Rabbi David Stern is Senior Rabbi of Temple Emanu-El, Dallas, Texas. He joined Temple Emanu-El in June of 1989, serving as Assistant and then Associate Rabbi until his appointment as Senior Rabbi in August, 1996.
Prior to coming to Temple Emanu-El, he served as an intern at Central Synagogue in New York City. Rabbi Stern attended Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion at its Jerusalem, New York, and Los Angeles campuses, receiving his rabbinical ordination in 1989, his M.A. in Jewish Education in 1988 and his M.A. in Hebrew Letters in 1986. He also received a B.A. with high honors in English from Dartmouth College, graduating Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1983. In 2002, Rabbi Stern studied for six months at Harvard Divinity School while on sabbatical.
From 2017-2019, Rabbi Stern served as President of Central Conference of American Rabbis, the international rabbinic organization of the Reform movement, with some 2,000 members. He serves on the Board of Governors and the President's Rabbinic Council of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Rabbi Stern participates in the Hevraya Program of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality as part of his commitment to ongoing study and spiritual growth.
Rabbi Stern is a social justice advocate on local, national and international issues. In 2005, he participated in a study mission to the Darfuri refugee camps on the Chad-Sudan border. In the summer of 2013, he served as rabbi-in-residence for an American Jewish World Service Study Mission to Nicaragua. Locally, Rabbi Stern serves on the Board of Forest Forward, a non-profit organization that partners with the community to drive equitable development, economic mobility, and improve outcomes for children, residents, and families of the South Dallas community.
In 2017, Rabbi Stern received the Elbert M. Conover Award from the American Institute of Architects in recognition of his contributions to the architectural renewal of Temple Emanu-El. This award is given to non-architects in recognition of their contributions to religious architecture.
Rabbi Stern's commentaries have appeared in the Huffington Post and Haaretz. His poetry has been published in the CCAR Journal, and he has contributed essays to four volumes on Jewish High Holiday liturgy published by Jewish Lights Press: "Who By Fire, Who By Water: Un'taneh Tokef," "All These Vows: Kol Nidre," "May God Remember: Yizkor" and "Naming God: Avinu Malkeinu."
Rabbi Stern is married to Rabbi Nancy Kasten, and they have three children. An avid sports fan, Rabbi Stern knows too much about the New York Yankees and not enough about several more important matters.
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