Rabbi Guy Austrian
Rabbi Guy Austrian
Rabbi Guy Austrian joined the Fort Tryon Jewish Center as its rabbi and spiritual leader in January 2013.
Rabbi Austrian entered the rabbinate to build communities of compassion and mitzvah observance that integrate deep prayer, serious Torah learning, authentic emotions of joy and grief, and a sacred aspiration for social change. Along the way, he has prayed in a Southern accent as rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel in Mississippi. He has celebrated Jewish families of every kind as a Cooperberg-Rittmaster Rabbinic Intern at NYC’s Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, the world’s largest synagogue serving LGBTQ Jews, their friends and families. He has even taught children to explore the biblical book of Eicha through mime theater and video at Camp Ramah in Nyack, NY.
After immigrating with his parents from Israel as a child, Guy grew up in the Cleveland area. Aware of differences in language and culture from a young age, he devoted his early career to helping Jews build partnerships with diverse communities to achieve shared goals. In Chicago, he put together a Jewish-Muslim arts café series and convened Chicago’s first iftar meal in a synagogue sukkah, as a community organizer for the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs. In NYC, he organized religious voices in support of social services, marriage equality, and affordable housing, as director of social justice for Congregation B’nai Jeshurun.
Guy completed his studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary with rabbinic ordination in 2013. Recognizing that Jewish prayer can be the most difficult and confounding — yet potentially transformative — of Judaism’s spiritual practices, he also earned an M.A. in Liturgy. At JTS, he received the four-year Neubauer Fellowship and numerous honors including the Einhorn Award in Hebrew, the Rosenberg Award in Jewish Thought, and the Citron Scholastic Prize. He earned a B.A. (summa cum laude) in English from Princeton University in 1996.
Guy lives in Washington Heights with his life partner, Rabbi Jill Jacobs, and their children. He speaks Hebrew and Spanish and is happy to chat with neighbors in either (or both). You can probably find him turning various local cafés into his “office,” or playing down by the Hudson River rocks with Jill and the girls and getting too close to the water.
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