Philip Spectre was born in Buffalo, New York, and educated at Columbia College (BA) and The Jewish Theological Seminary of America (Master of Hebrew Letters,  Rabbinical Ordination, and Doctor of Theology Honorus Causa). He is married to Barbara Lerner Spectre, director of Paideia. They have three wonderful children and six fantastic grandchildren all living in Israel. In 1967 Phil and Barbara made aliya to Israel.  There he served in Ashkelon as rabbi for 15 years. The congregation Netzach Israel became the largest in the city and boasted a day camp of 250 children. In 1982 the Masorti movement elected him as Executive Director.  Seventeen years later he retired from that position and subsequently served in Stockholm as the rabbi of the Great Synagogue, a post which he held for seven years. He now enjoys retirement and divides his time between Stockholm and Israel.


Inviting King David to Dinner
Once I was asked, ‘who of all the Bible characters would you like to meet in person?’
Without hesitation I answered, ‘King David’.  And I went on to fantasize what it would be like to have him as a dinner guest.  As you may know, David is one of the guests we invite to our Sukkah every year. At this session we will discuss how we can reconcile this multifaceted character: as a warrior; a murderer; a great King; a consummate poet; a lover; a politician; a deeply religious leader. Was his relationship with Jonathan brotherly love or homosexuality? Help to formulate a clearer image of David and some questions for him when he comes to be at our guest table at Limmud.