David Kasher – Rabbinic Educator at Kevah
David Kasher spent his formative years transitioning between Berkeley and Brooklyn, hippies and Hassidim alike – ever since striving to bridge these two worlds. After earning a BA in Political Science from Wesleyan University, earning his J.S.D. at Berkeley Law, David was ordained at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah in 2007.
He is the author of ParshaNut: 54 Journeys Into the World of Torah Commentary and teaches weekly parsha classes at IKAR, a non-denominational spiritual community in Los Angeles.
Early Life and Education
Kasher, who served as Senior Rabbinic Educator at Kevah, earned his BA in Political Science from Wesleyan University, earned a J.S.D. from Berkeley Law, and received his rabbinical ordination from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah.
His book ParshaNut: 54 Journeys into the World of Torah Commentary (Quad Pro Books, October 18, 2022) delves into this vast yet understudied genre of Jewish commentary, from masters of midrash to medieval commentators and contemporary scholars.
Kasher’s book has been featured in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and on podcasts such as This Is Not Happening and Drunk History. Additionally, he hosts Problematic with Moshe Kasher on Comedy Central and has guest starred on shows like Portlandia, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The League Shameless Maron and Garfunkel and Oates.
Kasher has established himself as a successful comedian with several Netflix specials and his 2017 Comedy Central talk show Problematic. Additionally, he wrote for the films Betty and Little America.
He is a Jewish educator with a J.S.D from Berkeley Law and rabbinic ordination from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. Additionally, he has published numerous books and articles.
Kasher offers 54 essays that explore the vast, understudied genre of Jewish literature known as parshanut. From its founding fathers in midrash to medieval commentators who defined its style, this book takes readers on an unforgettable journey through Jewish Biblical interpretation.
Achievements and Honors
Kasher has earned numerous awards and honors throughout his career. Currently, he serves as Senior Rabbinic Educator at Kevah, an organization dedicated to Adult Jewish Education. Additionally, he has taught at Berkeley Law and other institutions.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Wesleyan University and an J.S.D. from Berkeley Law, plus rabbinic ordination from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah in 2007.
David Kasher’s book parshanut, or Torah commentary, offers an extensive exploration of this often neglected genre that he believes to be “highly worthwhile for further study”. Drawing on essays written by masters of midrash, medieval commentators and modern scholars alike in Nechama Leibowitz’s classic New Studies in the Weekly Parsha volume as inspiration, Kasher provides readers with a readable and captivating journey through Jewish Biblical interpretation throughout history.
David Kasher enjoys watching movies, reading books and listening to music in his free moments. Additionally, he has an affinity for Jewish text – particularly Torah commentary – which he finds particularly fascinating.
Kasher was born and raised in the Bay Area, though he spent most of his childhood living in Brooklyn where he became immersed in a Hasidic community. After receiving his BA from Wesleyan University with a major in Political Science, he went on to earn his J.S.D. at Berkeley Law.
Kasher has a deep-seated interest in Torah commentary, and has been writing the ParshaNut blog for five years to explore its depth. He is the author of ParshaNut: 54 Journeys into the World of Torah Commentary and serves as associate rabbi at IKAR in Los Angeles as well as teaching classes at SVARA, AJR and HUC.
Kasher, a comedian and writer, boasts a net worth of $15 million. He mostly makes his money through stand-up comedy gigs.
He has starred in multiple films and TV shows such as Zoolander 2, Another Period, and Drunk History. Additionally, he hosts multiple podcasts.
Kasher began his career as a sign-language interpreter. He and his brother Moshe Leggero lived with their deaf parents in North Oakland’s Temescal and Piedmont Avenue neighborhoods.
At seventeen, he began working as a stand-up comedian. He created monologues and performed at open mics, eventually becoming famous. Additionally, he wrote for Heeb magazine and published “Monologues for Men by Men”.