We are affiliated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, the association of Conservative congregations in North America.
Stephen Chaim Listfield is a 1974 graduate of the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he gave the valedictory address upon ordination. He is a Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude graduate of Rutgers University. Rabbi Listfield also studied at Princeton University and had a Woodrow Wilson graduate fellowship at Yale University Graduate School (in Chinese language and philosophy) before deciding to become a rabbi.
Rabbi Listfield has been a congregational rabbi for 36 years. He also made time to teach at The American University when he was a rabbi in Washington, DC, and at the Seminary when he was in New Jersey. While leading a congregation in Montgomery, AL, he was also chaplain to the Jewish inmates at the nearby federal prison.
Rabbi Listfield happily admits to having a cerebral approach to Jewish religion. He insists that it is difficult to be part of “the people of the Book” if one does not recognize that the religion has flourished through study and commentary and ideas. Preliminarily, though, Rabbi Listfield emphasizes the values of the heart; that is, the warmth and compassion and basic mentschlichkeit that are the hallmarks of the Jewish ideal.
In sum, to be a Jew is to develop the fullness of our hearts and minds. Even the best among us are simply “works in progress.” But, says our rabbi, that is precisely what synagogue is for. We want to be the best works in progress that we can be!
Rabbi is married to Leslie Parker. Together they have four children and four grandsons. Congregation Beth-El is happy to welcome Rabbi Listfield.
To contact Rabbi Listfield, please call the synagogue office at (516) 541-0740.