Azriel Fellner’s career as a rabbi has taken him from Alaska to Tennessee, from New Jersey to California. After being ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary, Rabbi Fellner went to Alaska as a military chaplain. In Alaska, Rabbi Fellner was the sole rabbi of the entire state, and was responsible for the spiritual needs of all branches of the military as well as the Jewish civilian population. As part of his responsibilities he was also rabbi of the synagogue in Anchorage and held monthly services in Fairbanks. He frequently traveled to the Aleutian Pribilof Islands to meet the small Jewish population there. During his tenure in Alaska, Rabbi Fellner was also adjunct professor of English Literature at Alaska Methodist University.
His first civilian pulpit took him to Nashville, Tennessee where he became known for his work as a continual guest on Radio and Television, especially the Noon Show on the NBC affiliate WSM TV. Later he became rabbi in Long Island and New Jersey.
In the past twenty years, Rabbi Fellner not only taught homiletics to rabbinical students at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, but also began a study of motion pictures and television especially in regard to Jewish images and themes as reflected in the media. He has published in Conservative Judaism and also writes frequent reviews of films. One of his publications was “The Midrash of Star Trek,” analyzing, from a Jewish point of view, this widely admired television series. Presently, he writes a weekly column for the New York Board of Rabbis, which is also published by Dov Peretz Elkins in his journal published in Jerusalem.
Also, in the last two decades, Rabbi Fellner has lectured on the movies for synagogues, community centers such as the 92nd Street Y and educational institutions from Savannah, Georgia to Detroit, Michigan, and throughout the East Coast. Rabbi Fellner has taught a series of lectures on film at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. He also made a presentation to Executives of Warner Brothers on their 1927 film "The Jazz Singer. Rabbi Fellner himself edits film from movies and TV programs in his studio to illustrate and dramatize his programs and lectures.
Presently, Rabbi Fellner produces, narrates and edits audio books and other materials for Audible.com. and many other companies. He has also produced, narrated and licensed for distribution his own narrative work.
Rabbi Fellner graduated from the George Washington University and received two graduate degrees in English and American Literature. Later he entered rabbinical school and was ordained in 1967.
Rabbi Fellner is married to Judy who is a journalist, lectures on Jewish topics and is the author of the book “In The Jewish Tradition.”
You may contact Rabbi Fellner at RabbiAzriel@optonline.net