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Rabbi Steven Kushner served as the spiritual leader of Temple Ner Tamid of Bloomfield, New Jersey since its inception in 1980. In his 38 years of service to the congregation, Rabbi Kushner helped grow the community not merely in size but in programming and influence. He was instrumental in developing adult education and early childhood education, interfaith, social justice, outreach and family programming, and even a klezmer band as integral elements of the synagogue. In June of 2018 he retired and was honored with the title of Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Ner Tamid.

Outside of the congregation, Rabbi Kushner established himself both within the Jewish and general communities. In May of 1995 Bloomfield College, upon whose faculty Rabbi Kushner served from 1983 to 2003, honored him with a Doctor of Laws honoris causa degree. A past president of the New Jersey Association of Reform Rabbis, the Coalition of Religious Leaders of New Jersey, and the MetroWest Conference on Soviet Jewry, Rabbi Kushner has also served on the Ethics Committee of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and as the Editor of the CCAR’s national Newsletter. Most recently Rabbi Kushner served as President of the Beth El Memorial Foundation of the United Jewish Federation of MetroWest, a state-mandated initiative designed to protect and preserve the historic Jewish cemeteries of greater Newark.

Ordained at the Cincinnati campus of the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion, Rabbi Kushner earned his Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters from HUC-JIR and a Bachelor of Arts from Wayne State University in Detroit. Rabbi Kushner has also received Certification in Pastoral Counseling from the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health in New York City.

Prior to assuming the position of Rabbi at Temple Ner Tamid, Rabbi Kushner served as Assistant Rabbi at Congregation Emanu-El B’ne Jeshurun in Milwaukee.

Rabbi Steven Kushner continues to teach Torah and in his spare time pursues his life-long love of photography ( He is married to Leana Moritt, the Rabbi of Temple Beth-El of Jersey City. His daughters, Aviva Kushner Estiz and Hannah Kushner, both grew up within the loving hearts of the Temple Ner Tamid family. Aviva and her husband Brian have given Rabbi Kushner his greatest joys, his granddaughters Maia and Noa.

Retirement Remarks, Rabbi Steven Kushner | April 28, 2018

Click here to watch the video tribute to Rabbi Kushner shown at the TNT Gala on April 28.

Time For Another Book: Rabbi Kushner To Retire From Temple Ner Tamid

Rabbi Kushner Announces His Retirement - July 2018

High Holy Day Sermons

5778 / 2017
Erev Rosh Hashanah -  Are You Who You Wanted To Be?
Rosh Hashanah Morning -  We Will Renew With What There Is
Yom Kippur Morning - You Are My Witnesses
5777 / 2016 
5776 / 2015 
Erev Rosh Hashanah - Finding Hope in Brokenness
Kol Nidre - Life Is A Journey
Yom Kippur - My Dinner With Elisha
5775 / 2014
Rosh Hashanah Morning - Do We Still Care What Others Say?
5774 / 2013
Erev Rosh Hashanah - Bee Sweet
5773 / 2012
Erev Rosh Hashanah - Why God Gives Us Hands
5772 / 2011
Rosh Hashanah Morning - A Jewish Notion of Character
Kol Nidre - Sacred Silence
Yom Kippur Morning - Let the Mystery Be
5770 / 2009
Rosh Hashanah Morning - Nothing. We Own Nothing 
5769 / 2008
Erev Rosh Hashanah - The Two Sides of Fear
Rosh Hashanah Morning - Heaven Help Us All
Kol Nidre - The Eclipse of Beauty
Yom Kippur Morning - Sacred Vessels
5768 / 2007
Erev Rosh Hashanah - Why God Wants Jews
Rosh Hashanah Morning - Dark Treasures
5767 / 2006
Erev Rosh Hashanah - From Sight To Insight
Rosh Hashanah Morning - The Gift of Sweetness
Kol Nidre - Do Not Forsake It
5766 / 2005
Rosh Hashanah - Redeeming the Name
Kol Nidre - On the Art of Becoming a Mensch
Yom Kippur Morning - This is the Day

Shabbat Sermons and Bulletin Articles

September 2013 - Rough Road
September 2012 - Living in Fog
September 2009 - A New Year
March 2009 - Quest For Fire
February 2009 - About Last Night
January 2009 - Free At Last
December 2008 - A Good Day for the Rabbi
September 2008 - Turning the Heat Up
March 2008 - Ringing Hollow
February 2008 - Hope Springs Eternal
December 2007 - Thank God for Sisterhood
November 2007 - String Theory
September 2007 - Turning The Heat Up
June 14, 2007 Sermon - What if The Sopranos Were Torah?
February 2007 - By the Light of the Moon
December 2006 - Horse Sense
September 2006 - The Great Truth

January 2006 - My Early Hanukkah Gift

December 2005 - Performing Miracles

October 2005 - Becoming Something
Sat, July 13 2024 7 Tammuz 5784