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Senior Rabbinic Fellow

Rabbi Vernon Kurtz is Rabbi Emeritus of North Suburban Synagogue Beth El in Highland Park Illinois, an 1100 family congregation which he served for 31 years. He is past president of the international Rabbinical Assembly, MERCAZ USA and MERCAZ Olami, and a member of the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency and the Jewish People Policy Institute. He is also past president of the American Zionist Movement and a Senior Rabbinic Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute. He is the author of Encountering Torah – Reflections on the Weekly Portion. He and his wife Bryna made Aliyah in June 2019.

Vernon Kurtz


Sep 19, 2016

Donniel Hartman challenges all of us to live a life of ethics, morality, and humility, motivated by a belief in God which ennobles our lives and those around us

Sep 29, 2013

We must create healthy Jewish societies based upon Jewish knowledge, a strong Jewish identity, a passion for Jewish living, and a love for the Jewish people

Nov 3, 2011

Life is not lived in black and white. It is always about complex situations which call forth difficult decisions

Nov 3, 2011

Vernon Kurtz: Such is the great challenge of living as a human being and a Jew in the modern world

Apr 5, 2009

The book challenges you to look at Jewish life in the modern age both in a democratic State of Israel and in the Diaspora

Mar 12, 2009

From Illinois to Jerusalem to Tbilisi to Moscow and back, rabbi finds presence of God in Jewish communities

Dec 25, 2008

Whether it is on behalf of our brothers and sisters in Israel or throughout the world, whether it is for those suffering in Darfur, whether it is in our own neighborhood for people who need assistance and support, we can make a difference

Nov 26, 2008

The haredi rabbinate in Israel pushes stringencies in the law beyond what is necessary and the tendency of Israel is to accept decisions that have created a moment in Jewish history where our values are being destroyed and our people are being torn asunder

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The End of Policy Substance in Israel Politics