Rabbi Kenneth Berger served as spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Sholom 1979-2009 and now serves with distinction as Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Beth Sholom. In 2010 he relocated to Chicago, his hometown.
Rabbi Berger received his Rabbinic ordination and the degree of Doctor of Hebrew Literature in Jewish Liturgy from the Jewish Theological Seminary. He served as a part-time member of the faculty at the Seminary for many years, teaching courses in liturgy and in the Rabbinical School’s Seminar program. He has also served as a mentor to Rabbinical students in the Seminary’s internship program.
While in Teaneck, Rabbi Berger was active in community affairs. He is a Past President of the Teaneck Clergy Council, the North Jersey Board of Rabbis, and has been a member or chair of several Rabbinical Assembly Committees. He was a founder and officer of the Interreligious Fellowship for the Homeless of Bergen County, now known as Family Promise of Bergen County. He is an honorary member of the Board of Trustees of the Solomon Schechter Day School of Bergen County, and served on the Board and Executive Committee of UJA Federation of Northern New Jersey. He was a member of the Chancellor’s Rabbinic Cabinet at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and served as chairman of the Rabbinic Campaign on behalf of the Seminary, the Masorti Movement, and Makhon Schechter. He is also a recipient of the Seminary’s Rabbi Simon Greenberg Award for Rabbinic Achievement.
Since moving to Chicago, Rabbi Berger has taught at the Spertus Institute for Jewish Studies, at Limmud Chicago, and in his synagogue’s Adult Education program. He is currently working on a book based upon his research into the history of the liturgy on Ashkenaz in the medieval and early modern periods.
Rabbi Berger and his wife, Cheryl, have three grown children – Jonathan, Ari, and Rachel – and four granddaughters.