Maggid Jim Brule received s’micha as a maggid from Reb Maggid Yitzhak Buxbaum, in the line of Reb Shlomo Carlebach z”l and Reb Zalman Shachter-Sholomi z”l, nearly a decade ago. Jim is actively engaged in intensive multi-faith dialogues, including a multi-year partnership with a Baptist minister and a Muslim scholar. His school for Multi-Faith Transformational Storytelling has just completed its second year, and his faculty includes storytellers from many faith traditions. Jim revels in the joy of telling transformational stories—and awakening the maggid in each of us.
Rabbi Debra Smith (Reb Deb) is the founding Rabbi of Or Ha Lev Jewish Renewal Congregation in Succasunna, NJ. She is also a clinical social worker and marriage and family therapist. She is co-leader, with Ms. Shabiha Sheikh, of the Morris County Chapter of the national organization, Sisterhood of Salaam-Shalom. Rabbi Debra is the Rabbi in Residence at the Drew Theological School. She is a frequent speaker in mosques and churches on the topic of multi-faith issues. She received rabbinic ordination from ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal and a Masters in Jewish Studies from Gratz College in Philadelphia.
Dr. Shabiha Sheikh is a first-generation Muslim woman from Edison, NJ. She graduated from Rutgers University with a PharmD and works as a pharmacist in a veterans’ nursing home. She is the co-leader of the Morris County Chapter of Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom with Rabbi Debra Smith.
Rabbi Uzi Weingarten holds a Masters degree in Jewish Education and has studied spiritual psychology at the University of Santa Monica. He studied compassionate communication with internationally acclaimed teachers (Marshall Rosenberg, Selwa Said, and others), and is certified as an Advanced Trainer of Effective Communication Strategies. Uzi created the transformational Communicating with Compassion course, which he has taught since 2002 to great acclaim.