Veg Rabbis

 

This is a list of vegan, vegetarian, or vegetarian-friendly rabbis who are living. Note that the list only shows known vegetarian levels, and actual diets may be stricter than listed. For example, someone listed as advocating vegetarianism may be vegetarian, and someone calling themselves vegetarian may in fact be vegan. Note that affiliations and diets change, which may impact the accuracy of this list. Appearance on this list does not imply any kind of endorsement by Jewish Veg.

 

David Aaron (Orthodox, advocates vegetarianism)

Rosh Yeshiva Orayta (Jerusalem, Israel)

Founder and Dean,  Isralight (Jerusalem, Israel)

"In the case of consuming meat, whether it is to satisfy a craving and sublimate the need for aggression or some other divine reason unknown to us, the Torah temporarily concedes and allows us to do it in the interest of helping us eventually overcome the urge and become vegetarians."

Source: David Aaron, "Meat Your Morality",  Jewish World Review, 4-1-04

 

Ari Abramowitz (Modern Orthodox, advocates vegetarianism)

Director, Friends of Israel (Keren HaYesod, Jerusalem, Israel)

Host, Tuesday Night Live in Jerusalem (Jerusalem, Israel)

Source: "Is Veganism Good for Your Soul", Israel Inspired, Mizrachi World Movement, 12-26-13

 

Ali Abrams (Reform, vegan)

Midwest Regional Director, J Street Companies (Chicago, IL)

“Being a vegan keeps me connected to the earth, other people, and God.”

Source: self-described

 

Katy Allen (Nondenominational, vegetarian) 

Founder and Leader,  Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope (Wayland, MA)

Source: self-described

 

Morris Allen (Conservative, vegetarian)

​Rabbi, Beth Jacob Congregation (Mendota Heights, MN)

Developer,  Magen Tzedek ecokosher certification (St. Paul, MN)

Source: "Rabbi to address new kosher seal, ‘livable kashrut’ at PJCC", JWeekly, 2-11-10

 

Raymond Apple (Orthodox, vegetarian)

Lecturer, Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding & Cooperation (Jerusalem, Israel)

Board Member, ICCI: The Interreligious Coordinating Council of Israel

Emeritus Senior Rabbi, Great Synagogue of Sydney

"I am convinced that vegetarianism is ethically superior to meat-eating, which involves killing and consuming fellow creatures. It cannot be stated too often that God’s original design at the time of creation was that man should be vegetarian. It was only after the flood that meat-eating, under strictly controlled conditions, was permitted as a concession to human weakness. This is quite clear from Genesis 1:29-30 and 9:3, and underlined by Rashi’s comments on these verses and by the Talmudic comment in Sanhedrin 59b"

Source: Raymond Apple, "Shavu’ot & vegetarianism", OzTorah, 6-11

 

Samuel Barth (Conservative Egalitarian, advocates vegetarianism)

Former Rabbi,  Temple Ahavat Achim (Glouchester, MA) 

Source: Major Campaign to Change Jews' Diets

 

Helen Bar-Yaacov (Reform/Conservative, vegan)

Source:  Sara Anne Corrigan, "Serving vegan: Some substitute ingredients ensure flavor isn't left out of any recipe", Evanston Courier Press, 10-22-08

 

Lia Bass (Conservation, vegetarian)

​Rabbi,  Congregation Etz Hayim (Arlington, VA)

Source: E tzHayim.net/Rabbi.html

 

Annie Belford (Reform, vegetarian)

​Rabbi,  Temple Sinai (Houston, TX)

Source: Ava Miller, "Combining kosher and healthy eating", Jewish Herald Voice, 8-6-2009

 

Aaron Benson (Conservative, vegetarian)

Rabbi, North Shore Jewish Center (Port Jefferson Station,NY)

Source: self-described

 

Matthew Berger (Refrom, vegetarian)

Congregation Beth Shalom of The Woodlands (The Woodlands, TX)

Source: self-described

 

Yisroel Bernath (Chabad, vegan)

Rabbi, Chabad of NDG and Loyola Campus (Montreal, QC)

Associate Chaplain at Concordia University

"A healthy body will lend itself to a healthy soul. We have a responsibility to take care of ourselve."

Source: Dorothy Lipovenki, "Chabad goes Vegan in Montreal", Jewish Daily Forward, 11-23-10

 

Binyamin Biber (Humanistic, vegan)

​American University (Washington, DC)

Source: self-described

 

Robin Fryer Bodzin (Conservative, vegan)

​Rabbi, Israel Center of Conservative Judaism (Flushing, NY)

"Being vegan is not difficult. Don't think about what you are missing putting into your mouth. Instead, focus on knowing that you are not taking the life of anything that can look you eye to eye."

Source: self-described

 

James Brandt (Reform, vegan)

​CEO, Jewish Federation of the East Bay (Oakland, CA)

Source: self-described

 

Rick Brody (Reconstructionist, vegan)

​Community Chaplain, Jewish Family Service of Colorado (Denver, CO)

Source: self-described

 

Sharon Brous (Conservative, vegetarian)

Founder and Senior Rabbi, IKAR (Los Angeles, CA)

Listed in Forward’s 50 most influential American Jews and Newsweek’s leading rabbis

Panelist, Newsweek and The Washington Post’s “On Faith”

Faculty, REBOOT

Rabbinic advisory board, American Jewish World Service and the regional council of Progressive Jewish Alliance

Source: N. Pfefferman, "Vegan Adventures With Alicia Silverstone", Jewish Journal, 12-3-09

 

Janet Burden (Liberal, vegetarian)

Rabbi, Ealing Liberal Synagogue (London, England)

Source: J. Burden, "Parashat Tzav 2013", Liberal Judaism, 3-22-13

 

Dr. Geoffrey Claussen (Conservative, vegan)

​Coordinator, Jewish Studies Program at Elon University (Elon, NC)

Source: self-described

 

Dr. Gabriel Cousens (vegan)

​Founder and Director, Tree of Life Rejuvenation Foundation (Patagonia, AZ)

Source: G. Cousens, "The History and Future of Veganism", Dr. Cousens' blog, 1-7-11

 

Robert Davis (Reform, vegan)

Rabbi, Temple Beth Sholom (Miami Beach, FL)

Source: self-described

 

Dr. Eliezer Diamond (advocates vegetarianism)

Rabbi Judah Nadich Associate Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics, The Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, NY)

Source: "Major Campaign to Change Jews Diets", JVNA

 

Gail Diamond (Reconstructionist, advocates vegetarianism)

​Assistant Director and Director of Institutional Advancement, Conservative Yeshiva (Tzur Hadassah, Israel)

Source: "Major Campaign to Change Jews Diets", JVNA

 

Fred Scherlinder Dobb (Reconstructionist, vegetarian)

Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation (Bethesda, MD)

National Board of COEJL and Shalom Center 

"For the Earth, since animal husbandry causes fully 18% of human-induced climate change; for the poor, whose sustanence is squandered as livestock feed; for all God's critters who have a place in the choir: kol haneshamah t'hallel Yah..."

Source: "Major Campaign to Change Jews Diets", JVNA

 

Boris Dolin (Reconstructionist, vegan)

​Associate Rabbi, Temple Beth Israel (Eugene, OR)

Founder and Director, ShalomVeg

Source: self-described

 

Paula Mack Drill (Reconstructionist, pescetarian)

Rabbi, Orangetown Jewish Center (Orangeburg, NY)

Source: self-described

 

Dan Ehrenkrantz (Reconstructionist, pescetarian)

​Interim Hillel Director, Wellesley College (Wellesley, MA)

Advisor, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

Source: self-described

 

Yehoshua Engelman (Orthodox, vegetarian)

Rabbi, Yakar Study Centre (Tel Aviv, Israel)

Source: N. Bendel, “יוזמת צמחונות הלכתית חדשה מבקשת לזעזע את המגזר“, Kipa, 4-1-14

 

Steven Exler

​Associate Rabbi, Hebrew Institute of Riverdale - The Bayit (Bronx, NY)

Source: self-described

 

Yossi Feintuch (Reform, vegetarian with limited eggs and dairy)

Rabbi, Congregation Beth Shalom (Columbia, MO)

Lecturer, University of Missouri, Department of Religious Studies

Source: Alyssa Appelman, "Rabbi Finds Vegetarianism to be a Religious Ideal", The Missourian, 7-18-08. Reprinted in Heeb'n'Vegan 7-31-08

 

Lori Feldstein-Gardner (Reconstructionist, vegan)

​Education Director, Society for the Advancement of Judaism

Source: self-described

 

​Yisroel Finman (95% vegan)

Chai Kosher (Key West, FL)

"The planet and humanity need for us to consume a predominantly natural, unadultered vegan diet."

Source: self-described

 

Avraham Fisher (Traditional, vegetarian)

​Rabbi, Beth Isaiah Congregation (Guelph, ON)

"Once I became familiar with the methods of raising and transporting chickens I made a commitment to being a vegetarian... Mass production methods of raising, transporting and slaughtering animals violates [Jewish] dictates. The act of eating should be a means of bringing holiness and sanctity into our lives. It is not a meaningless, mere indulgence. By eating according to the Jewish dietary laws, and with the proper focus and intent, one's table can become a virtual altar in the service of God."

Source: Avraham Fisher, "Sage offers taste of Jewish view on vegetarianism", Guelph Mercury, 11-14-14

 

Adam Frank (Masorti/Conservative, vegan)

Rabbi, Congregation Moreshet Yisrael (Jerusalem, Israel)

Teacher, Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies (Jerusalem, Israel)

Source: Claudette Vaughn, "Rabbi Adam Frank - The Interview", The Abolitionist, 2-23-11

 

Loring Frank (Independent, vegetarian)

All People's Synagogue (Miami Beach, FL)

Source: Ray Martinez, "Rabbi with a Cause", Miami New Times, 4-17-97

 

Ephraim Gabbai (Sepharadi, pescetarian)

Assistant Director, Interreligious and Intergroup Relations, AJC (New York, NY)

 

Everett Gendler (Reform, vegetarian)

Former Rabbi Emeritus, Temple Emanuel (Great Barrington, MA)

Gendler Grapevine

​"We still have a social responsibility. Our soul cannot rest in harmonious repose without addressing all of these issues."

​Source: Alexandra J. Wall, "Reform rabbis debate virtues of a veggie diet", JWeekly, 7-20-01

 

Yonassan Gershom (liberal Hasidic, "vegetarian with some dairy and eggs from own happy chickens")

(Sandstone, MN)

Author, Beyond the Ashes, Jewish Tales of Reincarnation, and other books

Source: Yonassan Gershom, "New Book: "Kapporos Then and Now: Toward a More Compassionate Tradition" by Yonassan Gershom", Notes from a Jewish Thoreau, 6-4-15

 

Jeremy Gimpel (Modern Orthodox, vegan)

Creator and Host, "Tuesday Night Live in Jerusalem" (Gush Etzion, Israel)

Deputy Director, World Mizrachi Movement

Commentator featured on Fox News, CNN, and Al Jazeera

"As I watched in horror, I wanted to believe such terrible cruelty and suffering could not happen in kosher institutions. I was wrong. One video led to another, and about 100 videos later I have not been able to eat meat or other animal products... The cruelty of factory farming is driving many Jews and non-Jews around the world to vegetarianism, which may ultimately be the ideal Jewish life."

Source: "Israel Inspired: Is that really kosher?", Jerusalem Post, 1-2-14

Source: "Is Veganism Good for Your Soul", Israel Inspired, Mizrachi World Movement, 12-26-13

 

Joshua Ginsberg (Conservative, vegetarian)

​Rabbi, Beth Abraham Congregation (Dayton, OH)

Source: Marshall Weiss, "For Passover, a clergy couple's vegetarian seder menu", Jewish Sound, 3-16-15

 

Fivel Yedidya Glasser (Modern Orthodox, vegetarian)

​Founder, P'tach Libi (Alon Shvut, Israel)

Director, Yeshiva (Jerusalem, Israel)

“The Torah expects us to act with great sensitivity to ourselves and to the world around us. What we put into our bodies must be a part of that sensitivity and awareness as we grow in our own sense of commitment to spirituality and dedication to Hashem.”

Source: self-described

 

Miriyam Glazer (Traditional, advocates vegetarianism)

​Chair of Literature, Communication and Media, American Jewish University (Bel Air, CA)

"We must return to Judaism that celebrates nature. We must return to eating what we ate in the Garden of Eden. To eat every type of fruit and vegetable. Meat comes only after the flood. We today need to return to the Garden of Eden within and be vegetarians."

Source: Tzofia Hirschfeld, "Organic is the true kosher", ynet news, 7-1-09

 

Shefa Gold (Reconstructionist, advocates vegetarianism)

Director, C-DEEP: The Center for Devotional, Energy and Ecstatic Practice (Jemez Springs, NM)

Pathfinder, Aleph: Alliance for Jewish Renewal

Source: "Major Campaign to Change Jews Diets", JVNA

 

Elyse Goldstein (Reform, vegetarian)

​Rabbi, City Shul (Toronto, ON)

Source: E. Goldstein, "I'm A Rabbi, But I Didn't Fast This Week -- Here's Why", The Huffington Post, 7-8-13

Source: F. Kraft, "Rabbis share recipes for holiday", The Canadian Jewish News, 4-2-09

 

Dr. Arthur Green (Reconstructionist, advocates vegetarianism)

​Rector and Irving Brudnick Professor of Philosophy and Religion, Hebrew College (Boston, MA)

"Life has become too precious in this era for us to be involved in the shedding of blood, even that of animals when we can survive without it.... A vegetarian Judaism would be more whole in its ability to embrace the presence of God in all of creation."

Source: A. Green, “Seek My Face, Speak My Name: A Contemporary Jewish Theology”, 1992

 

Irving (Yitz) Greenberg (Modern Orthodox, pescetarian who advocates vegetarianism)

​President Emeritus, Clal (Bronx, NY)

"'I can’t change the whole world’ you can say. My answer to that is: You’re right, but you certainly can personally change your whole world."

Source: self-described

 

Marc Gruber (Reform, vegetarian)

​Rabbi, Central Synagogue of Nassau County (Rockville Centre, NY)

Co-chair of the Steering Committee of Reform Jewish Voice of New York State

Member, Rabbinic Advisory Committee, Jewish Fund for Justice

Member, CCAR Committee of Persons with Disabilities

Wrote a syndicated vegetarian cooking column from 1990-1993

Source: Central Synagogue of Nassau County

 

Joshua Hammerman (Conservative, vegetarian)

​Rabbi, Temple Beth El (Stamford, CT)

“Torturing animals flies against everything Judaism believes in - hence the laws of Kashrut, which inculcate kindness to animals and sensitivity to all life. As a vegetarian and dog owner, I take those laws even further in my own personal practice...”

Source: J. Hammerman, "Is Turkey Kosher?", The Jewish Week, 11-18-11

 

Joe Hample (Reform, mostly vegetarian)

​Rabbi, Tree of Life Congregation (Morgantown, WV)

"I am mostly vegetarian, as an alternative to kashrut and an act of solidarity with the hungry."

Source: J. Hample, "Why would God care about what we eat?", The Jewish Chronicle. 7-31-13

 

Ari Hart (Modern Orthodox, mostly vegetarian)

​Assitant Rabbi, Hebrew Institute of Riverdale (Bronx, NY)

Founder, Uri L'Tzedek (New York, NY)

"I just can't justify my pleasure vs. the suffering caused. I don't think eating meat is inherently wrong but I do think our meat system is deeply, deeply wrong. I'm still eating chicken on shabbat, but we'll see how long that lasts."

Source: Ari Hart, Facebook, 12-10-13

 

Raz Hartman (Hasidic, vegetarian)

Leader, V'ani Tefillah (Nachlaot, Jerusalem, Israel)

 

Shai Held (Post-denominational, advocates vegetarianism)

​Co-Founder, Dean, and Chair in Jewish Thought, Mechon Hadar (New York, NY)

"Taking Tanakh seriously, we are obligated to remember that permission to eat meat is a concession, a far cry from the Torah's ideal."

Source: S. Held, “Is Vegetarianism a Biblical Ideal?”, Center for Jewish Leadership and Ideas, Parashat Shemini, Adar II 5774

 

Lizzi Heydemann (Conservative, vegetarian)

​Rabbi, Mishkan (Chicago, IL)

Source: self-described

 

Akiva Herzfeld (Modern Orthodox, advocates vegetarianism)

​(Israel)

“God created a beautiful world, and we should work actively to preserve the wonders of the living creatures and natural beauty of the world that God has created."

Source: self-described

 

Eliezer Hirsch (Modern Orthodox, vegetarian, nearly vegan)

​Rabbi, Mekor Habracha (Philadelphia, PA)

Source: self-described

 

Robert Judd (Conservative, vegetarian)

​Rabbi, Kol Ami (Tampa, FL)

Source: self-described

 

ShaulDavid (Hasidic, advocates vegetarianism)

​Director, JiVE! Program, Teva Ivri (Gush Etzion, Israel)

Source: self-described

 

Laura Duhan Kaplan (Renewal, advocates vegetarianism)

Rabbi Emerita, Or Shalom Synagogue (Vancouver, BC)

Source: self-described

 

Jonathan Klein (vegan)

​Executive Director, CLUE-LA (Los Angeles, CA)

Source: self-described

 

Bonnie Koppell (Resconstructionist, advocates vegetarianism)

​Rabbi, Temple Chai (Phoenix, AZ)

“There is no question that the Torah's ideal is vegetarianism and that eating meat is a concession.”

Source: D. Brook, "The Planet-Saving Mitzvah: Why Jews Should Consider Vegetarianism", Tikkun Magazine, July/August 2009

 

Charles Kroloff (Reform, advocates vegetarianism)

Vice President for Special Projects, Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion (New York, NY)

Source: Alexandra J. Wall, "Reform rabbis debates virtues of a veggie Diet", JWeekly, 7-20-01

 

Paul M. Kurland (Conservative, vegetarian)

​Rabbi, Nanuet Hebrew Center (New City, NY)

 

Leah Kurtz (Conservative, advocates vegetarianism)

Chaplain, California Medical Facility, Vacaville

Chaplain,  Solano State Prison (Petaluma, CA)

“Changing to a plant-based diet or, short of that, reducing our consumption of meat drastically is the most important way we can each directly contribute to repairing the ecosystem upon which we depend for our survival as a species.”

Source: “Sustainable Future”, Letters, j. the Jewish news weekly of Northern California, 10-1-09

 

Noa Kushner (Reform, vegetarian)

Founding Rabbi, The Kitchen (San Francisco, CA)

Source: E. Goss, “Schmoozing with Noa Kushner“, The Jewish Week, 6-3-13

 

David Lazar (Masorti, advocates vegetarianism

Founding Director, RIKMA

Source: "Major Campaign to Change Jews Diets", JVNA

 

Barry (Baruch) Leff (Conservative, "ethical omnivore" advocates vegetarianism)

Founder, Neshamah ( Jerusalem, Israel)

Chairman of the Board, Rabbis for Human Rights (Jerusalem, Israel)

“The Jewish ideal is clearly to be vegetarian; those who can't live up to that ideal should reduce the consumption of meat and only eat meat that is responsibly produced with minimum cruelty to the animal and minimum harm to the environment.”

Source: self-described, Barry Leff, “Re’eh 5771 -- Eating Animals: Is Your Meat Really Kosher?”, 8-26-11

 

Yaier Lehrer (Conservative, almost vegetarian)

Rabbi, Adat Shalom (Pittsburgh area, PA)

Source: self-described

 

Barry Dov Lerner (Conservative, advocates vegetarianism)

Rav HaMakhshir, President, Traditional Kosher Supervision, Inc. (Wyncote, PA)

​"I should add that recent films, study of the issue and a study of health rules for the human being are urging me to consider a far more vegetarian way of life."

Source: Barry Dov Lerner, "Conservative Judaism/kosher meat", AllExperts.com

 

Aaron Levy (Modern Orthodox Sephardic, vegan)

Founding Rabbi and Director, Makom (Toronto, ON)

Source: Corey Mintz, "So the vegan rabbi came for dinner...", The Star, 1-28-11

 

Dr. Yossi Liebowitz (Reform, advocates vegetarianism)

​Rabbi, Congregation B'Nai Israel (Spartanburg, SC)

"The best expression of Kashrut is vegetarianism."

Source: Y. Liebowitz, “Commentary: Find ways to effect religious understanding”, The Herald-Journal, 11-12-11

Source: self-described

 

Janet Ross Marder (Reform, does not eat meat except for some fish)

Senior Rabbi, Congregation Beth Am (Los Altos Hills, CA)

 

Dalia Marx (Reform, vegetarian)

Associate Professor for Liturgy and Midrash, Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion (Jerusalem, Israel)

Source: A. Leichman, "Creatures on the calendar",  Jerusalem Post, 8-23-12

 

David O'Reilley McLashley (Orthodox, advocates vegetarianism)

​(Los Angeles, CA)

Source: D. O'Reilly McLashley, "An Orthodox Perspective on Vegetarianism", All-Creatures.org

 

Michelle Missaghieh (Reform, advocates vegetarianism)

​Associate Rabbi, Temple Israel of Hollywood (Los Angeles, CA)

"I believe that vegetarianism is the ideal jewish way of eating, and that the laws of kashrut are a compromise to this ideal."

Source: self-described

 

David Mivasair (Reconstructionist, advocates vegetarianism)

​Rabbi, Ahavat Olam Congregation (Vancouver, BC)

Source: "Major Campaign to Change Jews Diets", JVNA

 

Len Muroff (Conservative, vegetarian)

​Rabbi/Founder, Conejo Jewish Outreach (CA)

Chaplain, Vitas Innovative Hospice Care

Source: self-described

 

Robin Nafshi (Reform, animal-friendly)

Rabbi, Temple Beth Jacob (Concord, NH)

Source: "Interview With A Vegetaria Who Attended a Jewish Blessing of the Animals Ceremony", heeb'n'vegan, 12-15-09

 

Yonatan Neril (Modern Orthodox, vegan)

Founder and Executive Director, Jewish Eco Seminars (Jerusalem, Israel)

Source: self-described

 

Hillel Norry (Conservative, advocates vegetarianism)

​Rabbi, Congregation Shearith Israel (Atlanta, GA)

Served as the Rabbinic Consultant for the Ed Norton and Ben Stiller film, "Keeping the Faith."

Source: "Vegetarian Cholent", EveningEdge.com

Source: H. Norry, Facebook, 7-13-15

 

Schachar Orenstein (Orthodox, vegetarian)

​Rabbi, Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue of Montreal (Montreal, QC)

Co-founder, Teva Quebec

Source: J. Arnold, “Veterinarians hear about kosher slaughter”, Canadian Jewish News, 12-1-11

 

David Ostrich (Reform, vegetarian)

Rabbi, Congregation Brit Shalom (State College, PA)

Source: "Jesus Billboard Causes Florida Stir", Chicago Tribune, 4-25-03

 

Shlomo Pappenheim (Haredi, advocates vegetarianism)

​Chair, Edad HaCharedit (Jerusalem, Israel)

Source: Speech at the Museum on the Seam in Jerusalem, 8-20-13

Source: Y. Yanover, "Haredi Leader: Wearing a Shtreimel is Chilul Hashem", JewishPress.com, 8-22-13

 

Carl Perkins (Conservative, eats fish)

​Rabbi, Temple Aliyah (Needham, MA)

“In our day and age, and given how the vast majority of animals are treated and the way in which the vast percentage of meat comes to the table, vegetarianism is the way to go.”

Source: self-described

 

Joel Pitcowsky (Conservative, vegan)

​Rabbi, Congregation Beth Sholom (Teaneck, NJ)

Source: "Vegan News Report--CBS Teaneck Purim Shpeil 5772", 3-7-12

 

Shalom Podwol (Conservative, vegetarian/occasional pescetarian)

​Rabbi Emeritus, Congregation Am Echad (Park Forest, IL)

Source: self-described

 

Marcia Prager (Reconstructionist, advocates vegetarianism)

​P'nai OR Jewish Renewal Community (Philadelphia, PA)

Director and Dean, ALEPH Ordination Program

Source:  "Major Campaign to Change Jews Diets", JVNA

 

Yosef Resnick (Hasidic)

​Certified scribe, Torah educator, and Creator, Room613 (Sharon, MA)

Source: self-described

 

David Rosen (Orthodox, vegan)

​RabbiDavidRosen.net (Jerusalem, Israel)

International Director, Interreligious Affairs, American Jewish Committee

Former Chief Rabbi of Ireland

Past Chairman, International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations

Co-president, World Conference of Religions for Peace Honorary

President, International Council of Christians and Jews

Serves on the Executive Committee of the World Council of Religious Leaders

Source: self-described

 

Ed Rosenthal (Reform, vegetarian)

Executive Director, Hillels of the Florida Suncoast (Tampa, FL)

"As a Reform Jew, I cannot ignore my understanding of vegetarianism as an ethical mitzvah, an ethical mitzvah which commands me not to kill another living, sentient creature. An ethical mitzvah that commands me to preserve and protect human life, not harm or destroy it by filling my body with harmful fats and chemicals. An ethical mitzvah that commands me not to waste food that could be used to feed starving children by feeding it to livestock destined for the slaughterhouse. An ethical mitzvah that commands me to protect and maintain, not contribute to the wholesale destruction of our global environment--for this world is a gift that cannot be replaced."

Source: E. Rosenthal, "Ethical Vegetarianism", CCAR Journal: A Reform Jewish Quarterly, Spring 1992

 

B. Rosenzweig בניום רוזנצויג (Orthodox, vegetarian)

​Yeshivat Ramat Hasharon (Ramat Hasharon, Israel)

"Maimonides and Nachmanides wrote many commandments, such as meat and milk, send away the bird from the nest, to teach us how to preserve mercy and keep away from cruelty, even if these words permitted slaughter... It seems that seeing animals as products, and the industrial attitude towards them in today’s culture of growth and consumption, stands in stark contrast to this mandate. Until this area is significantly fixed, I personally refrain from eating meat and oppose as much as possible the use of animal products in this industry."

Source: N. Bendel, “יוזמת צמחונות הלכתית חדשה מבקשת לזעזע את המגזר“, Kipa, 4-1-14

 

Lord Jonathan Sacks (Ortodox, vegetarian)

Chief Rabbi of the UK (London, UK)

Source: J. Sacks, "Two Minutes With Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks", VarsiTV Cambridge

 

Rachel Safman (Conservative, vegetarian)

Rabbi, Congregation Beth El (New London, CT)

Source: self-described

 

Mark Sameth (vegetarian)

"If we gave up our meat-based diets, simply stopped raising animals for food, all of those crops we are now raising to feed those animals would be sufficient to feed every starving man, woman, and child on the planet."

Source: G. Stern, "Can vegetarianism be the Reform Kosher?", Blogging Religiously, 4-13-11

 

Amy R. Scheinerman (advocates vegetarianism)

Member, Responsa Committee of the Central Conference of American Rabbis

Editor, Torah Commentary column of the CCAR newsletter

Source:  "Major Campaign to Change Jews Diets", JVNA

 

Stacy Schlein (Reform, vegetarian)

Shabbaton Director, The Temple – Tifereth Israel (Cleveland, OH)

Executive Committee of Greater Cleveland Congregations

"Over the years, people have asked me why I am vegetarian. In truth, all of the reasons for doing it are compelling and reinforce important Jewish and universal values: it is better for the environment, it is healthier, it prevents killing animals and it is an inward and outward expression of the sacredness of all living things... All life is sacred. All life is a gift from God. Each morsel of food that we eat or that we donate is a blessing that must be truly appreciated."

Source: S. Schlein, "Thank God I am vegetarian", Cleveland Jewish News, 3-13-13

 

Chaim Leib Schneider (Renewal w/ Orthodox smicha, vegan)

President, Chadeish Yameinu Congregation (Santa Cruz, CA)

Source: self-described

 

Rabbi Ari Ze'ev Schwartz Schwartz (Orthodox, vegetarian)

Rabbi, Bnai Akiva (Jerusalem)

Author of the book, "The Spiritual Evolution of Rav Kook," which discusses the Rav's and the author's vegetarianism.

Source: "The Spiritual Evolution of Rav Kook"

 

Barry Schwartz (Reform, vegetarian)

Rabbi, Congregation Adas Emuno (Leonia, NJ)

Member, Environmental Committee of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR)

“...he said promoting a vegetarian diet could be considered a Jewish value because of Judaism's prohibitions "against unnecessarily destroying resources and reverence for life."“

Source: Alexandra J. Wall, "Reform rabbis debate virtues of a veggie diet", JWeekly, 7-20-01

 

Jeremy Schwartz (Reconstructionist, vegetarian)

Rabbi, Temple Bnai Israel (Willimantic, CT)

Source: Congregant

 

Dovid Sears (Orthodox, vegetarian)

Director, Breslov Center (Brooklyn, NY)

Author,  The Vision of Eden: Animal Welfare and Vegetarianism in Jewish Law and Mysticism

 

Arthur Segal (Renewal, advocates vegetarianism)

Rabbi, Jewish Spiritual Renewal (Hilton Head, SC)

Source: self-described

 

Roxanne J. S. Shapiro (Reform, vegetarian)

Rabbi, United Hebrew Congregation (St. Louis, MO)

Source: self-described

 

Rami Shapiro (vegetarian)

Rosh Yeshiva, The Virtual Yeshiva, Rasheit Institute for Jewish Spirituality (Miami, FL)

RabbiRami.com

"Vegetarianism is not simply a dietary ideal. It is a practice designed to enhance your capacity for compassion."

Source:  "Major Campaign to Change Jews Diets", JVNA

 

Amichai Shoham (Orthodox, vegetarian)

Rabbi, Darchei Yehudah School (Modi'in, Israel)

Source: Congregant

 

Barry Silver (Reform, vegetarian)

Rabbi, Congregation L'Dor Va-Dor (Lake Worth, FL)

"The humane principles behind kashrut lead directly to vegetarianism."

Source: self-described

 

Joseph Aaron Skloot (Reform, vegetarian)

Doctoral candidate in Jewish history, Columbia University (New York, NY)

Source: L. Hakimian, “How Joe Met Erin”, The Jewish Week, 11-2-11

 

Michael Skobac (Orthodox, advocates vegetarianism)

Director of Education and Counseling, Jews for Judaism Canada (Toronto, ON)

"It seems to me that there are some compelling Jewish reasons for shifting our diets toward vegetarianism."

Source: Michael Skobac, "JUDAISM+VEGETARIANISM: DOES THE TORAH POINT to a PREFERRED DIET?", Jews for Judaism

 

David Small (Conservative Egalitarian, 95% vegan)

Emanuel Synagogue (West Hartford, CT)

"There is plenty in the Torah that resonates with vegetarianism… There are times when the Torah says to eat animal products in a special sacrificial setting but maybe we weren’t meant to do it all the time." 

Source: Stacey Dresner, "Kosher Vegetarians",  Jewish Ledger, 11-10-05

 

Deb Smith (Renewal, advocates vegetarianism)

Havurah Or Ha-Lev (Mt. Arlington, NJ)

"Vegetarianism is a way to combine the ethical and environmental concerns I have about food preparation and consumption. It's about honoring G-d and G-d's holy creatures and inviting G-d to the dinner table. Ultimately, it's about it's about being in constant dialogue with G-d."

Source: self-described

 

Eliyahu Soiefer (Hasidic, vegan)

Rabbi and Mashgiach Ruchani, Stein Yeshiva (Yonkers, NY)

Source: self-described

 

Marc Soloway (Conservative, "vegetarian who occasionally indulged in chicken or turkey")

Rabbi, Congregation Bonai Shalom (Boulder, CO)

Source: M. Soloway, “Turkey Talk”, Boulder Jewish News, 11-15-11

 

Daniel Sperber (Orthodox, advocates vegetarianism)

Rabbi, Congregation Menachem Zion (Old City of Jerusalem, Israel)

Professor, Bar Ilan University

Source: Michael Croland, "Rabbi Sperber on the Jewish Case for Vegetarianism", Heeb'n'Vegan, 5-16-09

 

Moishe Steigmann (Conservative, vegetarian)

School Rabbi (Rav Beit HaSefer), Milwaukee Jewish Day School (Milwaukee, WI)

"Now, having finally committed to trying to be a vegetarian, I feel freer to live a more fulfilled and authentic spiritual life, one in which the tenets of my life and my Judaism – tza’ar ba’alei hayim, love of all of God’s creatures; protecting the earth; caring for my body – one where these tenets can coalesce more deeply."

Source: “A Rabbi Goes Veggie”, blogger.com, 9-1-10

 

Adam Stein (Masorti/Conservative, vegetarian)

Rabbi, Kehilat Nitzan Synagogue (Melbourne, Australia)

"The torture of animals and the suffering that they go through, to be raised on these large factory farms and then eaten is really forbidden by Judaism."

Source: self-described

 

Paul Steinberg (Conservative, vegetarian)

Educator & Spiritual Advisor, Beit T'Shuvah (Los Angeles, CA)

Source: P. Steinberg, "Conscience and a Vegetarian Rabbi", meetup.com, 8-2-09

 

Samuel Steinberg (Jewish Fusion, vegetarian)

Rabbi, Congregation OM ShalOM (St. George, Staten Island, NY)

Source: Vegetarian Friend

 

Warren Stone (Reform, "not completely vegetarian")

Rabbi, Temple Emanuel (Kensington, MD)

Environmental Chair, Central Conference of American Rabbis

Source: “Warren G. Stone, green religious leader, answers questions”, Grist, 5-28-08

 

Binyamin "Ben" Tanny (Orthodox, advocates vegetarianism)

TravellingRabbi.com (Sydney, Australia)

"From what I've studied I would say that the ultimate way is probably not to be eating animals, as it is a concession to our weakness.” “I think for the Jewish observant person the main issue today is with regards to cruelty to animals which we must distance ourselves from as far away as possible. From a non religious view I feel most of the meat around is not healthy and worth eating."

Source: self-described

 

Jon-Jay Tilsen (Conservative, vegetarian)

Rabbi, Congregation Beth El-Keser (New Haven, CT)

Source: Mark Oppenheimer, “Daddy Eats Dead Cows”, Slate, 2-26-09

 

Noach Valley (Conservative, vegetarian)

(New York, NY)

Source: "Major Campaign to Change Jews Diets", JVNA

 

Jason Van Leeuwen (Conservative, vegan)

Rabbi, Temple B'nai Hayim (Sherman Oaks, CA)

"Kashrut is a roadmap to vegetarianism... Ultimately the goal is to wean you off of meat entirely."

Source: “Jolly Jan with What’s Your Viewpoint”, YouTube.com

Source: “Reb Jason Van Leeuwen Promotes Vegan Views”, YouTube.com

 

Arthur Waskow (Reconstructionist, advocates vegetarianism)

Founder and Director, The Shalom Center (Philadelphia, PA)

Source: "Major Campaign to Change Jews Diets", JVNA

 

Elyse Wechterman (Reconstructionist, vegetarian)

Executive Director, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association (Wyncote, PA)

Member, The Board of Rabbis of Greater Rhode Island

Source: E. Wechterman, "How to go beyond Newtown's horror", The Sun Chronicle, 1-5-13

 

Sheila Weinberg (Reconstructionist, advocates vegetarianism)

Founder, Institute of Jewish Spirituality (New York, NY)

Source: "Major Campaign to Change Jews Diets", JVNA

 

Michael Werbow (Conservative, pescetarian)

Rabbi, Temple Beth Sholom (Sarasota, FL)

Source: self-described

 

Ann White (vegan)

Weddings by Ann White

Source: gardenofvegan.blogspot.com

 

Jonathan Wittenberg (Masorti, vegetarian)

Senior Rabbi, Assembly of Masorti Synagogues UK

Rabbi, New North London Synagogue (London, UK)

"Where to Start? Maybe with Psalm 24: ‘The earth is God's and everything that's in it'. Trees, birds, animals, people, - all are part of God's presence in every living being. They are sacred and beautiful. I don't want to hurt them, neither in my own life nor through how my society and civilisation treat them. That's what makes me want to plant forests, not uproot them; feed the birds, not kill them; eat vegetarian; seek out foods which don't destroy the animals or the soil, and value fair trade so that my joy in life doesn't bring suffering to others."

Source: Sara Kessler, "Ethical Jewish Food Dominates the Conversation at 2nd Gefiltefest", The Jew and the Carrot, 5-25-11

 

David Wolpe (Conservative, vegetarian)

Rabbi, Sinai Temple (Los Angeles, CA)

Wrote article supportive of J.S. Foer's "Eating Animals"

Author, "David: The Divided Heart"

"Kashrut is not vegetarianism. But kashrut is a reminder of Judaism’s concern with animal suffering... To make those in our power suffer, whether people or animals, is to darken our own souls... Our first responsibility is to be kind."

Source: Rob Eshman, "Friday the Rabbi Eats Tofu", Jewish Journal, 3-5-10

 

Shmuly Yanklowitz (Orthodox, vegan)

Executive Director, Valley Beit Midrash (Scottsdale, AZ)

Founder and President, Uri L'Tzedek and Shamayim V'Aretz Institute

Author, "The Soul of Jewish Social Justice"

“In an age where vegetarianism must be viewed as a halakhic and Jewish ethical ideal, it must be considered as part of our pursuits in striving for truth, justice, peace, and holiness.”

Source: S. Yanklowitz, “Creatures in the Nation-State”, Conversations, Issue 8

Source: self-described

 

Ben-hayil Yellen  (Sephardic Conservative, vegan)

President, Hebrew Conservative Union

Source: "Rabbi Yoffie endorses flexitarianism, the 'kashrut establishment'", Jewschool, 11-10-09

 

Eric Yoffie (Reform, "endorses reduction in meat consumption")

President Emeritus, Union of Reform Judaism (Westfield, NJ)

"For the first 2,500 years of our 3,000 year history, Jews consumed meat sparingly, and we can surely do the same. And we must... Perhaps we can begin by offering some Shabbat dinners and Passover Seders that will delight with their variety, creativity, and taste, and that will be a model for our members of healthy, festive, meat-free meals."

Source: S. Fishkoff, "Reform leader urges followers to adopt Jewish dietary practice", Jewish Telegraphic Agency, 11-10-2009

 

Mary L. Zamore (Reform, "consumes meat on a very limited basis")

Editor, "The Sacred Table: Creating a Jewish Food Ethic"

Source: M. Zamore, "Creating a Sacred Table: Be the High Priest of Your Grill", Huffington Post, 9-1-11

 

Michael R. Zedek (Reform, pescetarian)

Senior Rabbi, Emmanuel Congregation (Chicago, IL)

“Going veggie, in addition to being the easiest way to observe kashrut and making it possible for every Jew to eat in one's home, is a diet that is good for you and the planet.”

Source: K. Pang, “Hole in my Heart”, Chicago Tribune, 10-20-11

 

Lina Zerbarini (Mostly vegan)

Director, Weinberger Center for Jewish Life & Learning, Sid Jacobson Jewish Community Center (East Hills, NY) 

"Contemporary agribusiness violates the prohibition against tzaar baalei chayim, the causing of suffering to animals."

Source: self-described

 

Gersh Zylberman (Reform, vegan)

Senior Rabbi, Temple Bat Yahm (Newport Beach, CA)

Source: self-described

 

Rayna Zylberman (Reform, vegan)

Source: self-described

 

 

 

 

 

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