PODCAST: Rabbi Niles Goldstein: Chaplaincy in Law Enforcement
Updated: Jun 1
Rabbi Niles Goldstein is the spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Shalom of Napa Valley. Rabbi Goldstein, an experienced and dynamic Reform Rabbi and educator, is also the award-winning author or editor of ten books, including Gonzo Judaism and God at the Edge. Rabbi Goldstein is the National Jewish Chaplain for the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, a position he has held since his ordination, and Chaplain for the Napa, CA, Police Department. Rabbi Goldstein shares his varied experiences as a chaplain in the army initially and then for federal law enforcement and local community police officers. The universalist nature of chaplaincy and supporting people in law enforcement with their spiritual needs, wherever they may be, about faith or belief in God. Maintaining a sense of connectedness, meaning, and purpose as first responders is essential. His experience as a martial arts practitioner and how that informs his spiritual journey and his chaplaincy work with law enforcement officers. RABBI NILES GOLDSTEIN Rabbi Niles Goldstein is the spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Shalom of Napa Valley. Rabbi Goldstein, an experienced and dynamic Reform Rabbi, and educator, is the award-winning author or editor of ten books, including Gonzo Judaism and God at the Edge. He was the founding rabbi of The New Shul, an innovative and independent synagogue in Manhattan's Greenwich Village, which he served for over a decade. He is also a founder of the Napa Center for Thought & Culture. Before he arrived at CBS Napa, Rabbi Goldstein worked in a variety of congregational, interfaith, and academic settings while based in his native Chicago. Rabbi Goldstein has been a thought leader and sought-after speaker in the American Jewish community for many years. He widely teaches spirituality, personal growth, the environment, leadership, and congregational innovation. He has written for Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Dallas Morning News, the Huffington Post, the Forward, and many other publications. He has been featured in Time, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, and other venues, as well as on radio and television. Rabbi Goldstein is the National Jewish Chaplain for the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, a position he has held since his ordination, and Chaplain for the Napa Police Department. He is also a member of PEN, the Renaissance Institute, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis. Rabbi Goldstein has served on the faculty of New York University, Loyola University, Eastern Mennonite University, and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.
Rabbi Goldstein is an avid traveler and outdoor adventurer. He has mushed dogs in Alaska and ridden horses in Mongolia, and he has done humanitarian work with communities in Central Asia and the Caucasus. He is also a longtime practitioner of martial arts, and he holds black belts in both karate and tae kwon do.