Temple of Forest Hills in July 2013. He is excited to return to his childhood New York City and be a part of this dynamic synagogue community.
During his rabbinic career, Rabbi Kaiserman has worked at all ends of the country. He served as the rabbi of Temple Emanu-El of West Essex in Livingston NJ, as assistant/associate rabbi of Temple Emanu-El in Dallas, Texas, and an Interim Rabbi at Congregation B’nai Tzedek in Fountain Valley, California.
Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Rabbi Kaiserman received a B.A. in English Literature and Judaic Studies from the State University of New York at Binghamton, graduating Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1992. He earned his M.A. in Hebrew Letters in 1996 and his rabbinic ordination from the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion’s Cincinnati campus in 1997 with several distinguished honors including the Simon Lazarus Memorial Prize for the Highest Academic Standing in the Graduating Class.
Working with all ages, Rabbi Kaiserman has especially focused on connecting with youth in both formal and informal settings. He has been honored with Youth Worker of the Month by RJYouthworker and for his work with NFTY’s Texas/Oklahoma Region and the URJ Greene Family Camp.
With a childhood love for acting, he has co-written numerous popular Purim shpiels for all ages adapting the music from shows such as The Sound of Music, Grease, Fiddler on the Roof, Disney, and The Wizard of Oz.
Interfaith work has been a concentration throughout Rabbi Kaiserman’s career serving as a board member at both the Presbyterian Interfaith Clergy in Dallas and the Livingston Interfaith Clergy Association where he helped develop Clergy Corner, an interfaith television talk show.
While in rabbinical school, Rabbi Kaiserman served as student rabbi in several small pulpits Texarkana, Texas, Victoria, Texas, and Quincy, Illinois. His adorable dog Quincy is named after the Illinois city as well as in honor of the hometown of the second US president, John Adams.
He is an advocate of social media as a way to share thoughts and connect with people near and far including his Twitter account at @markkaiserman and his blog at www.RaMaKblog.com. He is an amateur film buff and a diehard New York Mets fan no matter where they may be in the standings.