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Rabbi Max Chaiken


Rabbi Max Chaiken serves as the Associate Rabbi at Congregation Kol Ami in West Hollywood. There he directs The Open Yad Project, a community of adults in their 20s & 30s, facilitates weekly and holiday music for worship, and offers a creative and pastoral presence to the congregation. He was ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles in 2018, where he wrote his rabbinic thesis on economics, ethics, and Jewish law. He holds a B.A. in Economics and Public Policy from Brown University, and lives with his husband, Rabbi Danny Shapiro, and their dog Oogie.

Music & Teaching

Before beginning his rabbinic studies, Max spent several years working in synagogue religious schools and Jewish day schools. He has taught everything from Hebrew and prayer to second grade science and spelling, and he loves working with learners of all ages. Notably, he has also taught and led music in a wide range of settings, and music was one of the first ways he connected with his own Judaism. Rabbi Chaiken composes his own melodies for use in prayer as well, and has had several of them published through Transcontinental Music. You can find his self-produced 2012 album, "All That Breathes," on Spotify or iTunes. Take a listen to his most well-known song, Eliyahu Hanavi, here, or join him for one of his recent weekly Morning Music & Mindfulness services with Congregation Kol Ami.
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