Rabbi Emeritus Leonid Feldman
Rabbi Emeritus, Rabbi Leonid Feldman, is a living example of the drama of modern Jewish history. Born in the former Soviet Union, Rabbi Feldman has experienced violent anti-Semitism, imprisonment in Russia as a Zionist activist, Jewish rebirth, and freedom in the West. His life experiences enable him to teach and lecture on Judaism with a passion and perspective that is unique and exhilarating.
The spiritual leader of Temple Beth El since 2005, he is an Associate of The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership (CLAL), a Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, and the President of the Ami-Da Institute for training Russian Jewish leaders. Rabbi Feldman is the first and only Soviet-born Conservative rabbi in America. His emotional return to his hometown of Kishinev was featured on NBC’s Today Show, as well as on Israeli national television.
Rabbi Feldman has been a visiting professor at the Jewish University of Moscow and the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. He has served as a scholar for the Wexner Heritage Foundation and as Director of Education for Soviet Émigrés in Italy. He has lectured in 37 states and 19 countries.
Rabbi Feldman has testified before the United States Congress and Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, and addressed the California Senate and Florida House of Representatives. In 2000, he delivered the keynote address to over 3,000 people at the UJC Young Leadership Conference in Washington, DC. In 2002, he was the keynote speaker at the Evangelical Christian Convention in Nairobi, Kenya.
He has been the subject of feature articles in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Jerusalem Post, Miami Herald, Los Angeles Times, Insight Magazine, Moment and many other general and Jewish publications. Rabbi Feldman holds graduate degrees in rabbinic studies from the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, in Education from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and in Physics and Theater Arts from Kishinev State Pedagogical Institute in the USSR. He has completed course work towards a PhD in International Relations at the University of Miami.