Neal Gold teaches and writes about Jewish texts, Israel, and intersections between Jewish life and the contemporary world. He is also a student, recently completing an MA in Near Eastern & Judaic Studies at Brandeis University.
Neal is a lecturer for Me'ah through Hebrew College, courses of study that empower adults to understand Judaism on a deeper level. He is the Jewish Chaplain & Hillel Director at Babson College in Wellesley, MA, and the President of the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis. He has served as the national Director of Program & Content for ARZA, the Association of Reform Zionists of America, where he continues to work on Special Projects. For over 18 years he led congregations in New Jersey and Massachusetts. He received smicha from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and graduated Colgate University with a B.A. in Philosophy and Religion.
Neal has served on the national board of ARZA and was a delegate for ARZENU, the international Reform Jewish movement, at the 37th World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem in October 2016. He is a founding member of the President’s Council of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.
For years he worked in Israel with the Ziv Tzedakah Fund and noted educator and writer Danny Siegel, teaching thousands of teenagers about creative and offbeat ways in which people do the work of World-Repair. He has also been involved with creating meaningful interfaith projects, especially Jewish-Muslim dialogue. He is a founding board member of the Kavod Tzedakah Collective.
Neal is a prolific writer, teacher, counselor, and social activist, who loves how the beauty and power of Jewish texts and traditions unite communities, inform Jewish souls, and transform the world. He is the editor of Radiance: The Selected Prose and Poetry of Danny Siegel (scheduled for publication in April 2020 from the Jewish Publication Society). Some of his recent writings have appeared in The Sacred Exchange: Creating a Jewish Money Ethic (2019), Fragile Dialogue: New Voices in Liberal Zionism, Navigating the Journey: A Guide to the Jewish Life Cycle, and A Life of Meaning (all 2018), and The Sacred Table: Creating a Jewish Food Ethic (2012), as well as regular writings on Israel in the weekly Torah portion for ARZA. His Master’s thesis (2018), “The Theology of Redemption in Contemporary American Reform Liturgy,” traced the history of traditional theological ideas—such as messianism, the resurrection of the dead, and the ingathering of the exiles—in liberal Jewish prayerbooks.
He is a perpetual teacher of Torah texts and Jewish tradition to adults, teenagers, and kids. He especially loves Tanakh, Talmud, Midrash, early Chasidic spirituality, the roots of Zionism, and points of connection and departure between spiritual traditions of different faith traditions. He has also led a wide variety of off-the-beaten path, adventurous trips to Israel for adults, teens, and families. He loves the history of rock and roll, as well as blues, jazz, Americana, and other indigenous forms of American music.
Some of the adult education courses Neal has taught in recent years include: "Being Israel," “Crossing the Street: Jews and Muslims in Conversation,” “The Old, Weird Bible,” “Classic Yiddish Stories,” “Big Ideas: The Beliefs of Judaism,” “The Joseph Narrative: The Hidden Novella in the Torah,” “Sages & Dreamers: The Lives of the Sages of the Talmud,” “Reading Maimonides,” “Finding My Personal God,” “Money, Sex & Power in Jewish Texts,” and “Biblical & Jewish Themes in the Lyrics of Bob Dylan.” He has served on the faculty of the URJ Adult Summer Learning Institute (Kallah) and NFTY’s Leadership Summits.
He is married to Heidi Gold and they have two sons, Avi and Jeremy. Neal enjoys fishing, writing, playing bass guitar, yoga, and highly amplified music.