Michael Silbert began his career in the Jewish community at Brandeis University where he earned degrees in Jewish Professional Leadership and Non-Profit Management. While working in Financial Resource Development at Boston University Hillel, he realized that he wanted to be working with Jewish students, their Jewish lives and their Jewish growth.
Pastoral care is one of the most important aspects of the rabbinate for Rabbi Silbert. His experiences surrounding the loss of his mother as a teenager taught him that pastoral care is not something that all rabbis are comfortable with, even though it ought to be one of the most important areas of their jobs. You learn when to talk and when to stay quiet. You have to know that you may not have the answers.
Rabbi Silbert is currently at Temple Beth David. The most important part of his philosophy is building meaningful Jewish relationships instead of programming. People don’t have relationships with synagogues, they have relationships with people. To accomplish this, he says, people have to be made to feel welcome, to feel wanted and to give them a reason to return.