David Perkel has some Clark Kent tendencies: Monday through Friday he's a commercial real estate attorney at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, but then he morphs into a congregational rabbi at Congregation Ezras Israel in West Rogers Park, where he teaches Torah to people of all ages and backgrounds -- from those with no formal Jewish education to scholarly rabbis.
Perkel is also an expert in conflict resolution and has done pro-bono work on a wide variety of matters, including family law matters with mothers who have served time in prison. His strong Jewish values inform every part of him, as a lawyer, a rabbi, mediator, husband, and a father of three children. Oh, and he plays a mean game of ping pong too. In fact, as a child, he won a gold medal in the Junior Olympics for table tennis.
Attorney by trade and congregational rabbi by pleasure.
On the side:
At the intersection of law and rabbinics, I have a fascination with conflict resolution and negotiation. I have acted as a neutral for scores of family law matters in a pro-bono capacity through the Center for Conflict Resolution and Cabrini Green Legal Aid/CLAIM. Much of my rabbinic work involves conflict resolution of every possible variety as well.
Married to Beth with three amazing children
If time and money were limitless, I would:
I would keep doing everything but add more time to my Torah studies…and maybe fit in a game of table tennis here or there.
Chicago's Jewish community in 10 years:
We are poised for continued growth, but only if we continue to grow in our unity as a community.
Me in 10 years:
I’ll surprise you. One thing is for certain: I will be highly caffeinated. And my children will be teenagers.