David Markus

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For other people named David Markus, see David Markus (disambiguation).

David Evan Markus (born 1973) is an American attorney, public officer, rabbi and spiritual director. He currently serves as Deputy Chief Counsel in the New York State Judiciary, Judicial Referee in New York Supreme Court, co-chair of ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal, and co-rabbi of Temple Beth-El of City Island (New York City, New York). Markus formerly served as Special Counsel to the New York State Senate Majority. A leader of Jewish Renewal, Markus resides in Westchester County, New York.

Sometimes, David Evan Markus is confused with David Oscar Markus, an attorney in Miami who also graduated from Harvard Law School.

Education and early career[edit]

A 1994 honors graduate of Williams College[22], Markus earned his Juris Doctor with high honors from Harvard Law School[23], where he was a member of the a cappella group Scales of Justice [24], and his Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government[25] in 2001,[1] which awarded Markus the Wilmers Fellowship for State and Local Government. While still a student, Harvard designated Markus an "Innovator in Public Service" for his work to improve legislative processes and government transparency using state-level C-SPAN public affairs systems[2][3][4]—work that prompted other states to explore gavel-to-gavel coverage of their governments[5][6] and for which Markus won the national Goldsmith Award.[7] Previously Markus had served as policy assistant to environmental activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr.,[8] and as legislative director to New York State Assembly Member Sandy Galef (D-Westchester).

Judiciary service[edit]

In 2001, after passing the New York Bar, Markus was appointed Law Clerk to New York Court of Appeals[26] Associate Judge Albert M. Rosenblatt [27]. He then was appointed Special Counsel for Programs and Policy under Chief Judges Judith Kaye and Jonathan Lippman. In this role, Markus helped guide the Judiciary's legislative program to reform New York's civil and criminal justice systems, as well as numerous blue-ribbon panels including the Special Commission on the Future of the New York State Courts,[28] [9] and the Commission on Indigent Defense Services.[10] During this time, Markus also successfully represented the Judiciary in high-profile constitutional litigation.


While working for the New York State Judiciary, Markus also served as Adjunct Professor of Political Science at Fordham University, where he taught courses on public policy, U.S. government and judicial policy, and served as Adjunct Professor of Public Administration at Pace University, where he taught administrative law and policy in the graduate Master in Public Administration program.[11]

Gubernatorial and presidential campaigns[edit]

In 2006, Markus staffed the Transition Working Group on Government Reform for the incoming administration of New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and Lt. Governor David Paterson.

In 2008, Markus took leaves of absence from the Judiciary to join Barack Obama's presidential campaign. During the primaries, Markus served as a voter protection counsel in Indiana and Pennsylvania. During the 2008 general election, Markus was appointed Deputy Director for Voter Protection in Pennsylvania,[12] where he helped protect voting rights and ensure the sufficiency and integrity of electronic voting machines.

Counsel to the Senate Majority[edit]

On March 9, 2009, the New York Senate announced Markus' appointment as Special Counsel to the Senate Majority, focusing on government operations and structure, cities and local governments, the Judiciary, the civil and criminal justice systems, and public integrity.[1][13][14] He served as lead staff litigator during the historic [2009 New York State Senate leadership crisis], and as leadership's lead legislative attorney for constitutional, Judiciary and government reform matters. He returned to the Judiciary at the end of the 2009-10 session.

Return to Judicial Service[edit]

Markus returned to the New York State Judiciary in early 2011, when he was named Deputy Counsel and cross-designated as Referee in Supreme Court, Ninth Judicial District. In this capacity, Markus presided over foreclosure conferences[15] and published several reported decisions. In 2013, Markus was appointed to preside in compliance conferences in Supreme Court's civil term, where he manages a docket of 400 civil actions.

Rabbinical Study and Clergy Service[edit]

Markus was ordained as a rabbi by the seminary of ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal[29] in January 2015[16] after six years of study.[17] Markus also holds dual ordination as a spiritual director, also from ALEPH.[18] Markus serves as co-rabbi of Temple Beth-El of City Island in New York City, New York. Markus also was named a Fellow of Rabbis Without Borders.[19] He serves as Co-Chair of ALEPH, the umbrella organization for [Jewish Renewal],[20] and as syndicated blogger for My Jewish Learning and The Jewish Studio.

Literary career[edit]

In 2008, Markus first published his works in Jewish haiku. His most popular haiku appear in weekly Facebook postings and, as of mid-2010, there are rumors of a forthcoming book. With a special Sukkot haiku (Bountiful harvest, / Internal tangles untied, / Now time to give thanks. Shabbes!) in 2010, Markus began publishing his haiku via Twitter, where he also created the hash tag #haikus4jews. Markus has also published a series of haiku relating to his political experiences.


  1. ^ a b New York State Senate Majority, News Release, March 9, 2009 [1]. Accessed March 12, 2009.
  2. ^ Hanna J., "Public Service Innovators -- David Evan Markus (MPP/JD '01) Goes Gavel-to-Gavel," Kennedy School Bulletin, Summer 2001 [2]. Accessed March 12, 2009.
  3. ^ Rodman M., "Political Views," Harvard Law Bulletin, Fall 2001 [3]. Accessed March 12, 2009.
  4. ^ Ward, R., New York State Government: What It Does and How It Works, p. 585 & n. 18 (2006). [4].
  5. ^ Katz, C. "Study: Cover Pols on Cable," New York Daily News, April 17, 2001. [5] Accessed March 12, 2009.
  6. ^ Maly, S., "Reality TV: The Real Thing," The Interim (Montana State Legislature), July 2001, pp. 17-24. [6] Accessed March 12, 2009.
  7. ^ Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government, Press Release, March 13, 2001 [7]. Accessed March 12, 2009.
  8. ^ Kennedy, R.F. & Cronin, J., The Riverkeepers, p. 219 (1997). ISBN 0684839083. [8]. Accessed March 12, 2009.
  9. ^ New York State Special Commission on the Future of the New York State Courts, [9]. Accessed March 12, 2009.
  10. ^ New York State Judiciary, Commission on the Future of Indigent Defense Services, "Report to the Chief Judge of the State of New York," December 1, 2005. [10] Accessed March 12, 2009.
  11. ^ Pace University, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences.[11] Accessed March 12, 2009. [12] Accessed March 12, 2009.
  12. ^ [13]. Accessed March 12, 2009.
  13. ^ Benjamin, E., "Senate Dems Hire Ex-Chief Judge's Aide," New York Daily News, March 9, 2009, [14]. Accessed March 12, 2009.
  14. ^ Crain's New York, "At a Glance," March 10, 2009, [15]. Accessed March 12, 2009.
  15. ^ [16], accessed January 15, 2012
  16. ^ "ALEPH Ordains Largest Class Ever," Kol ALEPH (Jan. 11, 2015)[17].
  17. ^ Schwartzapfel, "A Chance to Deepen Spiritual Experience," The Forward (Aug. 12, 2009)[18].
  18. ^ "New Hashpa'ah Ordinees," Kol ALEPH (Jan. 24, 2014)[19].
  19. ^ [20]
  20. ^ ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal, "ALEPH Board"[21].