Are we engaging religious tradition to explore pathways toward holiness and to illuminate human possibility—or are we using it as a tool to do the opposite?
Rabbi Sharon Brous is a leading voice in reanimating religious life in America, working to develop a spiritual roadmap for soulful, multi-faith justice work in Los Angeles and around the country.
Brous is the senior and founding rabbi of IKAR, which was started in 2004 and has become a model for Jewish revitalization in the US and beyond. With the goal of reinvigorating Jewish practice and inspiring people of faith to reclaim a moral and prophetic voice, IKAR quickly became one of the fastest growing and most influential Jewish congregations in the country. Today it is credited with sparking a rethinking of religious life in a time of unprecedented disaffection and declining affiliation.
Brous’s 2016 TED talk, “Reclaiming Religion,” has been viewed by more than 1.3 million people and translated into 20 languages. In 2013, she blessed President Obama and Vice President Biden at the Inaugural National Prayer Service, and Mayor Eric Garcetti at his inauguration in LA in 2017. She spoke at the Women’s March in Washington, DC in 2017, and at the national launch of the Poor People’s Campaign and the opening of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in 2018. Brous was named #1 on the Newsweek/The Daily Beast list of the most influential Rabbis in America, and has been recognized by The Forward and the Jerusalem Post as one of the fifty most influential Jews. She was featured on the cover of TIME magazine in 2018 based on Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms.
She is a graduate of Columbia University, was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary, and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three children.