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List of Vegetarian Rabbis


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This is an list of vegan, vegetarian, or vegetarian-friendly rabbis who are living. Note that the list only shows known vegetarian levels, and actual diets may be stricter than listed. For example, someone listed as advocating vegetarianism may be vegetarian, and someone calling themselves vegetarian may in fact be vegan.

If you know any other rabbis that belong on this list, please add them, along with a source for your information. Note that affiliations and diets change, which may impact the accuracy of this list, so please update it with new information you may have. (Appearance on this list does not imply any kind of endorsement by JVNA.)

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  • David Aaron (Orthodox, advocates vegetarianism)
    Rosh Yeshiva Orayta (Jerusalem, Israel)
    Founder and dean of Isralight
    “In the case of consuming meat, whether it is to satisfy a craving and sublimate the need for aggression or some other divine reason unknown to us, the Torah temporarily concedes and allows us to do it in the interest of helping us eventually overcome the urge and become vegetarians.”
    Source: David Aaron, "Meat Your Morality", Jewish World Review, 4-1-04


  • Ali Abrams (Reform, vegan)
    Rabbi, Temple Chai (Long Grove, IL)
    “Being a vegan keeps me connected to the earth, other people, and God.”
    Source: self-described








  • Matthew Berger (Reform, vegetarian)
    Temple Emanuel (Worcester, MA)
    Source: self-described


  • Binyamin Biber (Humanistic, vegan)
    Rabbi at Machar (Washington, DC)
    Source: self-described

  • Robin Fryer Bodzin (Conservative, vegan)
    Rabbi, Israel Center of Conservative Judaism (Flushing, NY)
    "Being vegan is not difficult. Don’t think about what you are missing putting into your mouth. Instead, focus on knowing that you are not taking the life of anything that can look at you eye to eye."
    Source: self-described



  • Sharon Brous (Conservative, vegetarian)
    Senior/Founding Rabbi, IKAR (Los Angeles, CA)
    Listed in Forward’s 50 most influential American Jews and Newsweek’s leading rabbis
    Panelist, Newsweek and The Washington Post’s “On Faith”
    Faculty, REBOOT
    Rabbinic advisory board, American Jewish World Service and the regional council of Progressive Jewish Alliance
    Source: N. Pfefferman, “Vegan Adventures With Alicia Silverstone”, Jewish Journal, 12-3-09



  • Mychal Copeland (Reconstructionist, advocates vegetarianism)
    Hillel Rabbi, Hillel at Stanford (Stanford, CA)
    Source: self-described





  • Boris Dolin (Reconstructionist, vegan)
    Associate Rabbi, Temple Beth Israel (Eugene, OR)
    Founder and Director, ShalomVeg
    Source: self-described









  • Stephen Fuchs (Reform, vegan)
    Senior Rabbi, Congregation Beth Israel (West Hartford, CT)
    “I became a vegetarian in 1988 after serious studies of the book of Genesis, particularly the earliest chapters…. It is clear to me that the Torah’s mission, if you will, is that we be partners with G-d in creating a just, compassionate society…I find it an enhancement to my spirituality to try to live as G-d had originally intended.”
    Source: Stacey Dresner, "Kosher Vegetarians", Jewish Ledger, 11-10-05

  • Ephraim Gabbai (Orthodox, pescetarian)
    Arabic Website Manager, American Jewish Committee’s Department on Middle East and International Terrorism (New York, NY)


  • Yonassan Gershom (liberal Hasidic, "vegetarian with some dairy and eggs from own happy chickens")
    (Sandstone, MN)Author of Beyond the Ashes, Jewish Tales of Reincarnation, and other books
    Source: self-described

  • Jeremy Gimpel (Modern Orthodox, vegan)
    Creator and host of "Tuesday Night Live in Jerusalem" (Gush Etzion, Israel)Deputy Director, World Mizrachi Movement
    Commentator featured on Fox News, CNN, and Al Jazeera"As I watched in horror, I wanted to believe such terrible cruelty and suffering could not happen in kosher institutions. I was wrong. One video led to another, and about 100 videos later I have not been able to eat meat or other animal products... The cruelty of factory farming is driving many Jews and non-Jews around the world to vegetarianism, which may ultimately be the ideal Jewish life."
    Source: "Israel Inspired: Is that really kosher?", Jerusalem Post, 1-2-14
    Source: "Is Veganism Good for Your Soul", Israel Inspired, Mizrachi World Movement, 12-26-13


  • Fivel Yedidya Glasser (Modern Orthodox, vegetarian)
    Founder/Director, P'tach Libi (Alon Shvut, Israel)
    “The Torah expects us to act with great sensitivity to ourselves and to the world around us. What we put into our bodies must be a part of that sensitivity and awareness as we grow in our own sense of commitment to spirituality and dedication to Hashem.”
    Source: self-described

  • Miriam Glazer (Traditional, advocates vegetarianism)
    Chair of Literature, Communication & Media at American Jewish University (Bel Air, CA)
    "We must return to Judaism that celebrates nature. We must return to eating what we ate in the Garden of Eden. To eat every type of fruit and vegetable. Meat comes only after the flood. We tody need to return to the Garden of Eden within and be vegetarians."
    Source: Tzofia Hirschfeld, "Organic is the true kosher", ynet news, 7-1-09



  • Dr. Arthur Green (Reconstructionist, advocates vegetarianism)
    Rector and Irving Brudnick Professor of Philosophy and Religion, Hebrew College (Boston, MA)
    "Life has become too precious in this era for us to be involved in the shedding of blood, even that of animals when we can survive without it.... A vegetarian Judaism would be more whole in its ability to embrace the presence of God in all of creation."
    Source: A. Green, “Seek My Face, Speak My Name: A Contemporary Jewish Theology”, 1992

  • Irving (Yitz) Greenberg (Modern Orthodox, pescetarian who advocates vegetarianism)
    (Bronx, New York)
    “'I can’t change the whole world’ you can say. My answer to that is: You’re right, but you certainly can personally change your whole world.”
    Source: self-described

  • Marc Gruber (Reform, vegetarian)
    Rabbi, Central Synagogue of Nassau County (Rockville Centre, NY)
    Co-chair of the Steering Committee of Reform Jewish Voice of New York State
    Member, Rabbinic Advisory Committee, Jewish Fund for Justice
    Member, CCAR Committee of Persons with Disabilities
    Wrote a syndicated vegetarian cooking column from 1990-1993
    Source: Central Synagogue of Nassau County




  • Ari Hart (Modern Orthodox, mostly vegetarian)
    Assitant Rabbi, Hebrew Institute of Riverdale (The Bronx, NY)
    Founder, Uri L'Tzedek
    “I just can't justify my pleasure vs. the suffering caused. I don't think eating meat is inherently wrong but I do think our meat system is deeply, deeply wrong. I'm still eating chicken on shabbat, but we'll see how long that lasts.”
    Source: self-described

  • Raz Hartman (Hasidic, vegetarian)
    Leader, V’ani Tefillah (Nachlaot, Jerusalem, Israel)


  • Lizzi Heydemann (Conservative, vegetarian)
    Rabbi, Mishkan (Chicago, IL)
    Source: self-described

  • Akiva Herzfeld (Modern Orthodox, advocates vegetarianism)
    Congregation Shaarey Tphiloh (Portland, ME)
    “God created a beautiful world, and we should work actively to preserve the wonders of the living creatures and natural beauty of the world that God has created."
    Source: self-described

  • Robert Judd (Conservative, vegetarian)
    Rabbi, Kol Ami (Tampa, FL)
    Source: self-described


  • Laura Duhan Kaplan (Renewal, advocates vegetarianism)
    Rabbi, Or Shalom Synagogue (Vancouver, BC)
    Source: Email to JVNA

  • Jonathan Klein (vegan)
    Executive Director, CLUE LA (Los Angeles, CA)
    If you want to be part of a vegan rabbi group on Facebook, go to www.facebook.com/ravklein
    Source: self-described







  • Yaier Lehrer (Conservative, almost vegetarian)
    Rabbi, Adat Shalom (Pittsburgh area, PA)
    Source: self-described








  • Michelle Missaghieh (Reform, advocates vegetarianism)
    Associate Rabbi, Temple Israel of Hollywood (Los Angeles, CA)
    “I believe that vegetarianism is the ideal jewish way of eating, and that the laws of kashrut are a compromise to this ideal.”
    Source: self-described



  • Yonatan Neril (Modern Orthodox, vegetarian)
    Founder and Executive Director, Eco Seminars (Jerusalem, Israel)
    Source: self-described



  • Shlomo Pappenheim (Haredi, advocates vegetarianism)
    Chair, Edah HaCharedit (Jerusalem, Israel)
    Source: Speech at the Museum on the Seam in Jerusalem, 8-20-13

  • Carl Perkins (Conservative, eats fish)
    Rabbi, Temple Aliyah (Needham, MA)
    “In our day and age, and given how the vast majority of animals are treated and the way in which the vast percentage of meat comes to the table, vegetarianism is the way to go.”
    Source: self-described


  • Shalom Podwol (Conservative, vegetarian/occasional pescetarian)
    Rabbi, Congregation Am Echad (Park Forest, IL)
    Source: self-described



  • Ed Rosenthal (Reform, vegetarian)
    Executive Director, Hillels of the Florida Suncoast (Tampa, FL)
    “As a Reform Jew, I cannot ignore my understanding of vegetarianism as an ethical mitzvah, an ethical mitzvah which commands me not to kill another living, sentient creature. An ethical mitzvah that commands me to preserve and protect human life, not harm or destroy it by filling my body with harmful fats and chemicals. An ethical mitzvah that commands me not to waste food that could be used to feed starving children by feeding it to livestock destined for the slaughterhouse. An ethical mitzvah that commands me to protect and maintain, not contribute to the wholesale destruction of our global environment--for this world is a gift that cannot be replaced.”
    Source: E. Rosenthal, "Ethical Vegetarianism", CCAR Journal: A Reform Jewish Quarterly, Spring 1992

  • B. Rosenzweig בניום רוזנצויג (Orthodox, vegetarian)
    Yeshivat Ramat Hasharon (Ramat Hasharon, Israel)
    “Maimonides and Nachmanides wrote many commandments, such as meat and milk, send away the bird from the nest, to teach us how to preserve mercy and keep away from cruelty, even if these words permitted slaughter... It seems that seeing animals as products, and the industrial attitude towards them in today’s culture of growth and consumption, stands in stark contrast to this mandate. Until this area is significantly fixed, I personally refrain from eating meat and oppose as much as possible the use of animal products in this industry."
    Source: N. Bendel, “יוזמת צמחונות הלכתית חדשה מבקשת לזעזע את המגזר“, Kipa, 4-1-14


  • Rachel Safman (Conservative, vegetarian)
    Rabbi, Congregation Beth El (New London, CT)
    Source: self-described



  • Stacy Schlein (Reform, vegetarian)
    Shabbaton Director, The Temple – Tifereth Israel (Cleveland, OH)
    Executive Committee of Greater Cleveland Congregations
    "Over the years, people have asked me why I am vegetarian. In truth, all of the reasons for doing it are compelling and reinforce important Jewish and universal values: it is better for the environment, it is healthier, it prevents killing animals and it is an inward and outward expression of the sacredness of all living things... All life is sacred. All life is a gift from God. Each morsel of food that we eat or that we donate is a blessing that must be truly appreciated."
    Source: S. Schlein, "Thank God I am vegetarian", Cleveland Jewish News, 3-13-13




  • Jeremy Schwartz (Reconstructionist, vegetarian)
    Rabbi, Temple Bnai Israel (Willimantic, CT)
    Source: congregant


  • Arthur Segal (Renewal, advocates vegetarianism)
    Jewish Spiritual Renewal (Hilton Head Island, SC)
    Source: self-described

  • Rami Shapiro (vegetarian)
    Rosh Yeshiva, The Virtual Yeshiva, Rasheit Institute for Jewish Spirituality (Miami, FL)
    “Vegetarianism is not simply a dietary ideal. It is a practice designed to enhance your capacity for compassion.”
    Source: "Major Campaign to Change Jews' Diets", JVNA

  • Amichai Shoham (Orthodox, vegetarian)
    Rabbi, Darchei Yehudah School (Modi'in, Israel)
    Source: Congregant


  • Barry Silver (Reform, vegetarian)
    Congregation L'Dor Va-Dor (Lake Worth, FL)
    "The humane principles behind kashrut lead directly to vegetarianism."
    Source: self-described




  • Deb Smith (Renewal, advocates vegetarianism)
    Havurah Or Ha-Lev (Mt. Arlington, NJ)
    “Vegetarianism is a way to combine the ethical and environmental concerns I have about food preparation and consumption. It's about honoring G-d and G-d's holy creatures and inviting G-d to the dinner table. Ultimately, it's about it's about being in constant dialogue with G-d.”
    Source: self-described

  • Eliyahu Soiefer (Hasidic, vegan)
    Rabbi and Mashgiach Ruchani, Stein Yeshiva (Yonkers, NY)
    Source: self-described




  • Adam Stein (Masorti/Conservative, vegetarian)
    Rabbi, Kehilat Nitzan Synagogue (Melbourne, Australia)
    “The torture of animals and the suffering that they go through, to be raised on these large factory farms and then eaten is really forbidden by Judaism.”
    Source: Self-described




  • Leah Sudran (Conservative, advocates vegetarianism)
    Chaplain, California Medical Facility, Vacaville
    Chaplain, Solano State Prison
    (Petaluma, CA)
    “Changing to a plant-based diet or, short of that, reducing our consumption of meat drastically is the most important way we can each directly contribute to repairing the ecosystem upon which we depend for our survival as a species.”
    Source: “Sustainable Future”, Letters, j. the Jewish news weekly of Northern California, 10-1-09

  • Binyamin “Ben” Tanny (Orthodox, advocates vegetarianism)
    TravellingRabbi.com (Sydney, Australia)
    “From what I've studied I would say that the ultimate way is probably not to be eating animals, as it is a concession to our weakness.” “I think for the Jewish observant person the main issue today is with regards to cruelty to animals which we must distance ourselves from as far away as possible. From a non religious view I feel most of the meat around is not healthy and worth eating.”
    Source: self-described













  • Eric Yoffie (Reform, "endorses reduction in meat consumption")
    Until 2011, President, Union of Reform Judaism (Westfield, NJ)
    “For the first 2,500 years of our 3,000 year history, Jews consumed meat sparingly, and we can surely do the same. And we must... Perhaps we can begin by offering some Shabbat dinners and Passover Seders that will delight with their variety, creativity, and taste, and that will be a model for our members of healthy, festive, meat-free meals.”
    Source: E.H. Yoffie, "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?", Reform Judaism, Spring 2010



  • Lina Zerbarini (Mostly vegan)
    Director, Weinberger Center for Jewish Life & Learning (East Hills, NY)
    Sid Jacobson Jewish Community Center
    “Contemporary agribusiness violates the prohibition against tzaar baalei chayim, the causing of suffering to animals.”
    Source: self-described

  • Gershon Zylberman (Reform, vegan)
    Temple Bat Yahm (Newport Beach, CA)
    Source: self-described

  • Rayna Zylberman (Reform, vegan)
    Temple Bat Yahm (Newport Beach, CA)
    Source: self-described



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