They are leading and creating organizations and businesses of all kinds, responding to humanitarian crises, writing novels, educating at all levels, creating works of art, and so much more! In celebration of Pardes’s 50th, we are highlighting 50 standout alumni whose accomplishments exemplify the rich texture of the Pardes community worldwide.
Rabbi Marc Baker is currently the President & CEO of Combined Jewish Philanthropies, the Jewish Federation of Greater Boston.
CAN YOU SHARE A SPECIAL PARDES MEMORY?
I’ll never forget when Jill Baker, Evan Wolkenstein, and I spoke at a community lunch to say thank you and goodbye after four incredible years. We shared reflections inspired by the pasukim “Hamalach hagoel oti,” then sang the song in three-part harmony. That memory still brings tears to my eyes.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PASSAGE, PASUK, OR TEXT?
I’ve been obsessed with chapter 19 of Shemot (Exodus) for decades. I think of it as communal preparation for communal revelation, and it captures so many aspects of what a covenantal community means to me.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SPOT IN JERUSALEM?
Pizza Sababa because it’s where Jill and I went on our first official date!
IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY SHABBAT GUEST, WHO WOULD IT BE?
I would love to have dinner with Rav Kook to ask him how to make sense of 21st century Zionism, Jewish Peoplehood, and pluralism. I would ask him where he sees the Divine even in places that seem so fragmented and broken right now.
WHAT DOES THE JEWISH WORLD NEED MOST RIGHT NOW?
Ahavat Yisrael and Arevut – We need to love one another, even people who we might not always like, and we need to remember that we are bound up together and collectively responsible for one another.