(photo credit: CHERYL HIMMELSTEIN)
Rabbi Sharon Brous is a pioneering and innovative rabbinical leader in the US and one of the founders of IKAR, a community in Los Angeles launched in 2004 to reengage Jewish youth in America with Judaism and their heritage.
The community, which now boasts more than 570 household members, has attracted disaffected Jewish youth to its activities, programs and services with a modern agenda of revitalizing religious practice, as well as engaging in campaigns to foster social justice movements and ideals.
In January this year, Brous, along with rabbis from other communities around the US, established the Jewish Emergent Network to advance the cause of engaging disaffected Jewish youth nationwide.
Ordained as a rabbi in 2001 by the Jewish Theological Institute of the Conservative Movement, Brous has in recent years become one of the most influential rabbis in the US, and was one of the religious leaders to recite prayers for the people at US President Barack Obama’s second inauguration ceremony in 2013.
In the same year, she was named as the most influential rabbi in the US by the Daily Beast, the first female rabbi to enter the publication’s top ten rabbis.
Brous’s credentials as a woman of faith and of social action are bolstered by her standing on the International Council of the New Israel Fund, as well as being one of the faculty members of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America.
Brous has been politically active and is a member of the J Street advisory council. She was also a proponent of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the agreement negotiated by the US and others with Iran to limit the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program, and she signed a letter in 2015 urging Congress to support the deal..