Adam Zagoria-Moffet

The Rabbinical School



Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona

Degree Program, JTS:
 Master of Arts, Jewish Thought

Education: Bachelors of Arts, Hamline University

After JTS (I plan to). . . work as a congregational rabbi.

Extracurricular/cocurricular activities: Communications chair, Rabbinical School Student Organization, JTS; teacher and mitzvah coach, B'nai Jeshurun (NYC); teacher, Pleasantville Community Synagogue (Pleasantville, New York)

Internship(s): Summer rabbinic fellow, Rabbis for Human Rights-North America (now called T'ruah)

Favorite class at JTS: I suppose I'm a bit of an anomaly because I find grammar beautiful, and I deeply enjoyed Hebrew Grammar with Rabbi Joel Roth. Learning the binyanim systematically and thoroughly has done wonders for my text skills and my spoken Hebrew.

Best JTS experience: I'd have to say that I don't have just one . . . so in general, the opportunity to build personal and professional relationships that have allowed me to grow as a person. This past summer, I had the opportunity to work with T'ruah, where I brought a faith-based perspective to legal advocacy work against human trafficking at Safe Horizon. I've also been able to participate in and organize study groups on texts or different theological perspectives within Judaism outside of class. These have deeply enriched my education here.

Three favorite things about living in New York City: My favorite things about living in New York City are (1) the food; (2) the incredible access to music, art, and culture; and (3) the amazingly diverse Jewish community present here.

What moved you to become a rabbi at JTS? I want to show others the beauty that I find in Judaism, and I believe that JTS offers the best preparation for me to do so. My interest in the rabbinate was cemented when I had the opportunity to work side by side with rabbis who spoke out against the human and animal abuses taking place at the Agriprocessors plant in Postville, Iowa. In seeing their ability to externalize the words of Torah that we should tzedek tzedek tirdof (justice, justice shall you pursue), I saw the potential in myself to do the same kind of work.

When is Torah most alive for you in your JTS experience? For me, Torah is most alive in the discussions I have with my classmates. The peer group I've developed in The Rabbinical School is unparalleled when it comes to exploring new ideas about God, Torah, and the world, as well as better understanding and clarifying the perspectives I brought with me.

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