15 American Rabbis You Haven't Heard Of, But Should

Sunday, September 14, 2014

We are very proud to have our own Rabbi Jason Rubenstein appear in Tablet magazine's 15 American Rabbis You Haven’t Heard Of, But Should. This is what they have to say:

Jason Rubenstein

Hadar | New York, N.Y.

The soul of a post-denominational yeshiva

Hadar, an egalitarian community and yeshiva in New York, is the flagship of the independent minyan movement in America. And Rabbi Jason Rubenstein—“Rav Jason” to his students—is the heart of Hadar. In what can often be a hyper-intellectual environment, Rubenstein offers a personal and sensitive touch in his role as dean of students.

Rubenstein first joined the faculty of Hadar while completing his rabbinical studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he was ordained in 2011. He has taught Talmud and Jewish thought to the yeshiva’s many students, while counseling and guiding them in their learning and spiritual development. While others are typically the institution’s public face in the op-ed pages and national Jewish press, Rubenstein is the soul of its Beit Midrash. “He makes himself deeply, personally available,” recalled Jana Jett Loeb, a former student. He is perpetually answering questions and distributing Jewish source texts to the many alumni with whom he remains in touch. “It’s not like he was afraid to say, ‘I don’t know where you should look,’ ” said Loeb. “It’s just that I never heard him say that.” He is as comfortable explaining the medieval rabbinic conception of the separation of synagogue and state as he is discussing the philosophy of Jürgen Habermas.

When not providing a warm and supportive presence at Hadar, Rubenstein can be found crisscrossing the country teaching and recruiting for the institution from Michigan to Colorado.