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Temple Israel Clergy - Rabbi Josh Bennett

Rabbi Bennett has served as one of the spiritual leaders of Temple Israel, Michigan since his ordination from the Hebrew Union College (Cincinnati, Ohio) in 1994. He holds a Masters Degree of Hebrew Letters in addition to Rabbinic Ordination, and earned a Bachelors of Science Degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Champaign. In 2019, he received an honorary doctorate from Hebrew Union College.
Lovingly known amongst congregants as Rabbi Josh, he has taken Temple Israel’s commitment to social action to the next level. The “FRESH Pantry,” a bi-monthly food pantry at Temple Israel in partnership with Forgotten Harvest, serves those in our community facing food insecurity. Also implemented by Rabbi Josh is “Do Good Date Night.” This night out allows monthly opportunities for Temple members to connect on a social level whilst volunteering alongside one another and sharing a meal out afterward. Rabbi Josh’s pursuit of social justice does not stop with our community and Temple Israel. He helped to create and remains on the board of Project Healthy Community: a non-profit based in Northwest Detroit providing educational and nutritional assistance to those in need. 
Early in his career, Rabbi Josh focused much of his energy on Jewish youth. Included in his resume is time spent as the Assistant Director of the Goldman Union Camp Institute in Zionsville, Indiana and as the Director of the North American Federation of Temple Youth – Ohio Valley Region. In addition, he served for 7 years as the Rabbinic Dean of the Michigan Region of N.F.T.Y. To go the extra mile, (or one could say the extra 5,989 miles!) he has taken more than 1,500 students to explore the State of Israel to deepen their connection to Judaism.  Now, he is advancing his Zionism and support of Israel through family and adult missions to the Jewish Homeland.
Perpetuating an inclusive Judaism is a passion of Rabbi Josh’s as reflected by the other organizations with which he engages. He is active in JStreet as a member of the Rabbinic Leadership Council, co-formed “Friends of Beta Israel of North Shewa” to support the hidden Jewish community of North Shewa, Ethiopia, and collaborates with other Jewish leaders of all denominations around the area to educate the metro-Detroit community.
Always one to engage the mind, soul and body, Rabbi Josh enjoys the study Mussar and Meditation, is the creator of the podcast “18 Minutes with Rabbi Josh,” an avid runner and baseball fan as well as a hobby wine and beer maker. Most importantly, Rabbi Josh’s favorite job is that of a father and husband, and his best days are those spent with his wife Meg and their three children, Maddie, Zack and Jacob.

Wed, May 22 2024 14 Iyar 5784