Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, DHL
Abner & Roslyn Goldstine Dean’s Chair of the
Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies
B.A. (History and Literature) cum laude, 1981
Jewish Theological Seminary,
M.A. (Jewish Studies), rabbinical ordination, 1988
Hebrew Union College,
Magnin School of Graduate Studies,
Doctor of Hebrew Letters
Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson holds the Abner and Roslyn Goldstine Dean's Chair of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, which has grown under his leadership from approximately 45 students to almost 80 students, from across North America, Brazil, Australia, England, and Uganda. He is also Vice President of American Jewish University, and teaches courses in Ancient & Medieval Jewish Philosophy, Modern & Contemporary Jewish Theology, as well as Homiletics. He received his Doctorate in Philosophy and Theology from Hebrew Union College/Institute of Religion, focusing on the integration of science and religion advocating Process Theology.
Rabbi Artson grew up an atheist in San Francisco, a surprising beginning for a traditional rabbi! Always a proud freethinking Jew, he didn’t delve into Judaism as religion until he attended Harvard University. There, with the help of Hillel Rabbi Ben Zion Gold, he began “to think about religious questions on a personal level.”
A cum laude graduate of Harvard University, Rabbi Artson was an intern for United States Senator Alan Cranston and for United States Representative John Burton. For the two years following graduation from college, he worked as a Legislative Aide to Willie Brown, the Speaker of the California State Assembly. Rabbi Artson was ordained with honors at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 1988.
He served as the rabbi of Congregation Eilat, Mission Viejo, California, a Conservative synagogue, which grew in the decade under his guidance from 200 membership units to almost 600. Following his pulpit service, Rabbi Artson was the Executive Vice President of the Board of Rabbis of Southern California and a member of the Senior Management of the Jewish Federation Council of Greater Los Angeles.
A year after the Ziegler School was established as an ordaining seminary in 1999, the founding dean made aliyah. AJU President Robert Wexler invited Rabbi Artson to breakfast to offer him the position of Dean of the Rabbinical School. The proposition was irresistible, allowing Rabbi Artson to serve as one of the leaders of Conservative Judaism, and to show his love for rabbis and rabbinical students.
Rabbi Artson is the author of seven books and over 180 published articles. The founding author of the weekly "A Word of Torah" Column in the Southern California Jewish Heritage, which he wrote for 7 years, Rabbi Artson now writes "Today's Torah," a weekly Torah commentary with over 12,000 Internet subscribers. He also wrote a widely-distributed column, "Dear Rabbi." Alef Design Group has published a collection of these columns as a book, Jewish Answers to Life's Questions. Rabbi Artson served as a Senior Contributing Editor to the Jewish Spectator, a Contributing Editor to Jewish Family and Life!, is a member of the International Advisory Board of Outlook Magazine of the Women's League for Conservative Judaism, the Board of Advisors of The American Rabbi, and was a columnist for the online column "It's A Spiritual Thing," for the AVI CHAI Bookshelf, a resource for Birthright Israel alumni/ae until it closed.
A popular speaker, (with speeches available to download at http://www.zieglerpodcasts.com and http://www.jadio.org ), Rabbi Artson is a member of the faculty of the Wexner Heritage Foundation and the Wexner Graduate Fellowship Program. He served on the Professional Advisory Committee of the Jewish National Fund Department of Education. Rabbi Artson was the Founding Chair of the Special Publications Committee of the Rabbinical Assembly. For many years he has served as a Scholar-In-Residence for several programs of various Camps Ramah. He is a member of Advisory Board of the Conversion to Judaism Resource Center, and a frequent teacher at the UJC/Federation’s General Assembly. Rabbi Artson is a member of the Rabbinic Cabinet of the UJC, and has been a popular keynote speaker and teacher for CAJE conferences.
In 2006, Rabbi Artson was the recipient of the Red Yarmulke Humanitarian Award. In recognition of "Outstanding Contributions to Jewish Education," He was the 1996 Honoree of the Orange County Bureau of Jewish Education. Through his Introduction to Judaism program, he helped over 200 people convert to Judaism. Rabbi Artson lives with his wife, Elana. and they are the parents of twins, Shira and Jacob.
- Love Peace and Pursue Peace: A Jewish Response to War and Nuclear Annihilation (1988).
- It’s A Mitzvah! Step-By-Step to Jewish Living (1995)
- The Bedside Torah: Wisdom, Visions, and Dreams (2001)
- Making A Difference, One Mitzvah at a Time: Jewish Spirituality in Action, with Gila Gevirtz (2001)
- I have Some Questions About God (2001)
- Jewish Answers to Real-Life’s Questions (2004)
- The Gift of Soul: Spiritual Resources for Leadership & Mentoring (2006)
- Senior Homiletics
- Introduction to Jewish Philosophy
- Shiur Klali
- Lunch & Learn