Torah and Coffee –
August 27, 2020 – In an unofficial way, Stern’s ministry began at the homeless shelter in Minneapolis where he stayed, and where he also began to work. He would help at mealtimes, and saw the heart-rending situations others were in. It was a testament to the plight many go through because of addiction and mental illness, which Stern said are often linked. Seeing parents line up with children every day was particularly hard. “I used to grab ice cream bars and bring them to the kids at their tables and sit and talk to them.”
Stern was born in the “Orthodox Jewish section of the Bronx” – as he described it – and was raised in Connecticut before his time in Minnesota. He’s now in California, pending a permanent move to Springfield. After 10 months in the homeless shelter three decades ago, Stern worked for a rehab facility, and then continued a successful career in insurance. He also did a lot of studying, and has a dizzying list of degrees. The most recent one is from the Academy of Jewish Religion at the University of California, Los Angeles. He was ordained this past spring.