Rabbi John Moscowitz

Rabbi John Moscowitz

Holy Blossom’s Rabbi Emeritus, John Moscowitz served  the congregation for twenty five years, including twelve as Senior Rabbi. He is a Senior Rabbinic Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, and is the author of “Evolution of an Unorthodox Rabbi” (Dundurn Press, October 2015).

Rabbi Moscowitz is currently writing a book about his days as a young radical in Venice, California

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Rabbinic reflections by Rabbi John Moscowitz

Rabbinic Commentaries

Read Rabbi Moscowitz’s Blog: From Jane Fonda to Judaism

Rabbi Moscowitz's Archive

January 17, 2019 - An Illiberal Lament?

By Rabbi John Moscowitz, The Jewish Journal, January 9, 2019  Read more »

November 29, 2018 - Open Letter to Melvin Oliver, President of Pitzer College by Rabbi John Moscowitz

I write you as a Pitzer graduate (1975) and as a Jew Read more »

October 9, 2018 - Liberal Judaism and Its Discontents: An Antidote

In my 1976 Hebrew Union College seminary application, I confidently predicted Orthodox Judaism’s demise within two or three generations. Read more »

May 22, 2018 - Here is Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin's recent review of Evolution of An Unorthodox Rabbi

I’m often told that I’ve not promoted my book, “Evolution of An Unorthodox Rabbi” so well Read more »

September 27, 2017 - A Must Watch: Ammiel Hirsch On Donald Trump

Has anyone taken on the American president quite like this? Read more »

July 21, 2017 - Wishing I'd Been Sightless In Hebron

Earlier this month I spent a devastating, though fascinating, day in Hebron, Ramallah, Bethlehem and the Al-Amari refugee camp. Read more »

June 5, 2017 - Alan Mintz, Z'l

Alan Mintz was among the most significant figures of the Jewish academy of our day. Read more »

March 16, 2017 - Israel's Ono College: The Dream Of A Shared Society

Here's my recent Times of Israel article on Ono Academic College. Read more »

February 23, 2017 - Tom Hayden's Moment: Reflections On A Memorial

On Sunday February 19, along with perhaps a thousand others, I attended an extraordinary memorial for Tom Hayden Read more »

February 7, 2017 - We're In Trouble

Donald Trump is a cowboy – and that's only the beginning. Read more »

January 5, 2017 - Anybody Feeling Blue?

Most everybody I know is feeling blue – agitated, really – these days. Read more »

December 7, 2016 - The Meaning Of Donald Trump

Donald Trump's surprising victory in the U.S. election last month has brought... Read more »

November 17, 2016 - A Rabbi You Should Know

I'm familiar with a fair number of terrific congregational rabbis... Read more »

November 8, 2016 - My Teacher, Tom Hayden

Here is my remembrance in The Forward of Tom Hayden - a remarkable man... Read more »

November 3, 2016 - Emil Fackenheim's Tikkun (Olam)

This piece, my reflections on the influential Jewish thinker Emil Fackenheim, appeared in the Rosh Hashanah 2016 edition of the Canadian Jewish News. Read more »

July 28, 2016 - Cooler Than Cool: Why The Obamas Compel

By Rabbi John Moscowitz. In January 2012, I posted “Why Obama Wins This November” (referring of course to the US presidential election then unfolding). The blog showed a brief video of Barack Obama, oozing charm, channeling the crooner Al Green – the “Rev” himself – while at a Harlem fundraiser that month. (Watch here). I didn’t say much – no need... Read more »

July 18, 2016 - Tel Aviv: The Edgy City Alive

My recent paean to the bustling city by the sea – restless, churning and full of life. Read here in The Times of Israel. Read more »

June 30, 2016 - Like It Or Not, An Ode To Bibi

By Rabbi John Moscowitz. Unlike the vast majority on the Left, and just about as many in the political Centre and even on the Right, I’ve long had a certain admiration for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He’s hardly the hard-hearted ideologue he’s often portrayed by half of his haters, and not quite the Machiavellian monster... Read more »

June 20, 2016 - Hazony And Halevi: Greek Jews At Their Best

By Rabbi John Moscowitz. June 20, 2016 Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks observes, as have others previously, that while Classical Judaism developed primarily in response to what was heard, Greek culture was driven more by what was seen. Put more specifically, when it came to how you learned – and therefore how you thought – the... Read more »

June 16, 2016 - Why Paul Berman Is The Best

By Rabbi John Moscowitz. Everybody wants to opine about a world in flux and in danger. Few, though, think with the nuance and intelligence of Paul Berman. Or have his substance and stylistic pen. He knows politics and literature, America and the larger world. Essentially a man of the Left, Berman defies political categories. He... Read more »


Yoni Goldstein, CJN Editor, writes: In his new book, Evolution of an Unorthodox Rabbi, Canadian rabbi John Moscowitz, who Senator Linda Frum once referred to as “one of Toronto’s most cherished and effective rabbis,” charts the shifts in his views over the years on issues that matter to the Jewish community. The following is an... Read more »

May 25, 2016 - Hillary: More than ever (here’s why)

By Rabbi John Moscowitz. As with many, I opposed the 2015 Iran Deal negotiated between the White House (no need to kid ourselves about the P-5) and the Iranian mullahs. I said so forthrightly last July while speaking at a rally before the U.S. Consulate in Toronto. My words that afternoon, particularly about President Obama,... Read more »


Jacqueline Markowitz and Barbara Williams have never met or spoken, but they know one another. They must, as each has recently published a moving account of a family in which a suicide rules emotionally, and most everybody averts their eyes. Hope, though, arrives by virtue of the will to look back in favor of the... Read more »

May 2, 2016 - Three Favourite Essays

By Rabbi John Moscowitz. I love long essays combining fluid writing and substance on something or someone I’m curious about. Here are three such essays — for a quiet weekend afternoon, or a plane ride, or when sleep fails. I’ll send such essays from time to time. For now: Paul Berman’s remarkable 2007 New Republic... Read more »

March 15, 2016 - In Conversation: Rabbis Yoel Glick and John Moscowitz

March 28, 2016 7:30 p.m. MILES NADEL JCC Over the past number of years Rabbis Yoel Glick and John Moscowitz have carried on a private conversation about the matters which animate them and define two different, but equally serious rabbinates. Their conversations– about the interior life, about God and belief, about the condition of the... Read more »

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