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Sharon Brous        

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

Sharon Brous is the senior and founding Rabbi of IKAR. She first considered a religious vocation after a transformative weekend in the Old City of Jerusalem. The experience prompted her to embark on a journey of deep Jewish learning and practice. Recognizing the need for compelling and meaningful religious engagement for people disenchanted with conventional religion, she co-founded IKAR, a community for bold imaginative Jewish practice, together with Melissa Balaban and a group of young entrepreneurial Jews. IKAR gained swift recognition and growth, becoming one of the fastest-growing Jewish communities in the country, and a model for inspiring engagement from diverse Jews.

Brous' innovative approach to Jewish practice and community has earned her prestigious recognition. IKAR has been included in the list of the nation's 50 most innovative Jewish nonprofits, and Brous has been acknowledged as one of America's most influential rabbis by The Daily Beast. This accolade credited her with revitalizing Jewish community and re-energizing prayer at a time when religious affiliation was declining.

A respected educator and leader, Brous sits on the faculty of several institutions, including the Hartman Institute-North America, Wexner Foundation's Wexner Heritage, and REBOOT. She holds a position as a Senior Fellow at Auburn Theological Seminary, and has contributed to several books, including "The Modern Jewish Girl's Guide to Guilt" and "A Dream of Zion: American Jews Reflect on Why Israel Matters to Them".

Brous' education comprised of an ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary and a Master's Degree in human rights from Columbia University. She received the Human Rights Award from Death Penalty Focus for her commitment to human rights. Her influence also extended to the sphere of visual arts, with her inclusion in the 2022 art exhibit "Holy Sparks", which celebrated fifty years of women in the rabbinate.

Inspired by her strong political stances and belief that religion and politics cannot be decoupled, Brous' work has earned her widespread recognition. She has been prominently featured on the cover of Time magazine, a testament to the impact of her leadership in the Jewish community and beyond. Brous currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three children.

Speech Topics

Faith and Feminism: The Power of Jewish Women


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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