Rav Ezra Balser

Year-Long Griller, First Baseman (semi-retired), Niggun Aficionado

Ezra is the Rabbi of Base Loop.


Before joining Base, Ezra served as the Rabbi for Temple Beth Sholom in Hull, Massachusetts and as adjunct faculty at the Hebrew College Rabbinical School teaching Jewish Law/halakha. 


Ezra grew up in a rabbinic home, the son of a Conservative Rabbi.  He was born in New Jersey but spent most of his adolescence in Winnipeg and Chicago.  Ezra was very involved in USY and spent many years at Camp Ramah (Wisconsin and New England) as both a camper and staff member.  After graduating from high school, Ezra spent a gap year studying at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He then went on to receive a B.A in Religious Studies from York University in Toronto, where he also sang in the school’s Jewish acapella choir, Kol Neshama. 


After college, Ezra taught Hebrew and Jewish Studies at the Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School in Chicago before focusing more on informal Jewish education as a Youth Director for Am Yisrael Conservative Congregation and a Club Advisor for Jewish Student Connection.  Ezra then married Laura and they relocated to Boston where Ezra attended and received his Rabbinic Ordination/Semikha and an M.A in Jewish Studies from the Hebrew College Rabbinical School.


When he is not flipping meat (or a suitable vegetarian alternative!) in front of a grill, humming along to Hebrew folk music from the 60s, Ezra can be found playing softball and reliving his repeat championship run in the Massachusetts Synagogue Softball League. You can be in touch with him by email at ravezra@metrochicagohillel.org.