Presentations and Appearances

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Rabbi Isaacs is available for speaking engagements and lectures.  To discuss bringing him to your community please send him an e-mail.

His most popular topics include:

Listen to her voice: Conflicting views of women in Jewish tradition     

An examination of biblical and talmudic views of women, and where we stand today vis a vis women in ritual, scholarship and parenting.

Ascending Jacob’s Ladder                                                                                 

This interactive presentation allows participants to study and explore the role of angels and evil spirits in Jewish tradition, including the Bible, Talmud and Prayerbook.

Talking to God and Really Meaning It: How to Make Prayer Work in Your Life                                                                                                             

Presenting a unique methodology for exploring the mechanics of prayer and how prayer can be used in real-life situations.

Kosher Living: It’s More than Just the Food                                               

Based on Rabbi Isaacs’ book of the same name, this lively presentation  illustrates how keeping kosher really means to live an ethical life.

New Sounds in the Synagogue                                                                         

Using his guitar, Rabbi Isaacs will demonstrate the origins of Jewish music and the many directions in which Jewish music, especially liturgical, are heading.

Sex where you least expect it                                                                         

Using study texts, Rabbi Isaacs presents a new understanding of the Garden of Eden story, in which man and woman discover their sexuality.

Judaism, Magic and Superstition                                                                     

Based on Rabbi Isaacs’ book “Divination, Magic and Healing”, this presentation examines the role of superstition in the Jewish life cycle and all of its events.

What Happens After I Die?                                                                             

Rabbi Isaacs presents Jewish views of the afterlife, the soul, heaven, hell and reincarnation. Text handouts will add to the interactive nature of this presentation.

Bubbe Meises: Jewish Myths, Jewish Realities                                                   

Jews have had a long and illustrious history. Over the centuries many misunderstandings, myths and misconceptions and bubbe meises (old wives’ tales) have been circulated and handed down. This presentation examines some of the more interesting bubbe meises and how they have influenced Jewish living.

Entering the Bible                                                                                                       

This interactive presentation will demonstrate new ways of studying Torah and learning the relevance of a text. It will include a variety of techniques, including dance midrash, and biblical psychodrama.

Jewish Cultural Literacy: Birth of a Glossary of Jewish Life                       

To be a Jew is to be immersed in a body of knowledge that represents the thoughts and behaviors of Jewish life. Jewish ignorance continues to abound and the most basic terms are either vaguely familiar or unknown to most modern Jews. This presentation will showcase the theory behind cultural literacy, based upon Rabbi Isaacs’ book The Glossary of Jewish Life. There will be plenty of audience participation and opportunities for participants to test their own Jewish literacy.

Confronting the Challenges of Moral Education: Raising a Mensch   

How can one be sure that one’s children will grow up right? What kind of people do you want your children to be? What does Judaism have to say about good parenting. This presentation will explore a variety of Jewish sources on parenting and its many challenges in modern times.

Love Notes, Packages and Mandelbread: Grandparenting for Jewish Identity                                                                                                                     

This presentation will offer a perspective on how Jewish grandparents can help raise their grandchildren to have a solid Jewish identity throughout the celebration of Jewish life.

Do Animals Have Souls? A Pet-Lover’s Guide to Spirituality                         

This presentation will offer answers to spiritual questions related to pets and animals, including: Can I sit shiva for my dog; Is it appropriate to say the Mourner’s Kaddish for a pet; is there a blessing for my cat?  What’s a Bark Mitzvah? Do Animals have souls?

Mysteries of the Night Sky                                                                                 

This presentation’s topics will include the Jewish measure of time,  signs of the Jewish Zodiac, the importance of the sun and moon in Jewish thought, Astronomy in Rabbinic thought and Jewish astrology.

How Leonard Cohen taught Judaism to the world                               

Leonard Cohen was not only a major entertainer, he was a teacher with his own unique Torah. Many of his songs are used in worship services on Shabbat and on the High Holy days. This presentation will examine the Jewish thematic songs of Leonard Cohen.          

The Passover Haggadah: How to make it come alive.                             

There are more than 3000 published haggadot. This presentation will included a brief history of the Haggadah (I will bring as part of my show and tell several haggadot of interest, including several which I have published and the famous Moss Haggadah that sold for more than 1 million dollars).  I will also present a variety of ideas for enlivening your Passover seder, including samples from Seder In Motion: A Haggadah for the mind, body and soul. (Ron and Leora Isaacs)

Let’s Eat:  Jewish Food and Faith                                                                             

Food is an instrument of both community and identity. Jews love to feed and be fed. There is no way that Jews can practice Judaism cultural or religiously without food. Based on my newest book (co-authored by Lori Stein) “Let’s Eat: Jewish Food and Faith”, I will demonstrate the  connection between food and Jewish values, food traditions around the world, and how food, eating and community are pillars of Jewish culture. You are in for a culinary treat that will not only whet your appetite but have you asking for more.

 Ask the Rabbi: Answers to Extraordinary Questions                       

Everyone asks questions. For Jews, asking questions is a national pastime. The great sages of Jewish tradition ask every conceive question about every conceivable topics. This presentation (based on the book Ask the Rabbi)  will present  so of the  most interesting questions that I have ever been asked and  how I answered them. .  Here are some samples:

  • What’s the best place to find God?
  • Have you ever heard God’s voice? Why doesn’t God talk to people anymore?
  • Has God every answered one of your prayers?
  • Is it okay according to Judaism to meditate?
  • Is it true that there is a blessing for everyone?
  • Who wrote the Torah?
  • What are angels, and do you believe in them?
  • Who evented the game of dreidel?
  • Is it true that Judaism allows polygamy?
  • What is “glatt kosher”?
  • Why can’t an Orthodox man shake hands with a woman?
  • Is there a Jewish view of homosexuality?
  • Does Judaism have anything to say about reincarnation?
  • What is the Jewish view of assisted suicide?
  • Is it every permissible to tell a lie?
  • Do Jews believe in hell?
  • Who are the Hasidim, and why do they dress like that?
  • What is Reconstructionist and Renewal Judaism?
  • Why do Jews like Chinese food?
  • What is the origin of the Jewish star?
  • Was Jesus really Jewish?
  • Who are the Jews for Jesus?
  • Why isn’t the Temple being rebuilt?
  • Is there a significance to different kinds of kippot?
  • What exactly is “kabbalah”?
  • What are some things that you would do to make services more interesting so that more people would want to come?
  • What is a soul?  Is there an afterlife for it?

 Sing Along with Rabbi Ron                                                                                 

This fun interactive program includes lots of teaching and audience participation. (Audience will also be invited to play a variety of rhythm instruments and join in the singing) Topics will include: Brief summary of rabbinic views of music in prayer, history of the niggun, the niggun in Jewish folktales, the world’s most famous Jewish song of joy, a taste of Adon Olam and Oseh Shalom melodies,  Eurovision winning Israeli songs, real story behind the Hatikvah.

Talmudic Advice for Living a Long Life                                                             

In this presentation we will study Talmud and learn the rabbinic recipe for living a long life using Talmudic texts.

Life’s Lessons of Healing through Music                                                   

Based on his forthcoming book  Chords of Comfort, Rabbi Isaacs will present a lesson on Jewish healing using his stories of hospice patients in his role as a bedside musician.  The presentation will also present examples of healing prayers and healing Psalms.

For more information, please send him an e-mail.

Following is a partial list of his prior speaking engagements:

  • Women’s Hadassah Book Club of Bethlehem, PA
  • Adath Shalom, Morris Plains, NJ
  • Neve Shalom, Metuchen, NJ
  • Temple Beth Ahm, Springfield,NJ
  • Temple Beth Ahm, Aberdeen, NJ
  • Beth Shalom, Livingston, NJ
  • Temple Shir Shalom, Gainsville, FL
  • Temple Emeth, Delray Beach, FL
  • Temple Torah, Boynton Beach, FL
  • J.C.C. of Albany, NY
  • Congregation Ohev Shalom, Marlboro, NJ
  • Marlboro Jewish Center, Marlboro, NJ
  • Temple Israel, South Merrick, Long Island
  • Temple Emanuel, Bayonne, NJ
  • Beth David Congregation, Rochester, NY
  • Temple Beth El, Cranford, NJ
  • Congregation Beth Torah, Richardson, TX
  • JCC of Staten Island, NY
  • Temple Sinai, Drescher, PA
  • White Meadow Lake Temple, White Meadow, NJ
  • Congregation Adath Israel, Middletown, CT
  • B’nai Shalom, Olnay MD

He has also appeared on:

  • “In Conversation” (television program)
  • Religion on the Line (WABC, New York)
  • Ruth Jacobs Show (WEVD, New York)