Paul Laurence Gorshel 


Paul Gorshel was born in Beth Israel Hospital on 7 December 1965 and spent his childhood in Lynnfield, MA.  He left Lynnfield at age 15 to attend boarding school at Northfield Mount Hermon and graduated in 1984.

 Paul graduated from Brandeis University in 1988 with a double major in History and Latin American Studies, Northeastern University School of Law (Juris Doctor) in 1995 and Questrom Graduate of Business-Masters of Business Administration (MBA) at Boston University in 1998. After a brief stint in jewelry sales and liquidations, Paul worked for the Massachusetts Department of Revenue where he established child support orders while completing his MBA. While he enjoyed reaching out to those in need, Paul wanted to build on his limited exposure to cultures and communities beyond his own and did a quarter abroad in 1984 in the Dominican Republic whilst at boarding school and as a consultant for the United Nations in Maputo, Mozambique, while in law school, in 1994.

After gaining courtroom and litigation skills from his work the Massachusetts Department of Revenue from 1997-1999, Paul decided to veer from his career path and practice on an international level. In August 1999 he was deployed by the United Nations as an Assistant Legal Officer to Kosovo to settle legal disputes while military hostilities continued. From  2000 until 2004, Paul was a Legal Officer at the United Nations in Switzerland processing claims for loss of life and serious financial losses resulting from  Iraq’s invasion and occupation of Kuwait in 1990. The United Nations Headquarters in New York recruited Paul to be in-house counsel (Administrative Management Officer) for the Logistics Branch of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations  where he negotiated with the Permanent Missions of the United States of America to the United Nations as well as her Majesty’s Permanent Mission of the United Kingdom and created separate Memoranda for each which were signed by the respective Mission’s head as well as the Assistant-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping. Paul travelled to bases of the United States Army in the United States as well as the United Mission in Burundi to give status updates to the head of the Logistics division. Whilst in New York Paul represented staff members accused of malfeasance and wrote briefs as their defense with the United Nations Panel of Council.

In 2004, Paul was deployed to Asmara, Eritrea and later, in 2005, to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to work on issues arising from the stale peace talks between the rival nations. Duties included meeting and briefing foreign dignitaries as well as negotiating solutions to issues that arose between these two nations as well as their relation with the United Nations Mission on both sides of the border.

From 2007 through 2015 Paul became one of the first Chiefs of the new United Nations Unit called “Conduct and Discipline” in response to crimes involving United Nations staff members, with an emphasis in prevention as well as transparent investigations of, acts that either created a hostile work place or living environment or grand theft or fraud. Paul’s service area included the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, where he resided for about a year, Emirate of Kuwait and the occupied nation in Iraq, where he was stationed in Erbil for about a year and Baghdad for four years, while hostilities continued.

 Paul’s Position of Chief of Conduct and Discipline required him to be culturally sensitive to various religions, sects of religions, gender and classism in countries where both the hosting nations as well as the United Nations had a history classism, sexism, racism, homophobia and other values incompatible with preserving the dignity of the individual very much like the “#met too” movement and Title IX issues within the American workplace and university settings. Paul educated incoming staff and commissioned soldiers from around the globe on the parameters of acceptable behavior and consequences.

During his fifteen years abroad, Paul enjoyed travelling and encountering people of different faiths and communities. He also realized that certain types of discrimination were rampant within the organizations. Constant anti-Israel remarks were either discreetly veiled forms of

anti-Semitism or just blatantly overt anti-Jewish sentiment. Paul experienced the insidious nature of anti-Semitism which gave him an eye-opening experience to the world of diplomacy as well human nature itself. 

In 2015, Paul officially retired from the United Nations to address his health issues as well as those of his parents. During this transitioning period, starting in 2013, Paul felt lost. He no longer had the “bunker or war mentality” of close knit friendships or the luxury of flying worldwide to address issues of discrimination and harassment within the United Nation’s purview.

As he was approached by Rabbi and Rebbetzin Bronstein of Chabad of the Merrimack Valley to dine, socialize, maybe attend a service or two, Paul felt a a new sense of community. He found a people who followed the tenets of The Lubavitcher Rebbe, who promoted reaching out to the community-that is, nourish the souls of individuals. Unlike the United Nations or any other profession, where the goals are status, salary and constant ego stroking, Chabad creates a community which provides an individual with the encouragement needed to “raise’ the individual. Paul learned that one of the best remedies for feeling “lost”or lonely is to help another. The kindness and reaching out which Paul received from Reb Asher and Rebbitzen Faigy and their family encouraged him to help others through tzedakah (charity) and through good deeds (mitzvot). He also learned that having pride in oneself, such as heritage, religion, race, gender and sexuality allows the individual to reach a new level of consciousness and a new appreciation of ancient texts that are just as relevant now as when they were scribed.

This raised consciousness was nascent while serving in anti-Semitic surroundings as well as war zones. Paul is honored to be in the company of Chief of Police DiGianvittorio, whose commitment to welfare of the communities under his jurisdiction specifically includes those of different faiths and who, at this time in place, is experiencing a seismic rise in anti-Semitism. The Chief is an example of a righteous individual.

Paul resides in Middleton while his condo search painfully continues. He collects art, mostly Judaica, and awaits adoption of his future puppy!