Rabbi Ruven Barkan is a relationship builder and visionary, seeking to nurture vibrant Conservative Jewish life that builds on the solid foundation of tradition for promoting inclusivity and innovation. As rabbi, educational leader, and social activist he is dedicated to bridging gaps through dialogue between diverse communities, transforming Tefillah (Jewish prayer) into an engaging, accessible, and personal experience, and establishing new Torah study models tailored to the culture of each community.
He has served as rabbi in a variety of contexts. As a congregational Rabbi, he led Congregation Agudath Achim in Savannah, Georgia. As Rabbi-in-Residence, he helped establish the Jewish Life Program and taught Jewish studies at the Chicagoland Jewish High School. He directed the faith track of Auburn Seminary’s international peace camp, Face to Face/Faith to Faith, that builds peace through dialogue in regions of conflict throughout the world, including Israel.
He wrote his Master's Thesis in Hebrew Letters from the American Jewish University on “Zionism and the Conservative Movement: Finkelstein, Heschel, and Kaplan,” and his Master's Thesis for the Jewish Theological Seminary's Davidson School of Education on “Teaching Jewish Holidays through Gardening.” He was ordained at JTS in 2001.
He is a regular practitioner of Iyengar Yoga, and plays soccer, basketball, and golf.
He has been married to his life-partner Adina Weber since college.