List of Vegetarian Rabbis

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List of Vegetarian Rabbis

From Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA)

For updated direct contact information for every listing, visit:
http://jewishveg.wikispaces.com/Vegetarian+Rabbis.)

This is an 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.

If you know any other rabbis that belong on this list, please add them, along with a source for your information. Note that affiliations and diets change, which may impact the accuracy of this list, so please update it with new information you may have. (Appearance on this list does not imply any kind of endorsement by JVNA.)


David Aaron (Orthodox, advocates vegetarianism)
Rosh Yeshiva Orayta (Jerusalem, Israel)
Founder and dean of Isralight
"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

Morris Allen (Conservative, vegetarian)
Developer of 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)
Emeritus Senior Rabbi, Great Synagogue of Sydney (Australia)
Source: "Major Campaign to Change Jews' Diets", JVNA

Samuel Barth (Conservative Egalitarian, advocates vegetarianism)
Former rabbi of Temple Ahavat Achim (Gloucester, MA)
Source: "Major Campaign to Change Jews' Diets", JVNA
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Helen Bar-Yaakov (Reform/Conservative, vegan)
Adath B'nai Israel Temple (Evansville,IN)
Source: Sara Anne Corrigan, "Serving vegan: Some substitute ingredients ensure flavor isn't left out of any recipe", Evanston Courier Press, 10-22-08

Annie Belford (Reform, vegetarian)
Assistant Rabbi, Congregation Shaare Emeth in Creve Coeur (St. Louis, MO)
Source: Caroline C. Hackmeyer, "A Rabbi Walks into a Bar...", The Commonspace, 9-05

Matthew Berger (Reform, vegetarian)
Temple Emanuel (Worcester, MA)
Source: self-described

Rabbi Yisroel Bernath (Chabad, vegan)
Rabbi at 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 ourselves.”
Source: Dorothy Lipovenko, "Chabad goes Vegan in Montreal", Jewish Daily Forward, 11-23-10.

James Brandt (Reform, vegan)
CEO, Jewish Federation of the East Bay (Oakland, CA)
Source: self-described

Rick Brody (Reconstructionist, vegan)
Rabbi at Congregation Kol Halev (Austin, TX)
Analyst & Reviewer, Institute for Curriculum Services
Source: http://www.kidmoot.wordpress.com/about

Shear Yashuv Cohen (Orthodox, vegetarian)
Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Haifa (Haifa, Israel)
Source: "Rabbis Endorse Vegetarian Diets; Say Rights of Jewish Prisoners Violated", JVNA, 8-9-04

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, 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 sustenance is squandered as livestock feed; and 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 (Conservative, pescetarian)
Orangetown Jewish Center (Orangeburg, NY)
Source: self-described

Yossi Feintuch (Reform, vegetarian with limited eggs and dairy)
Congregation Beth Shalom (Columbia, MO)
Also lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Missouri
Source: Alyssa Appelman, "Rabbi Finds Vegetarianism to Be a Religious Ideal", The Missourian, 7-18-08

Yisroel Finman (95% vegan)
Jewish Paths, Jewish Destination Weddings, Chai Kosher (Key West, FL)
"The planet and humanity need for us to consume a predominantly natural, unadulterated vegan diet."
Source: self-described

Adam Frank (Masorti/Conservative, vegan)
Congregation Moreshet Yisrael (Jerusalem, Israel)
Also teaches at the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies in Jerusalem
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
Source: self-described

Stephen Fuchs (Reform, vegan)
Senior Rabbi, Congregation Beth Israel (West Hartford, CT)
“I became a vegetarian in 1988 after serious studies of the book of Genesis, particularly the earliest chapters…. It is clear to me that the Torah’s mission, if you will, is that we be partners with G-d in creating a just, compassionate society…I find it an enhancement to my spirituality to try to live as G-d had originally intended.”
Source: Stacey Dresner, "Kosher Vegetarians", Jewish Ledger, 11-10-05

Everett Gendler (Reform,vegetarian)
Rabbi Emeritus, Temple Emanuel (Great Barrington, MA)
“We still have a social responsibility. Our soul cannot rest in harmonious repose without addressing all of these issues.” Source: "Rabbis Endorse Vegetarian Diets; Say Rights of Jewish Prisoners Violated", JVNA, 8-9-04
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")
Author of Beyond the Ashes, Jewish Tales of Reincarnation, and other books
Source: self-described

Miriam Glazer (Traditional, advocates vegetarianism)
Chair of Literature, Communication & Media at 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 tody 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)
Pathfinder for Aleph: Alliance for Jewish Renewal
Source: "Major Campaign to Change Jews' Diets", JVNA

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: Roberta Kalechofsky, "Rabbis and Vegetarianism: An Evolving Tradition", 1995.

Akiva Herzfeld (Modern Orthodox, advocates vegetarianism)
Congregation Shaarey Tphiloh (Portland, ME)
"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

Jonathan Klein (vegan)
Executive Director, CLUE LA (Los Angeles, CA)
If you want to be part of a vegan rabbi group on facebok, go to www.facebook.com/ravklein
Source: self-described

Daniel Krimsky (Conservative, vegan)
Temple Menorah (Miami Beach, FL)
Source: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/miami_dade/beaches/story/809645.html

Charles Kroloff (Reform, advocates vegetarianism)
Outgoing president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (Westfield, NJ)
Source: Alexandra J. Wall, "Reform rabbis debate virtues of a veggie diet", JWeekly, 7-20-01

David Lazar (Masorti, advocates vegetarianism)
Great Synagogue of Stockholm (Stockholm, Sweden)
Founding Director, RIKMA
Source: "Major Campaign to Change Jews' Diets", JVNA

Barry (Baruch) Leff (Conservative, “ethical omnivore” advocates vegetarianism)
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

Aaron Levy (Modern Orthodox, vegan)
Founding Rabbi and Director at Makom (Toronto, ON)
Source: Corey Mintz, "So the vegan rabbi came for dinner...", The Star, 1-28-11
Source: Atara Beck, "Grassroots downtown community celebrates first anniversary", Jewish Tribune, 2-10-10

Rolando Matalon (vegetarian)
Senior Rabbi, Congregation B'Nai Jeshurun (New York, NY)
Source: "Major Campaign to Change Jews' Diets", JVNA

David O’Reilley McLashley (Orthodox, advocates vegetarianism)
Source: http://jewishveg.blogspot.com/2005/12/122105-jvna-online-newsletter.html#a122105a9

David Mivasair (Reconstructionist, advocates vegetarianism)
Ahavat Olam Congregation (Vancouver, BC)
Source: "Major Campaign to Change Jews' Diets", JVNA

Robin Nafshi (Reform, animal-friendly)
Associate Rabbi of Temple Beth-El (Hillsborough, NJ)
Community Chaplain of Ohr Tikvah Jewish Healing Center
Source: Rebecca Dube, "For Pets, a Temporary Shelter From the Storm", The Jewish Daily Forward, 11-4-09

Hillel Norry (Conservative, advocates vegetarianism)
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

Marcia Prager (Reconstructionist, advocates vegetarianism)
P'nai Or Jewish Renewal Community (Philadelphia, PA)
Director and Dean of ALEPH Ordination Programs
Source: "Major Campaign to Change Jews' Diets", JVNA

David Rosen (Orthodox, vegetarian)
RabbiDavidRosen.net (Jerusalem, Israel)
International Director of Interreligious Affairs of the American Jewish CommitteeFormer Chief Rabbi of Ireland
Past Chairman of the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations
Co-president of the World Conference of Religions for Peace
Honorary President of the International Council of Christians and Jews
Serves on the Executive of the World Council of Religious Leaders
Source: "Rabbis Endorse Vegetarian Diets; Say Rights of Jewish Prisoners Violated", JVNA, 8-9-04

Simchah Roth (Masorti/Conservative, vegan)
Head of Bet Midrash Virtuali (Herzliyya, Israel)
Former Rabbi of Congregation Torat Ĥayyim
Former member of the Herzliyya Mo'etzah Datit, the Municipal Religious Council
Served on the Va'ad Halakhah (Law Commitee) of the Rabbinical Assembly in Israel
Former vice-president of the Executive Committee of RA-Israel
Former chairperson the Religious Services Bureau of the Masorti Movement
Original editor of a Masorti Siddur Va'ani Tefillati
Source: http://www.bmv.org.il/v/vegan.html

Lord Jonathan Sacks (Orthodox, vegetarian)
Chief Rabbi of the UK (London, UK)
Source: "Faith Lectures: The Messianic Idea Today", Office of the Chief Rabbi, 6-6-01

Amy R. Scheinerman (advocates vegetarianism)
President, Baltimore Board of Rabbis (Baltimore, MD)
President, Greater Carolinas Association of Rabbis
Source: "Major Campaign to Change Jews' Diets", JVNA

Chaim Leib Schneider (Renewal w/ Orthodox smicha, vegan)
President, Chadeish Yameinu Congregation (Santa Cruz, CA)
Source: self-described

Harold M. Schulweis (Conservative, advocates vegetarianism)
Valley Beth Shalom Congregation (Encino, CA)
“The time has come for committed Jews to consider that both the moral thrust of kashrut (Jewish dietary laws) and its health significance point to a vegetarian diet, a culinary choice that responds both to the ideal and the real of Torah in our lives.”
Source: Roberta Kalechofsky, "Rabbis and Vegetarianism: An Evolving Tradition", 1995.
Source: "Major Campaign to Change Jews' Diets", JVNA
Source: John Dart, "Rabbi Faces a Meatless Sabbath", Los Angeles Times, 12-25-93

Barry L. Schwartz (Reform,vegetarian)
Congregation Mkor Shalom (Cherry Hill, 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
Source: "Rabbis Endorse Vegetarian Diets; Say Rights of Jewish Prisoners Violated", JVNA, 8-9-04

Dovid Sears (Orthodox, vegetarian)
Director of the Breslov Center (Brooklyn, NY)
Author of The Vision of Eden: Animal Welfare and Vegetarianism in Jewish Law and Mysticism
Source: "Rabbis Endorse Vegetarian Diets; Say Rights of Jewish Prisoners Violated", JVNA, 8-9-04

Rami Shapiro (vegetarian)
Rosh Yeshiva, The Virtual Yeshiva, Rasheit Institute for Jewish Spirituality (Miami, FL)“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

Daniel Siegel (Reconstructionist, advocates vegetarianism)
(Hornby Island, BC)
Director of Spiritual Resource, ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal
Director, ALEPH Bet Midrash
Source: "Major Campaign to Change Jews' Diets", JVNA

Barry Silver (Reform, vegetarian)
Congregation L'Dor Va-Dor (Lake Worth, FL)
"The humane principles behind kashrut lead directly to vegetarianism."
Source: self-described

Michael Skobac (Orthodox, advocates vegetarianism)
Senior Counselor and Director of Education, 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, "Food for Thought on Judaism and Vegetarianism", Canadian Jewish News, 12-22-04.

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

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

Paul Steinberg (Conservative, vegetarian)
Associate Rabbi, Congregation Valley Beth Shalom (Encino, CA)
Head of the Etz Chaim Learning Center
Source: Janine Laura Bronson, "Vegetarianism and Judaism: A Matter of Conscience", JVNA Newsletter, 9-2-09

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

Leah Sudran (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

Jon-Jay Tilsen (Conservative, vegetarian)
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

Arthur Waskow (Reconstructionist, advocates vegetarianism)
Founder and Director, The Shalom Center (Philadelphia, PA)
Source: "Major Campaign to Change Jews' Diets", JVNA

Sheila Weinberg (Reconstructionist, advocates vegetarianism)
Director of Outreach and Community Development and Founder, Institute for Jewish Spirituality (New York, NY)
Source: "Major Campaign to Change Jews' Diets", JVNA

Jonathan Wittenberg (Masorti, vegetarian)
Senior Rabbi, Assembly of Masorti Synagogues UK
Rabbi, New North London Synagogue (London, UK)
Source: Sara Kessler, "Ethical Jewish Food Dominates the Conversation at 2nd Gefiltefest", The Jew and the Carrot, 5-25-11

David Wolpe (Conservative, vegetarian)
Sinai Temple (Los Angeles, CA)
Wrote article supportive of J.S.Foer's "Eating Animals"
Source: Rob Eshman, "Friday the Rabbi Eats Tofu", Jewish Journal, 3-5-10

Dr. Hadassah 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, Union of Reform Judaism
Source: "Rabbi Yoffie endorses flexitarianism, the 'kashrut establishment'", Jewschool, 11-10-09

Mary L. Zamore (Reform, "consumes meat on a very limited basis")
Associate Rabbi, Temple B’nai Or (Morristown, NJ)
Source: "Mindful Eating: Is It Kosher?", Morristown Patch, 8-17-11

Gershon Zylberman (Reform,vegan)
Temple Bat Yahm (Newport Beach, CA)
Source: self-described

Rayna Zylberman (Reform, vegan)
Temple Bat Yahm (Newport Beach, CA)
Source: self-described