Rabbi Ian is the opposite of what you might expect a Rabbi to be. His warm and outgoing style is superseded by a British sense of humor which fires into overdrive when he is discussing life’s ironies and paradoxes.
The moment you meet him you'll find out how warm and engaging he is. His sense of humor makes everything so easy. You can immediately relax and rest assured knowing that you are in good hands with many years of experience. Hundreds of couples and families have trusted him with their wedding and other life cycle ceremonies.
Rabbi Ian moved from London, England to Southern California in 1997. After all these years he is almost fluent in American English. He seems to still have difficulty with words like schedule, dust bin, windscreen, bonnet, boot and car park. He simply cannot stop saying cheers and when something goes ecstatically brilliant he likes to use the cliche cockney dog's thingamajigs phrase.
You may be shocked to hear a Rabbi who speaks with an English accent. In fact, Rabbi Bernstein, the Orthodox Rabbi who officiated Rabbi Ian's BarMitzvah in London many years ago, sounded even stranger with his strong Irish accent.
Rabbi Isaac Bernstein taught Rabbi Ian that a Rabbi did not have to drone on and in a monotonous tone. He exuded a fire and brimstone style from the pulpit at London’s Norrice Lea Synagogue frequently accompanied by a wit and humor that would have suited a stand-up comedian. Of course he looked every bit the typical Orthodox Rabbi from his beard to his stereotypical wrinkled dark gray suit until the moment he spoke in fluent Hebrew with his broad Irish brogue. He was regarded as a great Rabbi in London and elsewhere in the modern Orthodox Jewish world. In 1977 he was taken from Rabbi Ian’s Synagogue by the Jewish Center in New York to be the spiritual leader of one of the most prestigious synagogues in America. Even though he was a great thinker and orator they could only tolerate his Irish accent for four years after which he returned home to London where once again he held his congregation spell-bound and his weekly lectures were generally standing-room only.
In 2001 Rabbi Ian was inspired to establish the Pacific Synagogue. Following in the footsteps of his grandfather Jacob Adler who gave the King Edward Street Synagogue in London its foundational building and then set up a temporary Synagogue in Windsor during World War Two.
Rabbi Ian redefines the spirit of Judaism as love, faith, wisdom and understanding open to all.