Rabbi John Franken
Rabbi John Franken came to Bolton Street Synagogue following sojourns in St. Louis, Boston and Stamford, Connecticut, where he introduced services that aspire to be spiritual, participatory and joyful.
Meaningful worship, he
explains, is "essential to creating an ethos in which everyone feels emotionally, spiritually and intellectually swept up in the sacred life and destiny of the Jewish people.
was drawn to Bolton Street
by the congregation's warmth, menschlichkeit, concern for social justice, and culture of caring and inclusion; by his
affinity for Baltimore, where he
attended law school; and by his
desire to share his
specialized skills in organizational behavior, strategy and development to help the Bolton Street community prepare for its next stage of growth.
As a rabbinic student, Rabbi Franken divided his studies between New York and Jerusalem where he was a fellow at the Hebrew University.
In addition to rabbinic ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, he holds degrees in Hebrew Literature (M.A., HUC-JIR), law (J.D., University of Maryland, with honor), and Political Science (B.A., Tufts University, summa cum laude).
In his previous positions, Rabbi Franken was especially active in outreach, social justice, youth and adult education, Israel engagement, and caring community projects.
He also served as Chair of the Adult Institute of Jewish Studies, Vice President and Treasurer of the St. Louis Rabbinical Association, and adjunct professor of Jewish law at the St. Louis University School of Law.
An avid traveler, Rabbi Franken has visited more than fifty countries and, as a student, served Jewish communities in several of them.
free time, he
especially enjoys hiking, all forms of learning and discovery, reading, drama and film.