About Kerry Olitzky

Rabbi Kerry M. Olitzky, D.H.L., is the Executive Director of the Jewish Outreach Institute, the only national independent organization dedicated to bringing Judaism to interfaith families and the unaffiliated. Formerly, he served as vice president of the Wexner Heritage Foundation, the premier adult Jewish learning and Jewish leadership program in North America. Previously, he was national Dean of Adult Jewish Learning and Living of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion where he served on the faculty and administration for 15 years following his tenure at Congregation Beth Israel in West Hartford, CT. A leader in the development of innovative Jewish education, particularly for adults, he has shaped training programs for clergy of all faiths, especially in the area of pastoral care and counseling in the Jewish community. He has done pioneering work in the area of Jewish Twelve Step spirituality, as well as Jewish Gerontology. Rabbi Olitzky also is a partner with the Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health at HUC-JIR and serves as a consultant to Capstone Press. He is a contributing editor for Shma: A Journal of Jewish Responsibility and is also the author of many books and articles in a variety of fields. His opinion pieces are published in leading publications throughout North America and in Israel. Among his most recent publications are: The Rituals and Practices of a Jewish Life: A Handbook for Personal Spiritual Renewal, with Dan Judson (Jewish Lights); new annotated translations with commentary of The Book of Proverbs; Kohelet; and Song of Songs with Leonard Kravitz (URJ Press); Making a Successful Jewish Interfaith Marriage: The Jewish Outreach Institute Guide to Opportunities, Challenges, and Resources with Joan Peterson Littman; Introducing My Faith and Community: The Jewish Outreach Institute Guide for the Christian in an Interfaith Relationship; and Jewish Ritual: A Brief Introduction for Christians with Dan Judson.

The FrankenJew Generation

By February 22, 2007

From: Kerry Olitzky To: Stephen Schwartz Subject: Inclusion—It’s That Simple. Stephen, An “inclusive” Jewish community would accept those who cast their lot with the Jewish people. This includes interfaith families who would otherwise be excluded. Of course, there must be … Read More

Brace Yourself for Jewish-Muslim Intermarriage

By February 20, 2007

From: Stephen Schwartz To: Kerry Olitzky Subject: Jews, Muslims, and Intermarriage Kerry, The striking thing we have in common is that neither of us proceeded along a predictable or linear path. Is this American, Jewish, just typical of religious people … Read More

Building a “Big Tent” Judaism

By February 20, 2007

From: Kerry Olitzky To: Stephen Schwartz Subject: Beginnings…From Squirrel Hill to Mt. Sinai My background is not quite as exotic as yours, Stephen, but I’ll share it with you nonetheless. I was born in Pittsburgh, in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood, … Read More