In his new book, Awakenings, American Jewish Transformations in Identity, Leadership, and Belonging,
Rabbi Ben Spratt speaks about the future of American Judaism with optimism.
“…Judaism offers a wellspring of tools to help us flourish…to meet modern needs.”
Awakenings: American Jewish Transformations in Identity, Leadership, and Belonging
by Rabbi Ben Spratt and Rabbi Joshua Stanton (Behrman House Publishing, August 2022)
“A profound call to action for modern-day Judaism rooted in facts and faith. As a Jew by Choice, I’m heartened by the rabbis’ observation on the vibrant growth of previously marginalized Jews by Choice, Jews of Color, and LGBTQ Jews.” — Juju Chang, Journalist at ABC News and anchor of NightlineRead more reviews
A powerful antidote to the tired narratives of demise plaguing contemporary Jewish life in favor of a stirring exploration of what Jewish life could be.” — Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President, Union for Reform Judaism
“Challenges us to face the truth of it all and create anew. Such nourishment for our pluralistic and struggling world!”— Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, Executive Director, Network Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
“In making a compelling case for the vibrancy of American Jewry, “Awakenings” offers a long-overdue counterweight to the dire predictions about the future of the Jewish world’s most important Diaspora community. Even as Rabbis Stanton and Spratt rightly celebrate Diaspora, they are keenly aware of the need to strengthen the connection between American Jews and Israel. Along with a vision of American Jewish spiritual renewal, they offer the hope of a deepening and mutually respectful relationship between the world’s two largest Jewish communities. This book offers an essential roadmap to how we may maximize the unprecedented opportunities provided by a new era in Jewish history, whose implications we are just beginning to unpack.” — Yossi Klein Halevi, Senior Fellow, Shalom Hartman Institute; author of New York Times bestseller A Letter to My Palestinian Neighborshow less
Ben Spratt (he/him) is the 11th Senior Rabbi in Congregation Rodeph Sholom’s distinguished 180-year history. He previously served as our Senior Associate Rabbi and the Rabbi in Residence of Rodeph Sholom School. His Jewish journey took him from the Orthodox, Reconstructionist, and Renewal worlds to becoming ordained from the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary, and eventually landing him as Rabbi here, one of the country’s renowned Reform congregations.
It is with a passionate drive that he works to build and shape community beyond existent boundaries. In 2009, Ben helped found CRS’s Shireinu, an inclusion initiative for Jewish families with special needs that now serves as a spiritual model for synagogues and churches around the world. With prominently featured articles in the New York Times, The Jewish Week, Autism Speaks, Huffington Post, Jewish Journal, and Times of Israel, the Shireinu program has also received numerous national awards and grants including the Union for Reform Judaism’s Exemplar Award for Inclusion and the UJA-Federation of New York’s First Place Synagogue Inclusion Award. Ben serves as co-chair of Inclusion and Disability Awareness for the Central Conference of American Rabbis.
In 2014, he co-founded Tribe, a joint initiative to engage Jewish Millennials through grassroots leadership and a community of empowerment. In 2016, Rabbi Spratt and Cantor Shayna De Lowe collaborated to reimagine the future of a large legacy congregation, planting the seeds of Minyan, a Jewish small-group-based approach to human flourishing through connection. In 2017, he was co-editor of a special symposium edition of the CCAR’s Reform Jewish Quarterly Journal on Millennial Engagement and sparked the New Day Fellowship to foster connection between Muslim and Jewish Millennials.
After over two decades as part of the Rodeph Sholom family, in 2022 Rabbi Spratt was installed as Senior Rabbi. In his new book, Awakenings, American Jewish Transformation in Identity, Leadership, and Belonging, co-written with Rabbi Josh Stanton and published also in 2022, he speaks about the future of American Judaism with optimism. “…Judaism offers a wellspring of tools to help us flourish…to meet modern needs.”