David Kalender, Senior Rabbi
Judaism teaches that no matter where we are, what we know or what we believe, there’s always room for growth, and Rabbi Kalender is honored to help community members enhance their Jewish souls through knowledge, practice and engagement. Olam Tikvah now has over 100 Torah readers and Shelichay Tzibor (service leaders), representing congregants from post-b'nei mitzvah to octogenarians. Enthusiasm for all kinds of learning and spiritual growth is burgeoning—weekly Mishnah and Talmud classes, mini-courses on theology and history, Bible and Israel courses in partnership with other DC area institutions, book discussions, Hebrew language classes and Scholars-in-Residence. He also loves to learn and is a Senior Rabbinic Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute.
Rabbi Kalender grew up in an active Conservative congregation in Kansas City. Over the years, he developed a love of all things Jewish through family, synagogue life, and Camp Ramah. Eventually, he realized that he wanted his life to center on helping others find the joy and inspiration that comes from a traditional Jewish framework. He holds a BA in English from Columbia University and a BA and an MA in Jewish History from The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS). Israel is central to his life and he guides a group from Olam Tikvah to Israel almost every year.
The Kalenders feel blessed to be part of this wonderful shul community since 1998. David and his wife, Talya, the Director of Camper Care for Camp Ramah, have three children. Aryeh has just completed his time as a JDC Entwine Service Corp Fellow in Riga, Latvia, Yaira made Aliyah and has just finished her service as an instructor in the IDF, and Nadav recently completed one year working with underprivileged children in Netanya.
Beyond Glenbrook Road, Rabbi Kalender is engaged in the larger community as well. He serves as the Chairman of the Fairfax County Faith Communities in Action and has served as board member of the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, Gesher Jewish Day School and the Partnership to Prevent and End Homelessness in Fairfax County. Don’t hesitate to be in touch with your questions, concerns of the heart or mind, to study, or just to schmooze. Rabbi Kalender can be reached through the Olam Tikvah office (703)425-1880 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Invocation at the Virginia House of Delegates
One January 11, 2019, Rabbi Kalender was honored with the opportunity to deliver the invocation at the Virginia General Assembly.