Maggid Yitzhak Buxbaum

July 30, 1943 – December 23, 2020 (8th of Tevet 5781)

Eulogy Article


Cap’s Off to You Blog Post – posted March 18, 2022

Do you have memories of Maggid Yitzhak Buxbaum? Please email to

Favorite Memory:

Yitzhak Buxbaum introduced, inspired, and inducted me into the practice of “maggidut” – the Jewish art and practice of inspiring others through stories. I studied with him for two years, after which he granted me “smicha” – ordination – as a Maggid. He and I worked together for many years, in many capacities. Once he came to my hometown – Syracuse NY – and managed to unite the entire Jewish community, both religious and secular, with his storytelling. My first encounter with him as a student set the stage for all that was to follow. He had asked me to share a story with the other students in the class on my first day. Most classes were conducted by teleconference, so I had written a story that I felt showed who I was. As I began to read it, he stopped me in the middle of the second sentence saying, “You’re reading that aren’t you?” I acknowledged I was. “Never read another story. You are becoming a storyTELLER, not a story reader.” Yitzhak changed my life, opening up windows to my soul I never knew existed.

Place(s) you knew him?:

I knew him most in his home town of Brooklyn Heights, NY, but in many other places throughout the US.

Mantras in Life:

“Holy stories are the light of the world.” “When we sit and tell holy stories, God, so to speak, comes and listens.” “There can be no true divine service without joy.”

–details from Jim Brule’, colleague & mentor/mentee relationship