CLAL Faculty 

Rabbi Sid Schwarz

Few figures in Jewish life today have contributed to the community in as many capacities as Sid Schwarz: social entrepreneur, activist, organizational leader, congregational rabbi and author. Rabbi Yitz Greenberg, founder of CLAL and one of American Jewry’s most notable leaders, has written about Sid: "Rabbi Sid Schwarz’ life and career embody a unique mix of religious vision and an ability to implement that vision in the real world".

In 1988 Sid founded PANIM: The Institute for Jewish Leadership in Values, an organization that educates, inspires and empowers Jewish youth to a lifetime of activism, leadership and service on behalf of the Jewish people and society at large. After 21 years leading the organization as its CEO, he guided its merger with BBYO and continues to serve it as a senior consultant. Sid is also the founding rabbi of Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation in Bethesda, MD where he continues to periodically lead services and teach. In the mid-1980’s Sid served as the executive director of the Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington D.C. where he guided the community’s efforts around Israel advocacy, Soviet Jewry and a wide range of social justice issues.

A Ph.D. in Jewish history, Dr. Schwarz has been on the faculties of the University of Maryland, Temple University and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. Rabbi Schwarz has authored over 100 articles appearing in journals, magazines and newspapers. He is the co-author of Jewish Civics: A Tikkun Olam/World Repair Manual (1994) and Jews, Judaism and Civic Responsibility (1998).

His book, Finding a Spiritual Home: How a New Generation of Jews Can Transform the American Synagogue (2000), is one of the seminal works in the field of synagogue transformation as it outlined the elements of a new paradigm for the American synagogue. Sid has been a scholar in residence and consultant at dozens of synagogues, helping them become more empowered, creative and engaged communities of faith, learning and action. In Judaism and Justice: The Jewish Passion to Repair the World (2006), Sid developed a theology and rationale for the revival of social justice in American Jewish life.

Rabbi Schwarz was honored with the 2002 Covenant Award for his singular contributions to the field of Jewish education. In 2007 Newsweek magazine ranked Sid as one of the 50 most influential rabbis in America.

Email: Sid Schwarz


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