Rabbi Steven C. Wernick joined the Beth Tzedec community in February 2019, where his tenure as Senior Rabbi has been marked by a renewed focus on inspiring and enabling members of our community to live meaningful Jewish lives.
While prioritizing inclusivity for the broad diversity of the Jewish people and those connected to our community, Rabbi Wernick refined the vision for Beth Tzedec and launched the Beth Tzedec Centre for Spiritual Well-Being, an innovative framework for connecting and improving the well-being of our kehillah.
Rabbi Steven Wernick currently serves in leadership roles on many communal organizations, including as Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee and member of the Executive Board at Mercaz Olami, as Vice-Chair of the Jewish Agency Aliyah Committee and as a member of the board of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies. He has been named one of Newsweek’s 50 Most Influential Rabbis in America and was on the Forward's List of Influential Jewish Leaders.
Prior to joining Beth Tzedec, Rabbi
Wernick served as the CEO of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ),
where he spearheaded a transformation to allow the organization to meet the
changing needs of 21st century congregations and shepherded the
successful launch of several initiatives, including Sulam Leadership. Through
partnerships with and grants from outside organizations, he significantly
expanded funding for USY and launched major new efforts to assist kehillot in
reaching out to young families and people with disabilities. Rabbi Wernick was
also instrumental in the effort to create a permanent space for pluralistic
and egalitarian prayer at the Kotel (Western Wall).
The son of a rabbi and a Jewish educator, Rabbi Wernick grew up actively involved with USY and Camp Ramah. As a student at the University of Minnesota, he was one of the first AIPAC college fellows, and founded MAIPAC, currently known as Gopherpac. Rabbi Wernick then attended the University of Judaism and was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary. After ordination, he served as the associate rabbi of Temple Beth Sholom in Cherry Hill, NJ, and then as the senior rabbi at Adath Israel in Philadelphia.
Rabbi Wernick is happily married to Jody Wernick and the proud father of three daughters.