Rabbi Joel Lehrfield, PhD. Rabbi Emeritus
Rabbi Joel Lehrfield is a native Chicagoan, and has been the Rabbi at Lincolnwood Jewish Congregation since its creation in 1958. Rabbi Lehrfield was ordained by the Hebrew Theological College in Skokie. He received both his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, and studied Talmud in Jerusalem. He has been on the faculty of Loyola University, DePaul University, Mundelein College and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Rabbi Lehrfield is a former officer of the Chicago Rabbinical Council, a member of the Rabbinical Council of America, the Board of Directors of the Hebrew Theological College, and the Chicago Board of Rabbis.
In addition to being our spiritual leader, Rabbi Lehrfield provides a number of other important services. Rabbi Lehrfield conducts a variety of classes throughout the year. He also works closely with all Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and their families in preparation for their big event. Rabbi Lehrfield is also available to consult with members on religious, family and personal matters on a confidential basis. And, of course, Rabbi Lehrfield is involved in all life events. He officiates at simchas, such as weddings and britot. He also provides support in times of sorrow, leading funeral services and assisting with shivas.
Rabbi James Gordon, J.D. Assistant Rabbi
Rabbi James Gordon is a member of a multi-generational Rabbinic family tracing its roots to Belarus in the former Soviet Union. A native Chicagoan, Rabbi Gordon received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan, taking part of his studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Rabbi Gordon received his Bachelor of Hebrew Letters and Semikha (Rabbinic Ordination) from the Hebrew Theological College of Skokie. He received his Juris Doctor from the Northwestern University School of Law.
Prior to his tenure at Lincolnwood Jewish Congregation-AGBI, Rabbi Gordon had extensive experience as an attorney, pulpit Rabbi, healthcare Rabbi and Jewish educator. As an Assistant Illinois Attorney General, he successfully prosecuted the largest case of Kosher fraud ever filed by a government agency in U.S. history.
Rabbi Gordon is the author of articles on comparative law and other contemporary Judaic issues; he frequently lectures on these topics. His article An Overview of Halakhic Issues Pertaining to Jewish Genetic Disorders is published on the website of the Chicago Center for Jewish Genetic Disorders.
Rabbi Gordon’s passion for sports and Jewish education inspired him to write the book Pray Ball! The Spiritual Insights of a Jewish Sports Fan(1999, Gefen Publishing House). He is recognized by Jews of all denominations for his unique ability to connect the Jewish tradition to the world of sports and athletics.
Rabbi Gordon and his wife Marilyn, a medical professional, are the parents of Max, Rita and Sophia, all Jewish day school students. Rabbi Gordon can be contacted at RabbiGordon@ljcagbi.org