John Spitzer | In My Own Words

My religious tradition elevates teaching, learning, peace, justice and mercy to the level of mission. It is for such a mission as this that I was created. Whenever I am able to advance these qualities, I help to realize my potentials, create meaning in my life and help to mend a broken world. Here I find creativity, growth, meaning and great satisfaction.

Why do you do what you do?

My religious tradition elevates teaching, learning, peace, justice and mercy to the level of mission. It is for such a mission as this that I was created. Whenever I am able to advance these qualities, I help to realize my potentials, create meaning in my life and help to mend a broken world. Here I find creativity, growth, meaning and great satisfaction.

What is on your bucket list?

Most of my bucket list is about travel and family. I would love to take my children and grandchildren on tour of Israel. I would like to travel to different places with my wife — places like Samarkand and areas in South America. I would like to walk on the Appalachian Trail and ride a motorcycle across the country.

What is on your mind?

I am concerned about the emergence of radical conservatism in our country. It seems to believe that there are simple solutions to complex problems, that the rich deserve continued and additional benefits while the poor continue to lose ground. The widening gap between the haves and have-nots is obscene. That having been said, I celebrate the accomplishments of our democratic ideas and our human ingenuity. The challenges of the present and the future are opportunities for us to prove that we can make good, peaceful and just choices.

ABOUT JOHN SPITZER
WHO: John H. Spitzer, rabbi emeritus,Temple Israel, Canton; married to Cheri Spitzer; two sons, Joshua Daniel and Gabriel Ethan (Ashley Gross); two grandchildren, Ezra James and Oliver Neal.

EDUCATION: Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from Washington University, St. Louis; bachelor of Hebrew Letters, master of Hebrew Letters, doctor of Divinity, Hebrew Union College; Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati; doctor of Ministry, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Pittsburgh; doctor of Humane Letters,Walsh University, North Canton.

CURRENT POSITION: Associate professor of Jewish studies,Walsh University; director of the Jewish/Catholic Studies Institute, Walsh University; consulting in facilitation for strategic planning and consensus building.

COMMUNITY BOARDS: President, Coming Together Stark County.