Rabbi Steven Exler
Encounter’s value is being one of a kind in creating a thoughtful, safe space [and a] responsible and diverse cohort of inspiring colleagues who can support each other in engaging the conflict in our communities. It offers Jewish leaders access to the voices we want to be talking to and with and about from the other side of the messiest, most personal global conflict we are in some way all a part of. It softens our ears and hearts even while dogmatically resisting specific political solutions or pat answers.
Rabbi Exler participated in Encounter’s August 2017 Intensive Leadership Seminar and was a professional affinity group leader for his rabbinic peers. Of his experience, Rabbi Exler says, “Encounter has been a constant and important voice in my engagement with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and my deep-seated love of Medinat Yisrael – as a Jew and a rabbi. For over a decade, I have relied on and trusted Encounter for access to important people, voices and stories I cannot get anywhere else, with space to process and reflect critically and emotionally with trusted colleagues and mentors. My most recent experience deepened that immeasurably.”
Steven Exler serves as Senior Rabbi of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale – The Bayit, a large Open/Modern Orthodox synagogue in the Bronx. He grew up in Baltimore, MD, has a B.A. in Biology from Brandeis University and an M.A. in Bible from Bernard Revel Graduate School, and has studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion, in the Yeshiva University Beit Midrash and at Yeshivat Maale Gilboa. His ordination is from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School, where he was a Wexner Graduate Fellow. He sits on the Rabbinic Advisory Boards of Eshel, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah (chairperson) and Yeshivat Maharat. He lives in Riverdale with his wife Shira, their son Ilan and daughter Talya.