Rabbi Don’s Bio

Rabbi Donald B. Rossoff, D.D., R.J.E., currently serves as Interim Rabbi at Barnert Temple in Franklin Lakes, NJ. From 2016-2017, he was Interim Rabbi at Temple Beth Am in Framingham, MA, and from 2015-2016, at the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation in Evanston, Illinois. From 1990 – 2015, he served as Senior Rabbi of Temple B’nai Or in Morristown, New Jersey, where he is Rabbi Emeritus.

Born in Red Bank, New Jersey, and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, he holds a Bachelor of Arts from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Jewish Studies from Spertus College of Judaica. As an overseas student at Hebrew University in Jerusalem during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, he performed for wounded soldiers and their families in hospitals throughout Israel as well as soldiers in the field in the aftermath of the war.  He earned Master’s Degrees in Hebrew Letters and Hebrew Education from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion from which he was ordained in 1981. Upon ordination, he began nine years of service as Assistant/Associate Rabbi with his childhood rabbi, Frederick C. Schwartz, at Temple Sholom in Chicago.

In 2006, HUC-JIR conferred upon him an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree.

Rabbi Rossoff is certified as interim clergy by the national Interim Ministry Network.

Rabbi Don is past-President of the New Jersey / West Hudson Association of Reform Rabbis, the Morris-Sussex Board of Rabbis and has served two non-consecutive terms as President of the Morristown Interfaith Clergy Council.  He served as a member of the Executive Board of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and was chair of its Israel Committee from 2000 – 2007, Resolutions Committee from 2010 – 2013, and its 2009 Annual Convention in Jerusalem. He has been the CCAR Representative to the Reform Jewish Educator (RJE) Title Granting Commission from its inception to the present. Rabbi Rossoff has served on the Board of The Association of Reform Zionists of America and, in 2005, was awarded the “Ohev Yisrael Award – Lover of Israel” by the ARZA Rabbinic Counsel.

In addition, he served as Chair of the Rabbinic Cabinet of the MetroWest Jewish Federation. He was a member of the MetroWest Executive Committee and Board and has been involved in its outreach efforts to interfaith families as well as on its committees on Religious Pluralism.  He has been on the faculty of the Reform movement’s Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute and Camp Harlam and has been a member of their Rabbinic Advisory Committees. In the early 1990’s Rabbi Rossoff forged a relationship with the Jam-e-Masjid Islamic Center and has spoken at and participated in many programs with local Muslim communities.

A member of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Committee, he was given its community service award in 2013.  In 2016, he was was given the “Vision Keepers” award from Interfaith Action of Evanston, for his work of reconciliation and his commitment “to service, worship, dialogue, renewal and witness in our community.”

Rabbi Don has presented programs on Interfaith Marriage, Family Education, Music as Midrash, Process Theology, Israel, and Jewish Prayer. He published a children’s book on spirituality, The Perfect Prayer, and contributed chapters to The Jew in the Modern World: A Documentary History edited by Paul Mendes-Flohr and Jehuda Reinharz and Chosen Tales: Stories Told by Jewish Storytellers, edited by Peninnah Schram.   As a musician, he published Adonai Li, a musical setting of Psalm 118:6 (with Cantor Bruce Benson), and the lyrics for “You Can Change the World” (with Cantor Jeff  Klepper). As a flutist, he has performed and recorded with Kol Sasson and Kol B’seder and has performed on stage with Peter Yarrow, Debbie Friedman, and Craig Taubman.

He is currently pursuing an MS degree in Marriage and Family Therapy through Capella University. As a student, he was inducted into Chi Sigma Iota, Counselling and Academic Professional Honor Society International and Delta Kappa, the International Marriage and Family Therapy Honor Society.

Don is married to the former Francine Schulman, a registered nurse, who has been recognized and awarded for her outstanding volunteer work in the community. The Rossoffs have four children.

2 thoughts on “Rabbi Don’s Bio

  1. hi
    I will send you more chapters. I am an artist-you can see my work on the website. I have been in the israel legal system for many years including 17 years as a judge in jerusalem. the daughter of anchel rozov my grandmother left palestine for europe. my parents lived in paris and we came to israel in 1952. I have 4 children and a dog!


  2. Thank you for writing such beautiful words about Debbie. I still have her first 3 albums. We were there from the beginning… take care my friend, Lots of love, Diane Lorsch Nayhouse


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