Harold Kushner

Harold Samuel Kushner (born April 3, 1935) is a prominent American rabbi and author. He is a member of the Rabbinical Assembly of Conservative Judaism and served as the congregational rabbi of Temple Israel of Natick, in Natick, Massachusetts, for 24 years.[1] His 14 books include the best-sellers When Bad Things Happen to Good People and Living a Life That Matters: Resolving the Conflict Between Conscience and Success.

Harold Samuel Kushner
Harold Kushner.gif
Born (1935-04-03) April 3, 1935 (age 87)
Alma materColumbia University
OccupationRabbi, author
Notable work
When Bad Things Happen to Good People, When All You've Ever Wanted Isn't Enough


Born in Brooklyn, Kushner graduated from Columbia University in 1955 and later obtained his rabbinical ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) in 1960. The same institution awarded him a doctoral degree in 1972.[2] Kushner has also studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, taught at Clark University and the Rabbinical School of the JTS, and received six honorary doctorates.

Congregational RabbiEdit

He served as the congregational rabbi of Temple Israel of Natick, in Natick, Massachusetts, for 24 years and belongs to the Rabbinical Assembly.


He is the author of a best selling book on the problem of evil, When Bad Things Happen to Good People. Written following the death of his son, Aaron, from the premature aging disease progeria, the book deals with questions about human suffering, God, omnipotence and theodicy. Aaron was born in 1963 and died in 1977; the book was published in 1981.

Kushner has written a number of other popular theological books, such as How Good Do We Have to Be? (Dedicated to his grandson, Carl), To Life! and many others. In collaboration with the late Chaim Potok, Kushner co-edited Etz Hayim: A Torah Commentary, the new official Torah commentary of the Conservative movement, which was jointly published in 2001 by the Rabbinical Assembly and the Jewish Publication Society. His Living a Life That Matters became a best seller in the fall of 2001. Kushner's book, The Lord Is My Shepherd, was a meditation on the Twenty-Third Psalm released in 2003. Kushner also wrote a response to Simon Wiesenthal's question of forgiveness in the book The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness.

List of publicationsEdit



  1. ^ "Kushner, Harold S. 1935– - Dictionary definition of Kushner, Harold S. 1935– | Encyclopedia.com: FREE online dictionary". www.encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2017-03-15.
  2. ^ Butchy, Laura. "Rabbi Harold Kushner '55 Reaches a Larger Congregation as a Writer". Columbia College Today. Retrieved August 12, 2020.

External linksEdit