“We are here with purpose. Our lives have meaning.”
About Rabbi Ted
Through worship, teaching, counseling, and speaking, Rabbi Ted shares the spiritual gifts of Judaism, while appreciating that it is only one of the authentic spiritual traditions of the world. With gentleness and humor, he deeply affirms the integrity of each individual being.
Ordained in 1968 at the Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Rabbi Ted served in Los Angeles as a congregational and then a campus rabbi. In 1975, he earned a doctorate in Professional Psychology, with research focused on the nature of meditative and mystical states of consciousness. Since then, his work has bridged the psychological and the spiritual, encouraging deeper integration for greater freedom of personal action and understanding.
The model for the meditative synagogue began in Los Angeles in 1976, after Rabbi Ted and a small group gathered for High Holyday meditations, born out of his need to explore this form of Jewish worship. He shared both meditative practices and teaching with that group, and in 1978 officially formed Makom Ohr Shalom, a Synagogue for Jewish Spirituality.
When he moved to Seattle in 1993, Rabbi Ted and his wife, Ruth Neuwald Falcon, founded Bet Alef Meditative Synagogue. He completed his final year as Bet Alef's senior rabbi at the end of 2009 so that he could devote his time to writing, teaching, spiritual counseling, and interfaith work. He was the Scholar-in-Residence of Unity of Bellevue in 2010 and 2011.
With Imam Jamal Rahman and Pastor Don Mackenzie, he is one of the Interfaith Amigos. Karen Armstrong calls their "exuberant and courageous" new book, Religion Gone Astray: What We Found at the Heart of Interfaith (Skylight Paths, 2011), "an inspiration and example for all of us in these sadly polarized times." Their first book is Getting to the Heart of Interfaith: The Eye-Opening, Hope-Filled Friendship of a Pastor, a Rabbi & a Sheikh (Skylight Paths, 2009). He is co-author with David Blatner of Judaism For Dummies and author of A Journey of Awakening: Kabbalistic Meditations on the Tree of Life.