Rabbi Daniel Isaak (b. 1949)
Rabbi Daniel Isaak was born in San Francisco on June 5, 1949, the son of Helmut and Ellen Isaak. His parents were German refugees who had escaped Nazi Germany. As a teenager, Rabbi Isaak actively participated in his synagogue, became involved in USY and attended Camp Ramah in Ojai, California, where he returned for several years as a madrich (bunk counselor) and rosh edah (division head). He graduated from UC Berkeley in 1971 with a double major in linguistics and Near Eastern languages.
Rabbi Isaak attended the Jewish Theological Seminary, completing his studies in 1976. It was while at JTS that he met his wife Carol; they were married in 1974. He became the rabbi in Hackensack, New Jersey where he led his congregation for three years, and then in Briarcliff Manor, New York, where he served for the next 14 years. Rabbi Isaak accepted the post at Congregation Neveh Shalom in Portland, Oregon in 1993. He retired from that position in 2015.
While in Oregon, Rabbi Isaak has been an active member of the Oregon Board of Rabbis, participating in the Introduction to Judaism course offered by the Board. Each year Rabbi Isaak led the Oregon Area Jewish Committee (formerly American Jewish Committee) Community Seder, bringing together some 150 clergy, politicians, community leaders and various religious organizations to share in the Passover story. Rabbi Isaak worked closely on interfaith work with Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, the largest Christian ecumenical group in the country on issues of mutual interest and concern: hunger, homelessness, poverty, aging, mental health, social justice.
Rabbi Isaak and his wife Carol have four children: Gabriel, Ari, Marissa and Misha, as well as two grandchildren.