Global Faith Forum

Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker

Congregation Beth Israel

Charlie Cytron-Walker has been the rabbi at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, TX since 2006. He is CBI’s first full-time rabbi. The Texas rabbi most recently was celebrated around the world as a hero for freeing himself and several congregants from a gunman in an 11-hour synagogue siege last January.

Rabbi Charlie is originally from Lansing, Michigan and he graduated from the University of Michigan in 1998. Among other college experiences, he spent forty-eight hours on the streets as someone who was homeless and danced for over twenty-four hours as a part of a Dance Marathon. After graduating, Rabbi Charlie worked at Focus: HOPE, a civil and human rights organization in Detroit, Michigan, and then became the assistant director of the Amherst Survival Center, which housed a food pantry, free store, and soup kitchen in North Amherst, Massachusetts.

Rabbi Charlie attended Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion at its Jerusalem and Cincinnati campuses, receiving his rabbinical ordination in 2006 and M.A. in Hebrew Letters in 2005. His rabbinical thesis was titled, “Jewish Service-Learning: Integrating Talmud Torah and Ma’asim Tovim”. As a student, he served congregations in Ishpeming, MI, Fort Walton Beach, FL, and Cincinnati, OH. During his time at HUC-JIR, he received multiple awards for his service to the community, along with an award for leadership from QESHET: A Network of LGBT Reform Rabbis.

Since Rabbi Charlie arrived at CBI he has worked to bring a sense of spirituality, compassion, and learning into the lives of our community. He loves finding a connection with people of every age and strives to carry forward the CBI tradition of welcoming all who enter into our congregation, from interfaith families to LGBT individuals and families to those seeking to find a spiritual home in Judaism, along with all others. In the community, he has developed positive relationships with local school districts and has organized interfaith gatherings including National Day of Prayer events and a memorial service on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. He is a past President of the South West Association of Reform Rabbis and serves on the steering committee of Peace Together.

Rabbi Charlie remains completely in love with Adena Cytron-Walker and simply adores his two daughters. His interests include cooking, learning about all things Jewish, dialogue on issues relating to religion, race, mental health, LGBT, etc., and spending time with his family.

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