Rabbi Harold Kushner's Headshot

Rabbi Harold Kushner

Author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People - Panelist Blurb

Rabbi Harold Kushner is known around the world for his best selling book When Bad Things Happen to Good People. Written following the death of his son, the book has been translated into 12 languages and deals with questions about human suffering, God and omnipotence. His Living a Life That Matters: Resolving the Conflict Between Conscience and Ambition, also became a best seller in 2001.

Kushner has written a number of other popular theological books, such as When Children ask about God: A Guide for Parents Who Don't Always Have All the Answers, How Good Do We Have to Be? and The Lord Is My Shepherd. All of these books combine compassion with deep and straightforward wisdom in a healing voice that's genuinely attuned to our times.

Kushner is aligned with the progressive wing of Conservative Judaism and co-edited Etz Hayim: A Torah Commentary, which was published in 2001 by the Rabbinical Assembly and the Jewish Publication Society. He also wrote a response to Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal's question of forgiveness in the book The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness.

Born in Brooklyn, Kushner was educated at Columbia University and obtained his rabbinical ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1960. The same institution awarded him a doctoral degree in Bible in 1972. He has also studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, taught at Clark University and the Jewish Theological Seminary, and has received six honorary doctorates.

Kushner served as the rabbi of Temple Israel of Natick, in Natick, Massachusetts for twenty-four years and belongs to the Rabbinical Assembly.

NOTE: Bio is as it appeared in the Forum program from January 29, 2009.