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Sharon Brous        

Senior & Founding Rabbi of "Israel: Knowledge, Advocacy and Responsibility" (IKAR); Famous Jewish Learning, Ritual and Community Speaker

Rabbi Brous had no interest in becoming a rabbi until a bewildering weekend in the Old City of Jerusalem where she accidentally stumbled upon the answers to all of life’s questions. Three hours later, she realized that the answers were facile and unconvincing but she determined that she would devote her life to grappling with the questions. Barely knowing the words to Kiddush, she enrolled in Rabbinical School and dove full force into serious Jewish learning and practice. As a rabbi, she found herself drawn not only to those already invested in Jewish life, but also to the deeply disaffected, folks who wouldn’t even walk in the door. She began dreaming up ways to make Jewish learning, ritual and community compelling and meaningful even for those alienated by conventional religion. In 2004 Rabbi Brous, Melissa Balaban and a handful of young entrepreneurial Jews set out to build IKAR, a laboratory for bold, imaginative Jewish practice – which quickly became one of the fastest growing Jewish communities in the country and a model for inspiring Jews from the most marginalized to the most engaged.

Since then, Brous has been recognized as one of the nation’s leading rabbis by Newsweek/The Daily Beast and among the 50 most influential American Jews by the Forward. In 2013 she topped The Daily Beast’s list, which credited her with reanimating Jewish community and re-energizing prayer at a time of growing disaffection and declining affiliation. In 2013 she blessed President Obama and Vice President Biden at the Inaugural National Prayer Service. She sits on the faculty of the Hartman Institute-North America, Wexner Heritage and REBOOT, and is a Senior Fellow at Auburn Theological Seminary. She serves on the International Council of the New Israel Fund and rabbinic advisory council to American Jewish World Service.

Brous was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2001 and received a Master’s Degree in human rights from Columbia University, where she also received her Bachelor’s Degree in 1995. Before moving to Los Angeles, where she now lives with her husband and three children, she served as a Rabbinic Fellow at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in New York City.

Speech Topics


Faith and Feminism: The Power of Jewish Women

News


Rabbi Sharon Brous named top U.S. rabbi

Rabbi Sharon Brous, spiritual leader of IKAR, a nine-year-old independent congregation in Los Angeles, was named America’s Top Rabbi for 2013 by The Daily Beast ...

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