CLAL Faculty

Rabbi Irving Greenberg, Ph.D, President Emeritus

Rabbi Irving Greenberg is the President of Jewish Life Network/Steinhardt Foundation. JLN’s mission is to create new institutions and initiatives to enrich the inner life (religious, cultural, institutional) of American Jewry. Alongside Michael Steinhardt and his son, JJ Greenberg, zichrono livracha, he played a founders role in the JLN initiated partnerships which include such major projects as birthright israel which gives the gift of a ten day educational first trip to Israel to Jews, 18-26 years old, worldwide, the Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education (PEJE) which offers seed money and expertise to create new day schools, and MAKOR (now Makor/Steinhardt Center of the 92nd Street Y) which reaches out to Jews in their 20's and 30's through cutting edge music, arts and Jewish educational programs. Greenberg also served as Chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council from 2000-2002. He has written extensively on the theory and practice of pluralism and on the theology of Jewish-Christian relations.

An ordained Orthodox rabbi, a Harvard Ph.D. and scholar, Rabbi Greenberg has been a seminal thinker in confronting the Holocaust as an historical transforming event and Israel as the Jewish assumption of power and the beginning of a third era in Jewish history. In the book, Interpreters of Judaism in the Late Twentieth Century, Professor Steven T. Katz wrote, “No Jewish thinker has had a greater impact on the American Jewish community in the last two decades than Irving (Yitz) Greenberg.” Rabbi Greenberg has published numerous articles and monographs on Jewish thought and religion, including The Jewish Way: Living the Holidays (1988), a philosophy of Judaism based on an analysis of the Sabbath and holidays, Living in the Image of God: Jewish Teachings to Perfect the World, (1998) and For the Sake of Heaven and Earth: The New Encounter between Judaism and Christianity (2004).

From 1974 through 1997, he served as founding President of CLAL - The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, a pioneering institution in the development of adult and leadership education in the Jewish community and the leading organization in intra-Jewish dialogue and the work of Jewish unity. Before CLAL was founded, he served as Rabbi of the Riverdale Jewish Center, as Associate Professor of History at Yeshiva University, and as founder, chairman and Professor in the Department of Jewish Studies of City College of the City University of New York.


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