Waking Up To Life — 18 Minutes With Rabbi Josh

Join Rabbi Josh Bennett from Temple Israel in West Bloomfield, Michigan as he explores enlightenment moments in life that truly WAKE US UP!!!

Welcome to “Waking Up TO LIFE With Rabbi Josh” – a podcast built around conversations with people in our community who have found enlightenment in their lives. While these events may not seem life-changing, our conversation will reveal how these moments shape the way my guests see the world. This informal conversation and insights from Jewish tradition may change your life as well. And if not, it’s just 18 minutes with me! L’chayim! To Life!

Featuring Rabbi Josh Bennett of Temple Israel in West Bloomfield, Michigan

In this episode of the Podcast, I welcome my best friend and colleague, Rabbi Adam Morris.  Rabbi Morris has served as a Rabbi for 27 years in Nashville, Charlotte, Adelaide Australia, Atlanta, and now in Denver.  His experience helping to prepare a deaf student for her Bat Mitzvah helped him understand what it means to 'engage in the study of Torah'.  The lessons he learned with this young woman have impacted the way he approaches Torah learning every day.  Our conversation give us all clues to help us WAKE UP TO LIFE!

Coinciding with the Torah Portion, Lech Lecha, which celebrates Abraham's choice to leave his ancestral home to become the father of monotheism and the Jewish People, we welcome Jason Hillman to the show.  Mr. Hillman is currently serving as the Basketball Chief of Staff and Team Legal Counsel for the Cleveland Cavaliers.  His decision to leave Detroit, his childhood home, to take a position in Cleveland with the Cavaliers was an opportunity and a personal reckoning.  This open conversation may offer insight into our ability to take advantage when the world gives us the chance to do so.  Join me as we chat about his choice to WAKE UP TO LIFE!

Please join me as I welcome my friend and colleague, Reverend Steve Norman who is a speaker and writer-in-residence for Winning At Home.  This organization is a faith based program devoted to counseling and guidance for parents and families in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  I met Steve when he was a Pastor at Kensington Church in Troy, Michigan and we have remained friends.  On today's show, he will share an experience which allowed life to get in the way of his obligations as a parent.  Join me as we learn from Steve how to WAKE UP TO LIFE!!!

Mitchell Barnett is one of the co-founders of the Urban Hockey Foundation based in Detroit, Michigan.  His experiences in college, on the ice, and in his non-profit work helped him learn the value of slowing down in life.  Today, he joins the podcast to share some of these life lessons with all of us.  In just 18 minutes, his story will teach us all to take a moment to "Wake Up To Life"!!!

Dr. Dani Wyzgoski is a Pediatric Resident at Detroit Children's Hospital.  She is also a product of Temple Israel's youth group (YFTI).  In this episode she will share wisdom she learned from her grandmother who is a SURVIVOR of the Holocaust and the COVID-19 Pandemic of 2020.  The lessons she learned from her grandma can help us all live our best lives.  Join us as we "Wake Up To Life"

In this episode we will chat with David Dwaihy who will share his ability to overcome anxiety by attacking it head on.  These lessons apply to life, the classroom, and the soccer pitch.  A math teacher and co-founding owner of the Detroit City Football Club, this bio is taken from the DCFC website:  


Dave Dwaihy was born in Detroit and raised in Grosse Pointe Woods. Dave attended Kalamazoo College, where he played soccer, studied math and first met fellow DCFC owner, Sean Mann. Dave has taught math and coached soccer at University Liggett School since 2002. Dave oversees soccer operations for Le Rouge, a role in which he works primarily as liaison between the coaching staff, players and ownership group. Dave lives in Grosse Pointe Woods with his wife and their two young children. Nicknamed “The Touch” by DCFC supporters, Dwaihy is the only owner (to date) to suit up for both DCFL and DCFC.  A midfielder for Le Rouge, he pretty much played wherever he wanted and scored whenever he wanted as a member of Hubbard Farms in their inaugural season season. 

Meet Rabbi Yarden Blumstein, the Teen Director at the Friendship Circle in West Bloomfield, Michigan.  The friendship between Rabbi Yarden and Rabbi Josh has blossomed over the past two decades.  Together they will explore the power of "Being In The Moment".  Two rabbis from two very different movements in the Jewish Community come together for friendship, education, and enlightenment.  This is an episode not to be missed.

This week, we welcome Annabel Singer to the show.  A graduate of The University of Pennsylvania and former President of the Youth Federation of Temple Israel, Annabel has played an important role in the development of our synagogue youth community.  In this episode, she shares important insight into the power of seeing opportunities where others see closed doors.  Positioned to be one of the natural leaders of her generation, she has a message for people of all ages:  "Endings are truly beginnings!"

In this episode, I chat with Josh Tobias about his decision to leave a career in commercial real estate to become a Funeral Director with the Ira Kaufman Chapel in Southfield, Michigan.  The lessons he has learned in this communal position has taught him much about LIFE and DEATH.  Join me for an interesting look into the challenges of pivoting and the reward of finding something that motivates and drives a career.

This week we meet Allison Woll Parr and hear the harrowing story of a near kidnapping and carjacking at Somerset Mall in Troy, Michigan.  Despite this experience and its affirmation of her strength, it is the loss of her father in a tragic car accident that teaches the most about the meaning of life.  Now...as a mother, wife, and community activist, her story is helping others to grow.

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