Rabbi Jonathan Porath





  • Throughout the United States and Israel [for a complete listing see Recent Appearances]

  • Listed with the Jewish Speakers Bureau

  • Addresses contemporary issues of Jewish values, Jewish identity, and heartfelt personal concerns via the study of classic and contemporary Jewish texts and facilitated dialogue

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee 1993-2008
FSU [Former Soviet Union] Department [headquartered in Jerusalem]

Country Director For Western Russia and Belarus; Member of Senior Staff

  • Supervision of field offices serving over 100 local communities

  • Long and short term regional planning for community development, Jewish renewal and welfare programs;

  • Constructed new Jewish Community Center in St. Petersburg, one of the largest Jewish facilities in Russia

Director of Academic and Adult Education

  • Co-founder of Hillel Student organization in the FSU and Sefer: The Moscow Center for University Teaching of Jewish Civilization

  • Supervision of FSU-wide educational initiatives

Wexner Heritage Foundation 1988-2003
USA, Jerusalem

Faculty and Israel Program Consultant

  • Teaching in longstanding Jewish leadership program in the US

  • Planning and organizing educational summer program in Israel

Rockland Community College, USA 1985-2002
Cape Cod Community College, USA

Director of Israel Programs

  • Implementation of policy and academic standards for hundreds of students in 40 different educational institutes throughout Israel

  • Student counseling and teaching

Temple Beth O'r 1975-1984
Clark, NJ


  • Community Rabbi for congregation of 400+ families

United Synagogue of America 1972-1975

Assistant Director of the Department of Education

  • Responsible for the Solomon Schechter Day Schools in North America

  • Extensive field visits and school evaluations and follow-up


  • Published: Loving Memories of Tzvi: The Life of Rabbi Tzvi H. Porath [Jerusalem 2014]

  • Founder and Chairperson of award-winning Howard Lewis Center for Immigrant Absorption (Keren Klitat Aliya-Neveh Orot) in Jerusalem

  • Scholar-in residence and guest speaker in dozens of communiites across the US, including Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, New Haven, Peoria, Greensboro, Roanoke, Shreveport, Bethlehem, New London and more

  • Author of Jews in Russia: The Last Four Centuries, United Synagogue Press [NY, 1973] ; "Saving Soviet Jewry", The Third Jewish Catalog, The Jewish Publication Society of America [Philadelphia, 1980] and numerous articles

  • Recent articles include: "Israel Porath", Encyclopedia Judaica, Second Edition [2006], volume 16, pages 400-401, and "Jewish Mourning and Its Response to the Human Condition: Personal Reflections", Proceedings of the Fifteenth Annual International Conference on Jewish Studies, Part 2, pages 12-22, Moscow Center for University Teaching of Jewish Civilization "Sefer" [Moscow, 2008]

  • Edited and published A Lady Ahead of Her Time: The Story of Esther Porath [Jerusalem, 2012] in honor of his mother's 97th birthday

  • Visited USSR and Former Soviet Union 175+ times since 1965

  • Recipient of Bonei Bayit Award by Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life

  • Director of University of Oklahoma Hillel Foundation

  • Vice-Principal of Temple Israel of Great Neck, NY, Hebrew High School

  • Tradition that he is the 18th generation of rabbis in his family


  • D.D. (Honoris Causa), Jewish Theological Seminary of America

  • Rabbinical Ordination, Jewish Theological Seminary of America (also completed all doctoral coursework)

  • M.A. (History and Russian History), Columbia University

  • M.H.L. (Jewish Studies), Jewish Theological Seminary of America

  • Special Student (Russian Studies) Hebrew University of Jerusalem

  • B.A. (Jewish Studies and History), Brandeis University

CONTACT Rabbi Porath at:   jporath1@gmail.com   or 011-972-54-4979589 (in Jerusalem)

©Arnie Draiman Productions, 2012