Rabbi Joel Mosbacher has served as the senior rabbi of Temple Shaaray Tefila since 2016. He is the 8th senior rabbi in the 170+ years of the congregation.
Rabbi Mosbacher holds a Doctorate of Ministry with a focus on Pastoral Counseling from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religions, from which he was ordained in 1998. He is also a proud Badger, having earned his BA with a double major in Philosophy and Hebrew and Semitic Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Rabbi Mosbacher is a social justice leader within the Reform movement. A recipient of the T’ruah Rabbinic Human Rights Hero Award in 2016, he serves on the national strategy team of the Metro Industrial Areas Foundation, and is a national co-chair of Metro-IAF’s Do Not Stand Idly By campaign to reduce gun violence. Rabbi Mosbacher has been featured in national news outlets, and he speaks and writes extensively on issues concerning social justice, Israel, and Jewish values, among others. Most recently, he is a contributing author to three publications from the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR): The Sacred Table: Creating a Jewish Food Ethic, Moral Resistance and Spiritual Authority, and The Sacred Exchange: Creating a Jewish Money Ethic.
Prior to joining Shaaray Tefila, Rabbi Mosbacher served as rabbi of Beth Haverim Shir Shalom in New Jersey for 15 years. He previously had served as one of the rabbis at Temple Emanu-El in Atlanta, Georgia where, among other things, he was privileged to give the invocation at Ebenezer Baptist Church at the Martin Luther King, Jr. service in the presence of Coretta Scott King and Bishop Desmond Tutu.
A strong proponent of Jewish camps, he spent 13 summers as a camper and staff member at Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute (OSRUI) in Wisconsin, where he met his wife, Elyssa, and he continues to serve on the faculty of Eisner Camp in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.
Rabbi Mosbacher and Elyssa have two sons. In his spare time, Rabbi Mosbacher is an aspiring songwriter, enjoys sampling New York’s amazing variety of ice cream emporiums including Morgensterns, Wowfulls, and neighborhood favorite Sedutto, and regularly bakes delicious challah.