Rabbi Laurence Bazer was ordained by The Jewish Theological Seminary in 1993 and served as a rabbi on Long Island, New York for ten years before coming to Temple Beth Sholom in 2003. He attended Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut, graduating in 1985 with Honors Study and a degree in zoology. Rabbi Bazer received his Doctor of Ministry degree from The Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2013 and is a certified pastoral counselor.
Rabbi Bazer is also a Colonel and the Joint Forces State Chaplain for the Massachusetts National Guard, and works with the Boston office of the F.B.I. For the past several years, Rabbi Bazer has also served on the New England Regional Board of the Anti-Defamation League and on the Cardinal’s Review Board of the Archdiocese of Boston. He was deployed to Afghanistan in 2011, serving as the Kabul Base Cluster Command Chaplain and Theater Jewish Chaplain where he received the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one service star along with other accommodations including the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Certificate of Appreciation from the Canadian Armed Forces ROTO Zero-Kabul and recognition from the Canadian Armed Forces Chief Chaplain. He also received a Combat Action Badge. In December 2012, Rabbi Bazer was privileged with the lighting of the Hanukkah Menorah at the 2012 White House Hanukkah Celebration by the President of the United States and the First Lady.
Rabbi Bazer was born April 28, 1963, in Lynn, Massachusetts and experienced his formative years in West Hartford, Connecticut. He is married to Leslie Bazer and has two children Oren, 19, and Eliana, 17. Oren is on the NATIV gap year program in Israel and will attend University of Rochester in the Fall of 2016. Eliana attends Gann Academy Jewish High School in Waltham. Rabbi Bazer’s personal interests include astronomy and astrophysics; zoology and natural sciences; travel; history; reading; museums; movies; and SCUBA diving.