Rabbi Dr. Joel Levenson has a powerful ability to build and grow a community. With his warm and caring manner, he knows how to engage each member and create meaningful experiences that draw them in to synagogue life. He serves a wide spectrum of populations handling pastoral needs as well as dynamic programs for diverse populations including young families, teens, preschool, and empty nesters.
Rabbi Levenson earned a doctorate in Pastoral Care & Counseling from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he also received a Masters Degree in Jewish Education. He earned a B.A. from Miami University in Oxford, OH with degrees in Psychology and Political science, with studies abroad at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Originally from Akron, OH, in 1991 he served as International President of United Synagogue (USY).
He delivered the Opening Prayer for the United States House of Representatives, the 112th Congress, Second Session. He is an alumnus of the Jewish Leaders Program, an initiative of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He serves on the Board of the Long Island Board of Rabbis. In addition, he enjoys time each summer at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires, a sleepover camp, serving in many capacities that reflect his love of fun-based education and inspiration.
Rabbi Dr. Levenson is married to Leora Cohen of Livingston, NJ a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania & Gratz College Joint Program in Social Work and Jewish Communal Services. They have been blessed with three beautiful children: Shir, Sam, and Gideon.