Rabbi Max Chaiken

Rabbi Max Chaiken serves as the associate rabbi at Congregation Kol Ami in West Hollywood, CA. There he directs weekly worship music, and facilitates The Open Yad Project, a community of young adults in their 20s and 30s. 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 also holds a BA in economics and public policy from Brown University. Rabbi Chaiken lives with his husband, Rabbi Danny Shapiro, and their dog, Oogie.

The Heart of Torah: How Our Actions Bring it to Life

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Max Chaiken

October 1, 2020
What makes the Torah different from any other book we read? I posed this question years ago to a group of second graders as we began a lesson about Simchat Torah. “We read it from a scroll,” one student answered. “It’s in Hebrew!” added another, excitedly. “There are no pictures,”...

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry – Even in a Pandemic

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Max Chaiken

September 21, 2020
Aligned with the rhythm of our earth turning on its axis, our season of returning (t’shuvah) continues its turn. We move from the introspection and repentance of Yom Kippur, our Day of Atonement, to the holiday of Sukkot. Our fall festival, also known as z’man simchateinu (our time of happiness)...

The New Year is a Chance to Realign Our Actions with Our Values

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Max Chaiken

September 15, 2020
How can we hold ourselves accountable for our actions? How can we follow through with changing our own lives? At this time of year, and in this week in particular, questions like these might weigh heavily on our minds. The Jewish tradition teaches us to engage in t’shuvah during the...

Facing Mortality and Choosing Life

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Max Chaiken

September 6, 2020
You stand this day, all of you, before the Eternal your God – you tribal heads, you elders, and you officials, all the men of Israel, you children, you women, even the stranger within your camp, from wood chopper to water drawer – to enter into the covenant of the...