Rabbi Mike Uram
Rabbi Mike Uram, who will contribute pieces about Jewish issues for Philly.com, is the director and campus rabbi for the Hillel at the University of Pennsylvania. He is passionate about breaking down the personal, spiritual, and intellectual boundaries that prevent people from having full, self-actualized Jewish identities. In December, Mike was named to the 2012 Forward 50 Jewish leaders Jews who made the most significant impact on the news in the past year. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in in History and Religious Studies from Washington University and Rabbinic Ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary. Mike lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia with his wife, Leora, and his children, Avital and Benjamin.
Most people describe you as… passionate and creative
People would be surprised to know that … I was really into heavy metal and hair bands in the '90s.
What is your drink of choice? Single malt scotch
Where is your happy place? Hiking deep in the woods, away from civilization; making my kids giggle
What is your biggest regret? Not studying abroad in college
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I love music and wish I could sing.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
• A work: Creating new models of Jewish community and Jewish education that are post-institutional and will meet the needs of the next generation of Jews.
• In Life: Being a great dad and a pretty good husband.
Which trait do you most value in another person? People who are amazing listeners who are patient, safe, and have x-ray vision into your soul.
If you could interview anyone, past or present, who would it be? My grandparents. I never asked all the questions about who they were, what their lives were like and how they managed to come to America in mid-life and start over.
Favorite movie? Tombstone. Cheesy but amazing.
What TV show is currently your DVR/On Demand obsession? Breaking Bad
What is your guilty pleasure? A good cigar.
The worst thing anyone said or did to you is… In sixth grade a bunch of my friends and I ditched a kid in our class in a really mean way. We just thought it would be funny and never stopped to think how he must of felt.
I believe in… the fact that there are little bits of God in every aspect of life: in people, in art, in great music and in nature. The purpose of life is to uncover the bits of God and make yourself and the world a better place.
If you could travel back in time, where would you go? I would love to wander Manhattan in the early 1800s before the whole island was built up.
What is your motto or inspiration? In any given situation, the only thing you can control is yourself. So stop trying to control the people around you and get busy living your own life.