Why this Rabbi from St. Louis is now known as the “Torah Tech Guy


Rabbi David Paskin

Jordan Palmer, Chief Digital Content Officer

The isolation and digitization necessitated by COVID-19 opened up new pathways for Jews to connect with Torah and their communities. New tools and technology are allowing rabbis, cantors, educators, musicians and communal leaders to re-imagine how they teach and lead. Unfortunately, their training most likely did not include video production, audio routing, online engagement and building community in digital space. These new job requirements can seem overwhelming. That’s why we need a Torah Tech Guy.

Well, we found one, and he grew up right here in St. Louis.

Rabbi David Paskin

David Paskin, 51, was born in White Plains, N. Y., but his family soon moved to St. Louis, where he graduated from Ladue Horton Watkins High School in 1989.

“We were affiliated, in some way, with just about every synagogue in the St. Louis area,” said Paskin, who says he knew he wanted to become a rabbi, even as a young boy. “I was bar mitzvah at BSKI. I was in USY at Shaare Tzedek, Hebrew high at B’nai Amoona and TOY (Traditional Orthodox Youth) at Nusach Hari B’nai Zion.

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A 1993 graduate of Brandeis University and the Academy for Jewish Religion (2002), Paskin has been working in the Jewish world for over two decades teaching at various religious schools, day schools and camps around the country. In the Boston area, Paskin served as music and Judaics director of Grossman Camp, as Judaic studies coordinator of the Rashi School of Greater Boston and as co-head of school at Kehillah Schechter Academy.

After the loss of his second daughter from an aggressive brain tumor in 2002, Liat Chanina, Paskin and his wife Heather founded the Liat Chanina Foundation, a non-profit foundation dedicated to creating and sustaining opportunities for hope and healing. Paskin currently serves as the director of youth education at Temple Sinai of North Dade and as the educational director of the Institute of Jewish Knowledge and Learning in Broward County, Fla.

He describes himself as a “dad, husband, rabbi, rock n’ roll rabbi, Jewish futurist, Jewish educator and your Torah Tech Guy.”

Rabbi David Paskin the “Torah Tech Guy”

Paskin says he was an “early adopter” of technology and what it can do.

“As the world shut down and we all began learning and davening online, I learned quickly that synagogues and Jewish communities were going to need help to do this well,” said Paskin. “As a proud geek and Jewish futurist, it seemed like something I could help with, so I created the Torah Tech Guy and started producing videos, workshops and more.”

Soon, synagogues, federations, clergy and lay leaders from all over were reaching out for support and training. All seemed to have the same issues: fear of technology, no time to learn it, not being sure where to start and feeling overwhelmed. Paskin sought to fill those gaps and guide and support leaders, educators, speakers and influencers who feel challenged by technology, hoping to help them reach and teach more meaningful content in digital space.

“I’ve struggled with all of these too,” he noted. “It’s taken years of research, practice and plenty of missed opportunities to develop the skills and knowledge that I have today, and am ready and eager to share with everyone.

Paskin has now produced hundreds of videos on Facebook and YouTube with well over half a million views through his weekly Torah Tech Tips videos.

“Rabbi David Paskin is a Torah-Jedi,” said Rabbi Menachem Creditor, the founder of Rabbis Against Gun Violence. “He brings skill and experience, style and substance to the work of supporting communities by sharpening our technology skills.”

How it works

Paskin offers various levels of service to clients, via his website. From answering quick questions, he calls a “short schmooze” to more engaged consultations on team training, Paskin’s menu of services continues to grow. He’s even created a new membership program featuring new services such as the “Reach MORE Teach MORE” program.

“Here I guide and support leaders, educators, speakers, inspirers, and influencers who feel overwhelmed and challenged by technology,” said Paskin. “I’ve struggled with all of these too. It’s taken years of research, practice and plenty of missed opportunities to develop the skills and knowledge that I have today and am ready and eager to share with everyone.”

Along with his Torah Tech videos, Paskin offers monthly workshops on everything how to shoot videos, record audio, create graphics and even develop strategies to engage audiences and communities.

What’s next for the Torah Tech Guy?

Even though the world has reopened, and synagogues are once again full, the need for technology in relationship to Judaism does not appear to be slowing down. In fact, Paskin says he’s seeing even more Jewish leaders embracing this thinking because people really enjoy the new connections they have made.

“I want to encourage the Jewish world to take what we’ve learned about digital engagement and use it to craft the future of liberal Jewish life,” said Paskin. “I’m on a mission to help communities transform themselves using technologies and technological thinking.”