Rabbi Matthew V. Soffer was ordained as a graduate of the New York Campus of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, having previously served as a Rabbinic Intern at Temple Israel of Boston before joining their clergy. He has enjoyed a distinguished career as a student and student rabbi, having graduated from Muhlenberg College as a Phi Beta Kappa and having been awarded academic prizes at HUC in Halakhic Literature, Midrash and Hebrew, Liturgy and the prestigious 3-year Tisch Fellowship, which provides curricular enrichment in the fields of Congregational Studies, Personal Theology and Contemporary Religion in North America. Rabbi Soffer served as Rabbinical Intern at Main Line Reform Temple and Congregation Beth Elohim in Brooklyn, where he carried portfolios for Social Justice and for “Brooklyn Jews,” a Project of Congregation Beth Elohim that, like Temple Israel’s Riverway Project, focuses upon outreach to and engagement of Jews in their 20s and 30s. Rabbi Soffer has had extensive experience in youth work, both within the synagogue and as a long-time staff member of the URJ Camp Joseph and Betty Harlam and NFTY’s Kutz Camp. Prior to beginning rabbinical school, he served as an Eisendrath Legislative Assistant Fellow at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington, D.C., and worked as the advisor to the North American Board of NFTY. The topic of his Rabbinic Thesis, “Listening for Laughter: Sensing Humor in the Babylonian Talmud,” is a wonderful window on his character and style.