Rabbi Andrew Hahn is excited to lead services this year with Cantorial Soloist Emily Stern for the SRQ Jews Without Borders Open Door High Holy Days. Together, they will create dynamic, eclectic services that are ever-new and fresh to the moment, while at the same time deeply familiar.
Affectionately known as "Reb Drew" (or "Rabbi Andrew"), Rabbi Hahn combines a variety of tools to introduce Jewish wisdom to an increasingly global, religious village. He holds a Ph.D. in Jewish Thought from the Jewish Theological Seminary (Conservative) and received rabbinic ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (Reform), both in New York City. He has also studied at the feet of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, founder of the Jewish Renewal Movement. Dubbed “a Shlomo Carlebach for the twenty-first century,” Reb Drew weaves traditional Jewish liturgy and musical modes into the increasingly popular call-and-response style chant from India, known as Kirtan.
Reb Drew hails from Pittsburgh, PA where he, literally, grew up in Mr. Roger’s neighborhood. He attended the conservatory at Carnegie-Mellon University before transferring to Hampshire College. After completing a B.A. in philosophy and literature at Hampshire, Reb Drew lived in Berlin, Germany where, ironically, he first discovered a deeper connection to Judaism.
When he returned to the States, Reb Drew matriculated at the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), where he completed his Ph.D., with a focus on medieval Jewish philosophy and creation theology. During this period, he studied and researched in Israel for two years, where he was a fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. Upon earning his Ph.D., Reb Drew immediately entered rabbinical school at Hebrew Union College-JIR, where he was ordained in 2003. During this time – and before discovering himself as the Kirtan Rabbi – Reb Drew led congregations in Fredericksburg, VA and in Great Barrington, MA. Reb Drew has taught widely as an adult educator in the New York City area and was an adjunct professor at rabbinical schools including JTS and the Academy for Jewish Religion. Reb Drew also taught religion at the collegiate level at institutions such as New York University and Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA.
Reb Drew served as Visiting Rabbi for Metivta: a Center for Contemplative Judaism in Los Angeles. He has long been resident faculty at CLAL: the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership in New York, where he recently founded the not-for-profit Kirtan Rabbi Prayer Initiative. As well, Reb Drew currently teaches both at ALEPH'S Rabbinic Ordination Program and at their biennial Kallah gathering.
In all that he does, Reb Drew seeks to make Torah accessible, deep and fun — to Jew and non-Jew alike — in a way that is participatory and memorable. He has produced three CDs: “Kirtan Rabbi: Live” (2008); “Achat Sha’alti: One Thing I Seek” (2010); and “Nondual” (2015); as well as a single, Shiviti. In the coming year, Reb Drew hopes to release a fourth song cycle entitled Hallel.
For more information on Rabbi Andrew Hahn, please go to his website: www.KirtanRabbi.com.