Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, better known as ‘Reb Zalman,’ is widely considered as one of the most important spiritual teachers of our time.
Born in Zholkiew, Poland, in 1924, his family fled Nazi oppression in 1938 and landed in New York City in 1941. Descended from a distinguished family of Belzer Hasidim, he became a HaBaD Hasid as a teenager while still living in Antwerp, Belgium. He was later ordained by HaBaD-Lubavitch in 1947 and became one of the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s first generation of outreach workers. He later earned his MA in psychology from Boston University in 1956 and a DHL from Hebrew Union College in 1968. He is professor emeritus of Psychology of Religion and Jewish Mysticism at Temple University and is World Wisdom Chair emeritus at Naropa University. Today he is known as the father of the Jewish Renewal and Spiritual Eldering movements, and for his pioneering work in interfaith dialogue, and is widely considered one of the world’s foremost authorities on Hasidism and Kabbalah. He is the author of Spiritual Intimacy: A Study of Counseling in Hasidism (1991), From Age-ing to Sage-ing (1995), Jewish with Feeling: Guide to a Meaningful Jewish Practice (2005), and co-author of A Heart Afire: Stories and Teachings of the Early Hasidic Masters (2009). Reb Zalman currently lives in Boulder, Colorado.