Rabbi Hara Person is the Chief Executive of Central Conference of American Rabbis. Previously, she was the CCAR’s Chief Strategy Officer. In that capacity, she oversaw the Communications Department and served as Publisher of CCAR Press, and worked with leadership on overall organizational strategy.
Rabbi Person was ordained in 1998 from HUC-JIR, after graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Amherst College (1986) and receiving an MA in Fine Arts from New York University/International Center of Photography (1992).
She served as Educator at the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue from 1990-1996, and was the Adjunct Rabbi there from 1998-2019. Since 1998, Rabbi Person has been the High Holy Day Rabbi of Congregation B’nai Olam, Fire Island Pines, NY.
Before coming to the CCAR, Rabbi Person was the Editor-in-Chief of URJ Books and Music, where she was responsible for the revision of The Torah: A Modern Commentary (2005) and the publication of many significant projects, including the Aleph Isn’t Tough adult Hebrew series and Mitkadem: Hebrew for Youth as well as several award-winning children’s books. While at URJ, she was also the Managing Editor of The Torah: A Women’s Commentary, named the National Jewish Book Award Book of the Year in 2008.
Rabbi Person is also the co-author of Stories of Heaven and Earth: Bible Heroes in Contemporary Children’s Literature and as well as co-editor of That You May Live Long: Caring for Your Aging Parents, Caring for Yourself, and Editor of The Mitzvah of Healing. Her essays and poems have been published in various anthologies and journals, including Bridges: A Jewish Feminist Journal, upstreet, Encyclopedia of Jewish American Popular Culture, Women and Judaism, The Continuum Encyclopedia of Children’s Literature, and The Women’s Haftarah Commentary. Links to her many OpEds are listed below.
Rabbi Person lives in Brooklyn, NY, and is the mother of two young adults.
Articles by Rabbi Hara Person:
The Times of Israel: The pandemic and the binding of Isaac: Finding healing from brokenness
eJewishPhilanthropy: Rabbis Will Need the Support of Their Communities to Heal Post-Pandemic
Sojourners: Biden is a Pro-Choice Catholic. Will He Expand Reproductive Health Care?
The Times of Israel: Biden’s Win a Victory for Americans of Faith
Forward: We Still Have Time to Resist Amy Coney Barrett’s Confirmation — and We Must
JTA: How Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went From the Notorious RBG to Ruth the Tzaddik
eJewishPhilanthropy: Jewish Organizations Must Address the Pandemic Parenting Gender Gap
CBS New York: Synagogues Live Stream Rosh Hashanah Services As Families Plan Smaller Gatherings Due To Coronavirus
Ms. Magazine: Why Progressive Faith Leaders Must Defend Reproductive Rights
The Times of Israel: Jewish Support for Abortion Is Being Drowned Out. We Can Change That
The Forward: What Will the Rabbinate Look Like After COVID?
Times of Israel: Jewish Resilience: Creating, Transforming & Connecting in a Time of Distance
Time Magazine: My Mom Warned Me About Anti-Semitism. I Didn’t Fully Understand Until Last Year’s Synagogue Shooting
Times of Israel: The Immorality of anti-LGBTQ Discrimination
The New York Times: The Passover Rules Bend, if Just for One Pandemic
The David Suissa Podcast: More Jewish, Less Democratic:
Ms. Magazine: It’s Time to Give Working Moms the Gift of Economic Equality
Religion Dispatches: The Moral Outrage of Comparing Abortion to the Holocaust
Ms Magazine: The Injustice of Unequal Pay
The Forward: The Reform Movement Is Struggling With Gender Equity, Says First Female Leader Of CCAR
The Times of Israel: Sukkot: A Season of Empathy
JTA: How to Understand the Kavanaugh Allegations, According to Rabbis
The Forward: What Jews Should Watch For In The Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearings
The Times of Israel: Beware of ‘Biblical’ Policies
My Jewish Learning: Hashkiveinu: Seeking Comfort and Protection Through the Night
The Times of Israel: Israel Has to Stop Naming Things After Trump
PopSugar: The Problem With Mother’s Day
The Times of Israel: The Political Is Personal
Jewish Telegraphic Agency: When Women Rabbis Say ‘#MeToo,’ Communities Must Pay Attention
The Forward: Why Women’s Torah Commentary Matters Today More Than Ever Before
Motto: Rabbi: President Trump’s Birth Control Mandate Is an Attack on Religious Liberty
CNBC: Gay Marriage Violates Religious Rules? Not True.
Huffington Post: The Equality Act Would Provide Comprehensive LGBT Civil Rights. It’s About Time
The Forward: The Choose-Your-Own-Adventure High Holidays Prayer Book
eJewish Philanthropy: How Far We’ve Come – and How Much Farther We Still Need to Go: Four Decades of Women in the Rabbinate