The Office of the Chaplain United States House of Representatives

Rabbi Joel Levenson

Congregation B'nai Jacob
Woodbridge , CT

Sponsor: Rep. Rosa De Lauro, (D-CT)
Date of Prayer: 07/10/2012

One Minute Speech Given in Recognition of the Guest Chaplain:

Ms. DeLAURO. Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege this morning to welcome Rabbi Joel Levenson of Congregation B'nai Jacob in Woodbridge, Connecticut, to the House of Representatives.

When Joel graduated from Miami University of Ohio, he thought about going to either law school or rabbinical school, but thought the world already had too many lawyers and not enough men of faith. After graduating from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York and serving under Rabbi Albert Lewis––the subject of Mitch Albom's book, ‘‘Have a Little Faith''––in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Rabbi Levenson came to Woodbridge, Connecticut, where he has been the spiritual leader of Congregation B'nai Jacob since 2008.

There he has gained a reputation as a dynamic and inspiring presence on the pulpit, and he; his wife, Leora, who is with us today; and his children, Shir, Sam, and Gideon, have become warm and caring members of the community. We are joined by what we call the mishpucha up in the gallery this morning, and we welcome them all today.

Over his time in Woodbridge, Rabbi Levenson has been dedicated to promoting social justice and spiritual growth throughout Connecticut, and he has worked to foster a strong sense of Jewish identity, a joyful and inspiring congregation, and innovative educational opportunities throughout the synagogue.

Rabbi Levenson personally teaches preschool classes and meets with and works with Woodbridge teenagers, including leading them on trips to Israel. He has also worked extensively with Outreach to young families. And he is a dedicated cyclist and triathlete who has taken part in the Israel ride, a yearly ride across the 400 miles from Jerusalem to Eliat.

I thank Rabbi Levenson for his commitment to improving our community and for his profound words this morning.

Rabbi Levenson , we thank you for leading us in today's invocation.

Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

We invoke your blessing for good judgment, wisdom and understanding upon this House and all of its esteemed members.

Keep them mindful of our trust. Bestow upon them strength, determination, and willpower, to do instead of just to pray, to become instead of merely to wish.

Watch over the men & women who serve our country. For Your sake and ours, may our land may be safe, secure, and a source of goodness, and our lives blessed.

May we repair this world, and fill it with decency, justice and peace. A world for which the prophet Isaiah prayed centuries ago when he said: �Let justice well up as water and righteousness as a mighty stream.�

May the words that we pray, and the deeds that we do be acceptable before You, O Lord, our ever–present inspiration, rock and redeemer.

And let us say�Amen.

To learn more about Members who have sponsored a Guest Chaplain, please visit the Congressional Biographical Directory