Rabbi Barry L. Schwartz serves as the spiritual leader of Congregation Adas Emuno, a 150-year-old Reform congregation in Leonia, NJ. Rabbi Schwartz is director and editor-in-chief emeritus of the Jewish Publication Society, the oldest Jewish press in the United States, and the preeminent publisher of the Jewish Bible (Tanakh) and Jewish classics since 1888. Rabbi Schwartz received his BA, magna cum laude, from Duke University, and his MA and rabbinical ordination from Hebrew Union College. He previously served as senior rabbi of Congregation M’kor Shalom in Cherry Hill, NJ. He began his career as the rabbi of the Leo Baeck Center in Haifa, where he also served in the Israeli army.
Rabbi Schwartz is a prolific writer, as the author of books for adults, teens and children, a prize-winning short story, a play, a prayer book, and scholarly articles that have appeared in the Journal of Reform Judaism, American Jewish History, and the Hebrew Union College Annual. His textbook, Jewish Heroes, Jewish Values, has been used in over 300 religious schools nationwide for the past 20 years. Another textbook, Judaism’s Great Debates, was published in 2012 in both adult and student editions. Path of the Prophets: The Ethics-Driven Life (2018) examines the legacy of ancient Israel’s pioneers of social justice.
His most recent children’s works include Adams’ Animals (2017), a selection of the PJ Library, The New Queen of Sheba (2020) and Jonah’s Tale of a Whale (2021). His latest adult book is a comprehensive survey of the full spectrum of modern Jewish thought today, entitled Open Judaism: A Guide for Believers, Atheists and Agnostics (2023).
Rabbi Schwartz has a special passion for Jewish environmental activism, and was especially involved in the early environmental work of the Jewish community. An avid world traveler, he has visited more than 50 countries, and enjoys hiking, cycling, and competitive table tennis. And, of course, reading and writing! Rabbi Schwartz is married to Deborah A. Schwartz; they are the parents of three adult children and one adorable grandson.
Select Archived Sermons
Who Are We Redux? (Yom Kippur 5784)
The Culture Wars (Kol Nidre 5784)
Israel at 75: Facing Our Conflicts (Rosh Hashanah 5784)
A Sense of the Sacred (Yom Kippur 5783)
To Life, Not Death (Kol Nidre 5783)
Letter to My Grandson (Rosh Hashanah 5783)
America (Yom Kippur 5782)
Jonah (Kol Nidre 5782)
Prayer (Rosh Hashanah 5782)
Sesquicentennial (Rosh Hashanah Morning 5782)
Who Shall Live? (Rosh Hashanah Evening 5782)
Rabbi Schwartz's sermon, "One Earth", was included in the anthology, Touching the Face of the Cosmos: On the Intersection of Space Travel and Religion, edited by Paul Levinson and Michael Waltemathe, and published by Fordham University Press, and as an ebook by Connected Editions in 2016. The collection also includes an essay entitled, "The Touching Interface of the Cosmos", by Adas Emuno Past President Lance Strate.
Select Additional Writings
We Need More Jewish Debate, Not Less (Blog Post)Select Media Mentions
The First Jewish Debate (Blog Post)For You Were Strangers in Egypt (Jewish Standard Op-Ed)
Where the Debate on Modern Judaism Began (Blog Post)
Holy Debatable (Jewish Standard Column)
We Need More Debate in the Community (Jewish Exponent Op-Ed)
Why We Need More Debates (Jewish Standard Op-Ed)
The Best of Everything Jewish (Times of Israel Blog Post)
Top Ten Jewish Foods (Times of Israel Blog Post)
Top Ten Jewish Modern Events (Times of Israel Blog Post)
Top Ten Israeli History Events (Times of Israel Blog Post)
Homo Moralis (Tikkun)
Table Tennis, Anyone? (Jewish Standard)
Bound for Glory (Jewish Standard)Leonia Adopts 'Welcoming Communities' Resolution (N. Jer. Record)
Bonds of Faith (201 Magazine)
Adam's Animals (Jewish Standard)
Character Matters, The Prophets Say (Jewish Standard)