Rabbinic Intern Zevi Lowenberg
In the fall of 2017 we welcomed Rabbinic Intern Zevi Lowenberg. Zevi, a Baltimore native – and die-hard Orioles fan – to Shelter Rock Jewish Center. Zevi graduated from West Virginia University in 2015 with his Bachelor of Arts in sociology and anthropology from the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences. Lowenberg started college to pursue a criminology major and political science minor. His goal was to enter the intelligence field of the military and then eventually pursue a career with a government agency. While at WVU, Lowenberg also joined the Air Force ROTC program.
“I grew up hearing stories of both of my grandfathers’ experiences in World War II and my great uncle’s time in Korea, so I had great respect for military service,” he said. It was the events of September 11, 2001 that motivated him to serve. I’m part of the 9/11 generation, so I decided that no matter what, I’m going to serve this country and find a way to give back,” he said.
Growing up in a vibrant Jewish community, Lowenberg was nurtured at his Jewish day school. “As a child I decided to either be a firefighter or a rabbi,” he said. “Learning about my Jewish identity was a big part of my life.” In 2015 he began his studies at the Jewish Theological Institute and is now a third-year rabbinic student.
During his ROTC training he saw what a calming effect the chaplains had on everyone. “I realized that becoming an Air Force chaplain was how I could connect what I had been learning in the classroom with my desire to serve my country and my Jewish faith.” In December 2015, Zevi was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force, Chaplain Candidate program.
In his military duties, he has served at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO and at Whiteman Air Force Base in Knob Noster, MO, where he was the subject matter expert and project lead for the Jewish chapel construction project. His role in designing the first Jewish chapel on base and his acquisition of the Torah scroll earned him the Air Force Achievement Medal. Zevi is the first Chaplain Candidate to earn the Achievement Medal.
He has worked in a rabbinic role at Park Slope Jewish Center in Brooklyn, as well as Beth El Richmond (VA), Chizuk Amuno Congregation in Baltimore, MD, Tree of Life in Morgantown, WV, and Congregation Etz Hayim in Arlington, VA. While our rabbinic Intern Zevi is also the Graduate Level Jewish Life Director at JTS.
In his free time, Zevi enjoys playing and watching sports, curling up with a good Daniel Silva or Dan Brown novel, or relaxing and watching a movie. He has a list of every movie that he has seen (and a rating from 1-10), updated after each movie – his favorites being The Big Lebowski or James Bond. In December 2017 Zevi became engaged to be married to Jennifer Markin, a student of Physical Therapy at the Medical College of Virginia/VCU.