Our Clergy

Laura Friedlander PhotographyRabbi Brant Rosen
Rabbi Brant Rosen has been JRC’s spiritual leader since 1998. A graduate of UCLA and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Rabbi Rosen is a past President of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association and currently serves as the co-chairperson of the Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical Council.

Under Rabbi Rosen’s guidance, JRC built our new synagogue building in 2008 with an environmentally sustainable design. JRC has since received nationwide attention and the first Platinum rating ever awarded to a house of worship by the US Green Building Council. In 2009, Rabbi Rosen was the recipient of Chicago Magazine’s Green Award for his environmental leadership.

Rabbi Rosen is also a long-time activist for peace, social justice and human rights, and has traveled on delegations to such countries as the former Soviet Union, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, and Iran. In 2010 he was awarded the “Inspiration for Hope Award” by the American Friends Service Committee - Chicago for his activism on behalf of peace and justice in the Middle East.

Rabbi Rosen’s writings appear regularly in his two blogs, Shalom Rav and Yedid Nefesh, and he has contributed to such media outlets as the Chicago Tribune, Huffington Post, and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, among others. His book Wrestling in the Daylight was published by Just World Books in 2012.

In 2008, Rabbi Rosen was honored by Newsweek magazine as one of the Top 25 Pulpit Rabbis in America. He lives in Evanston with his wife Hallie and his sons Gabriel and Jonah. You can contact Rabbi Rosen at rabbi@jrc-evanston.org.

(The views expressed by Rabbi Rosen in his personal writings are his own rather than official or unofficial positions or policies of JRC.)


Laura Friedlander PhotographyCantor Howard Friedland
Howard Friedland began serving as full-time cantor at JRC in July of 2001. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Goodman School of Drama at DePaul University in 1982. Until July 2001, he was a freelance actor working in theater, film, and television.

Howard has been a member of JRC since 1989, having served on the Board of Directors and several committees. He studied hazzanut with Cantor Cory Winter, and is immediate past-president of the Chicago/ Milwaukee Association of Cantors. Howard lives in Glenview with his wife Terry and children Hannah Mira and Ben. You can contact Cantor Friedland at cantor@jrc-evanston.org.