Rabbi Steven Z. Leder currently serves as the Senior Rabbi of Wilshire Boulevard Temple, a synagogue in Los Angeles with three campuses and 2,400 families.
After receiving his degree in writing and graduating Cum Laude from Northwestern University, and time studying at Trinity College, Oxford University, Rabbi Leder received a Master’s Degree in Hebrew Letters in 1986 and Rabbinical Ordination in 1987 from Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles, where he went on to teach Homiletics for 13 years. He has published essays in Reform Judaism, the Los Angeles Times, Beliefnet.com, and The Jewish Journal, where his Torah commentaries were read weekly by over 50,000 people; his sermon on capital punishment was included in an award-winning episode of The West Wing. He received the Louis Rappaport Award for Excellence in Commentary by the American Jewish Press Association and the Kovler Award from the Religious Action Center in Washington, D.C., for his work in African American/Jewish dialogue. He is a fellow in the British-American Project and in 2012 presented at the Aspen Ideas Festival.
Rabbi Leder’s first book, The Extraordinary Nature of Ordinary Things, brought him national acclaim. In The New York Times, William Safire called the book “uplifting.” Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein called Rabbi Leder “everything we search for in a modern wise man; learned, kind, funny, and non-judgmental, he . . . finds the true fabric of our spiritual lives.” His second book, More Money Than God: Living a Rich Life Without Losing Your Soul, received remarkable critical and media attention, including feature articles in The New York Times, Town and Country, and major newspapers across the country, as well as appearances on ABC’s Politically Incorrect, NPR, The CBS Early Show, The Dennis Miller Show, Tavis Smiley, Cavuto and Friends, Scarborough Country, Fox Family and Friends, ABC Overnight, and more.
Newsweek named him one of the 10 most influential rabbis in America, but to him what is most important is that he’s Betsy’s husband and Aaron and Hannah’s dad. He is also a Jew who likes to fish. Go figure.