Discovering His Spiritual Path

Second-year rabbinical student David Yedid ’15 intends to build a
Jewish sensibility around addiction and trauma care.

David Yedid ’15 didn’t always know he wanted to be a rabbi, but when he looks back at a picture of himself lighting Shabbat candles at his synagogue preschool, it seems clear that he has been on this path for a long time. Still, he was surprised one January term at Middlebury to find that all his extracurricular activities were leading in that direction. He was tutoring local kids and fellow college students for b’nai mitzvah, interning at a local hospice, and starting the current LGBTQ group on campus, Q&A. None of these things seemed to have anything to do with his geography major, which he loved, but they turned out to be core to his calling to go to rabbinical school.

Now Dave is entering his second year at the Jewish Theological Seminary, and he has just been named a Wexner Graduate Fellow/Davidson Scholar, which is one of the most prestigious fellowships in the Jewish world. This fellowship allows him to make connections with a cohort of people with different goals for the Jewish people.

Dave’s main goal is building a Jewish sensibility around trauma care. His older brother, may his memory be a blessing, died of drug overdose when Dave was studying abroad in Israel during a gap year. Since then, Dave has been involved in addiction and trauma care. He is part of the team that developed BaMidbar Wilderness Therapy, a Jewish therapy program out of Ramah in the Rockies. He hopes to erode some of the silence he experienced around addiction in the Jewish community.

“My spiritual path has been marked by being a mourner, and I felt a lot of comfort in Judaism when my brother died,” he says. He hopes to bring together his love for Jewish learning and teaching Torah and his love for wilderness and direct care with youth going through challenging times.

Charles P. Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life
46 South Street
Middlebury, VT 05753