Sharon Brous is an American rabbi, who was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2001 and received a master’s degree in human rights from Columbia University. Before moving to Los Angeles, she served as a Rabbinic Fellow at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in New York City. She was one of the co-founders of IKAR (Hebrew for “essence”), a Jewish congregation in Los Angeles, and currently serves as their senior rabbi. IKAR has been named one of the nation’s 50 most innovative Jewish nonprofits by the Slingshot Fund Guide, a resource guide for Jewish innovation.
In 2013, she blessed President Obama and Vice President Biden at the Inaugural National Prayer Service, and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti at his inauguration in 2017. 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 the rabbinic advisory council to the American Jewish World Service.
In January 2016, Brous and colleagues from six other Jewish communities launched 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. In 2018 Brous, among others, was on the cover of Time, based on a 1943 Norman Rockwell painting titled “Freedom of Worship.” Brous is known for her strong political stances, and has asserted that “There’s no such thing as decoupling religion and politics.”