Rabbi Laurence L. Edwards, PhD
Laurence Edwards (Larry) served from 2003-2013 as Rabbi of Congregation Or Chadash, a congregation founded in the 1970s by members of the Jewish GLBT community. Past positions include Hillel Director and Jewish Chaplain at Dartmouth College (1975-1981) and at Cornell University (1981-1997). Since returning to Chicago in 1997, he has held positions at KAM Isaiah Israel Congregation (Director of Education), Congregation B’nai Abraham in Beloit, WI (Rabbi), American Jewish Committee (Interreligious Affairs), and Congregation Kol Ami (Education Rabbi). Most recently (2013-14) he served as Rabbi in Residence at Congregation Rodfei Zedek, where he is also a member.
He received his A.B. degree in Humanities from the University of Chicago in 1970, was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1975, and completed a Ph.D. in Bible, Culture and Hermeneutics at Chicago Theological Seminary in 2005.
Larry studied in Jerusalem in 1970-71, and has returned numerous times since, serving on the faculty of the Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel (most recently Summer, 2014), and staffing three trips for Christians. While a student in New York in the 1970s he was part of a group that eventually founded Breira, perhaps the first Jewish organization in North America to call for mutual recognition between Israel and the Palestinian People.
Larry teaches courses at University of Illinois at Chicago, DePaul University, and the Hebrew Seminary (Skokie). From 2000-2005 he served as Book Review Editor of the CCAR Journal / Journal of Reform Judaism. His articles and book reviews have appeared in a variety of publications.
University of Chicago (AB 1970)
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (MAHL, Rabbi 1975)
Chicago Theological Seminary (Ph.D. 2005)
Central Conference of American Rabbis Jewish Studies Association American Academy of Religion Society of Biblical Literature