Inspiring Rabbis 2016

One rabbi is hearing impaired. Two voluntarily donated a kidney each. One is the first woman rabbi in Canada’s capital. Many work with Jews who are new to Judaism, or with interfaith families. Some don’t necessarily work with Jews at all, but take their spiritual leadership to the streets or the classroom or the protest line.

Once again, our annual call for readers to nominate their most inspiring rabbis has brought hundreds of stories to our attention, from all over the country, across all denominations and traditions. Clearly, American Jews crave spiritual leadership, whether it comes from a young, innovative, recent seminary graduate, or an older rabbi who has shepherded his congregation for decades. What binds these stories is powerful gratitude for human connection.

I, too, am grateful for the many readers who took the time to nominate a rabbi and to unearth these treasures. I also want to thank Abby Tannenbaum and Maia Efrem for doing the monumental work of sifting through nominations and verifying information, as well as those other staff members who helped present these stories in the most compelling way possible, in print and online.

Read. Share. Honor. Be inspired. And be grateful to live at a time when so many men and women are devoted to the best in Jewish life.

— JANE EISNER

Rabbis 2016 Infographic

Rabbis 2016 Infographic

These entries have been edited for style and length.

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