Rabbi Lawrence Kushner is the Emanu-El Scholar in-residence at the Congregation Emanu-El of San Francisco, where he devotes his full energies to teaching and writing. He also serves as Visiting Professor of Jewish Spirituality at the Graduate Theological University in Berkeley. Prior to this, he was Rabbi-in-Residence at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City where he taught spirituality and mysticism and mentored rabbinic students. He presently continues as an adjunct member of the faculty. Before that, he served for 28 years as the rabbi of Congregation Beth El in Sudbury, Massachusetts. Kushner is widely regarded as one of the most creative religious writers in America and is highly sought after as a lecturer and teacher. Through his lectures, articles and 15 books (translated into six languages), he has helped shape the present agenda for personal and institutional spiritual renewal. He originated the concept of synagogue havurot, family fellowship groups, led his former congregants to publish their own prayerbook, V'tahaer Libenu (Purify Our Hearts), which was the first gender-neutral liturgy ever written, and has conducted over 75 kalla weekends for personal religious growth. He was the first Rabbinic Chairman of Reform Judaism's Commission on Religious Living and has been a commentator on NPR's All Things Considered. His most recent book is I’m God; You’re Not: Observations on Organized Religion & Other Disguises of the Ego (Jewish Lights). A native of Detroit, Michigan, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Cincinnati and was ordained rabbi from the Hebrew Union College in 1969. He and his wife, Karen, have three adult children. He likes graphic design, hanging around sailboats and is trying to learn how to play the clarinet.