Sharon Brous

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Sharon Brous
Residence Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Alma mater Columbia University
Occupation Rabbi
Spouse(s) David Light
Children 3

Sharon Brous is a Los Angeles-based American rabbi.[1]

In 2004, Rabbi Brous, Melissa Balaban[who?][2] and others founded IKAR (Hebrew for “essence”), which has been named one of the nation’s 50 most innovative Jewish nonprofits in Slingshot (a resource guide for Jewish innovation) every year since its founding.


In 2013, The Daily Beast listed Brous as #1 on its list of America's most influential rabbis; she ranked #5 on the same list in 2012.[3] The publication wrote that "Ikar, the come-as-you-are spiritual community that Brous, 39, founded nearly a decade ago, has become a magnet for L.A.’s young, unaffiliated Jews" in a time when many synagogues faces "disaffected, declining membership."[3]

The Forward cites her as among the 50 most influential American Jews. In 2013 she blessed President Obama and Vice President Biden at the Inaugural National Prayer Service. She sits on the faculty of the Hartman Institute-North America, Wexner Foundation's Wexner Heritage; and REBOOT, and is a Senior Fellow at Auburn Theological Seminary. She serves on the International Council of the New Israel Fund and rabbinic advisory council to American Jewish World Service.

Brous was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2001 and received a master's degree in human rights from Columbia University, where she also received her bachelor's degree in 1995. Before moving to Los Angeles, she served as a Rabbinic Fellow at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in New York City.

In January, 2016, Brous and colleagues from six other Jewish communities from across the United States officially announced the launch of the Jewish Emergent Network, a collaboration between IKAR and Kavana in Seattle, The Kitchen] in San Francisco, Mishkan in Chicago, Sixth & I in Washington, DC, and Lab/Shul and Romemu in New York City. All seven communities have individually received recognition for the impact of their work in the Jewish community on both a local and national scale.

Brous has contributed to the books The Modern Jewish Girl's Guide to Guilt,[4] A dream of Zion: American Jews reflect on why Israel matters to them,[5] and The Women's Torah Commentary: New Insights from Women Rabbis on the 54 Weekly Torah Portions.[6]


  1. ^ "First on America's top 50 rabbis list: A woman". Y Net. 
  2. ^ "Melissa Balaban". IKAR LA. Retrieved 2017-06-17. 
  3. ^ a b America's Top 50 Rabbis for 2013 (PHOTOS), Daily Beast (March 21, 2013).
  4. ^ Ruth Andrew Ellenson, ed. (2005). The Modern Jewish Girl's Guide to Guilt. Penguin. 
  5. ^ Jeffrey K. Salkin, ed. (2007). A dream of Zion: American Jews. Jewish Lights Publishing. 
  6. ^ Sharon Brous and Jill Hammer. “Proclaiming Liberty throughout the Land.” In The Women's Torah Commentary: New Insights from Women Rabbis on the 54 Weekly Torah Portions. Edited by Elyse Goldstein, pages 238–45. Woodstock, Vermont: Jewish Lights Publishing, 2000. ISBN 1-58023-076-8.

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