Jonathan V. Plaut

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Rabbi Dr. Jonathan V. Plaut D.H.L., D.D., LL.D.
Position Rabbi
Synagogue Temple Beth Israel
Personal details
Born (1942-10-07)October 7, 1942
Chicago, Illinois
Died April 17, 2012(2012-04-17) (aged 69)
Farmington Hills, Michigan
Buried Holy Blossom Memorial Park, Toronto[1]
Denomination Reform
Parents Rabbi W. Gunther Plaut and Elizabeth Strauss Plaut
Spouse Carol
Children Daniel, Deborah
Semicha Hebrew Union College

Jonathan V. Plaut, (October 7, 1942 – April 17, 2012[2]) was a Reform rabbi and author. Plaut was the rabbi of Temple Beth Israel in Jackson, MI.

He was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Gunther Plaut, an internationally renowned Jewish scholar who lived in Toronto, Ontario. On October 1, 2000, Plaut was appointed the spiritual leader of Temple Beth Israel (Jackson, Michigan). Prior to this, he served as Senior Rabbi of Temple Emanu-El, San Jose, California from 1985 to 1993 and Congregation Beth El in Windsor, Ontario, Canada from 1970 to 1984 where he spearheaded the synagogue’s growth of more than a hundred percent. In addition, he held part-time positions at Temple Beth El (Bloomfield Hills, Michigan) as Visiting Rabbinic Scholar and for five years at Congregation Beth El in Traverse City, Michigan before becoming Rabbi Emeritus in August 2004.

A 1964 graduate of Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, he was ordained in 1970 from the Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, Ohio. Rabbi Plaut earned a Doctor of Hebrew Letters degree in 1977 and an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree in 1995 from the Hebrew Union College. In 2009, he received a Doctor of Laws Degree (honoris causa) from Assumption University which is in federation with the University of Windsor.

For eight years, Dr. Plaut was adjunct assistant professor in the Religious Studies Department at Santa Clara University, San Jose, California. From 2001 to 2008, he taught a one semester graduate course at University of Detroit Mercy. In Windsor Ontario, he taught for twelve years at Assumption College School. For more than a decade, he hosted a weekly religious news program on CBET-TV television and CKWW radio in Windsor.

He was the editor of the Journal of the Canadian Jewish Historical Society from 1977 to 1984, and Through the Sound of Many Voices: Writings Contributed on the Occasion of the 70th Birthday of W. Gunther Plaut. For nearly nine years, he wrote a monthly article for the San Jose Jewish Community News. In 2007, he authored The Jews of Windsor 1790-1990: A Historical Chronicle. In 2007, he also edited One Voice: The Selected Sermons of W. Gunther Plaut and The Plaut Family: Tracing the Legacy and in 2008 wrote the introduction for Eight Decades: The Selected Writings of W. Gunther Plaut.

All of Rabbi Plaut's papers spanning a career of nearly 40 years are housed at Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Included in this collection are the research materials, newspaper articles, interviews and photographs of the Windsor Jewish Community from 1790 to 2000.

Rabbi Plaut has held many civic and religious posts and was the youngest person to receive Windsor Jewry's highest communal honor in 1985, becoming the Jewish National Fund Negev Dinner honoree. Active in a variety of communal activities, Rabbi Plaut headed the Jewish National Fund, United Jewish Appeal of Windsor, State of Israel Bonds, Credit Counseling Service of Metropolitan Windsor, Counsel of Agency Executives and Rabbis in San Jose, and was the Chaplain for both the San Jose Fire and Police Departments.

Rabbi Plaut and his wife, Carol, have two children, a son and daughter-in-law, Daniel and Amy who live in Jacksonville, Florida; and a daughter and son-in-law, Deborah and David who have two sons, Steven and Jeffrey who live in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Dr. Plaut is the son of Rabbi Dr. W. Gunther Plaut, an internationally renowned Jewish scholar who lived in Toronto, Ontario until his death on 8 February 2012 at the age of 99.[3]

Selected works[edit]




  • On Sunday Observance 1906, Compiled by David Rome with Preface Jonathan V. Plaut, (Montreal: National Archives, Canadian Jewish Congress, 1979)
  • On the Early Harts, Compiled by David Rome with Preface Jonathan V. Plaut (Montreal: National Archives, Canadian Jewish Congress, 1980)
  • On the Early Harts—Their Contemporaries, Compiled by David Rome with Preface Jonathan V. Plaut, (Montreal: National Archives, Canadian Jewish Congress, 1981–1982)
  • Introduction, Plaut, W. Gunther, Eight Decades: The Selected Writings of W. Gunther Plaut, (Dundurn Press, 2008)


  1. ^ "Obituary". 
  2. ^ "Remembering Rabbi Jonathan V. Plaut". 
  3. ^ Rabbi Jonathan V. Plaut, D.H.L., D.D., Temple Beth Israel website. Accessed August 11, 2009.