Fivel (Philip) Glasser '98

Alumni Stories: Fivel (Philip) Glasser '98

If you would have told me when I entered Dartmouth that 20 years after graduation I would be an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi living in Israel, working as an experiential educator and teaching the History and Religion of Israel toteens, I would have thought that you were crazy! But that is exactly where my circuitous path has taken me.

My first Religion class with Susan Ackerman my Freshman Fall (Religion 4, The Religion of Israel), profoundly changed the path of my life. I fell in love with the history of the Ancient Near East, and the academic discipline which combined history, theology, archaeology, anthropology and philosophy. I focused on the Judeo-Christian Traditions at my time at Dartmouth, and went on to do an MTS at Harvard, thinking that I would take the academic route. I spent winter term of Sophomore year in Israel and fell in love with Israel.

I also began my own slow path towards becoming religious myself (I was raised in a Reform Jewish household). After Harvard, I took a position at Colgate University both as the Jewish Chaplain and a Visiting Professor in Philosophy and Religion, teaching Jewish Studies and Hebrew.