Rabbi Arnold Rachlis
Rabbi Arnold Rachlis is the spiritual leader of University Synagogue in Irvine, California. Born in Philadelphia, Rabbi Rachlis received a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.A. from Temple University, and ordination and a Doctor of Divinity degree from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.
Rabbi Rachlis has taught at Temple University and Spertus College, and has published scholarly articles, opinion pieces and poetry in a variety of publications, including Judaism, Reconstructionist, National Jewish Monthly, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Los Angeles Times, Jewish Journal, Maj’shavot Pensamientos and A Psychology – Judaism Reader.
The former rabbi of the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation in Evanston, Illinois, Rabbi Rachlis was the youngest rabbi ever elected president of the Chicago Board of Rabbis. His service to the community includes the boards of Jewish Fund for Justice, U.S. Inter-religious Committee for Peace in the Middle East, Project Nishma, Americans for Peace Now, China Judaic Studies Association of Nanjing University, University of Illinois Fund for Gerontology Research, National B’nai Brith Hillel Commission, the American Jewish Committee, New Israel Fund, Orange Coast Interfaith Shelter and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, of which he is a past president. He has also served on the executive committee of the Southern California Board of Rabbis, as a member of the Orange County Board of Rabbis, and on the Ethics Commission of the City of Irvine.
In an earlier career, Rabbi Rachlis served in Washington, D.C. as a White House Fellow and as a senior foreign affairs advisor in the State Department. He was appointed a regional panelist for the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships in both Democratic and Republican administrations, and was also selected as a fellow in Leadership Greater Chicago.
For nine years, Rabbi Rachlis hosted ABC’s Of Cabbages and Kings, as well as a syndicated cable television show on contemporary Jewish issues, Hayom. He has appeared as a guest on National Public Radio, CBS, CNN and PBS, and has been interviewed frequently by such publications as the New York Times, Newsweek and Time. He was profiled in the award-winning documentary film, The Legacy, and has served as a Judaica consultant for Compton’s Encyclopedia.