Director, Social Justice Organizing Program
Rabbi Mordechai Liebling has worked throughout his career toward tikkun olam, repair of the world. He is the first to direct RRC's unique Social Justice Organizing Program; he leads the College's initiative to invest rabbinical students with the clarity of purpose, vision and voice to become uniquely effective, spiritually strong leaders in the drive toward social justice and environmental sustainability.
Through his own experience, Liebling came to realize that spiritual leaders hold unique power to demonstrate and inspire ethical choices, and to lead a pursuit of justice fueled by caring rather than rage. Most recently he served as the executive vice president of Jewish Funds for Justice; prior to that organization’s merger with The Shefa Fund, he held the title Torah of Money Director at TSF, providing guidance to help people apply Jewish laws and values to how they spend, invest and donate. For 12 years he was the executive director of the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation, and he later served there as senior consultant. Before entering the rabbinical program at RRC, he worked as a community organizer.
Liebling was a member of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations for 12 years. He has served on the boards of various national and international non-profit organizations; currently he serves on the boards of T'ruah:The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights; the Faith and Politics Institute; and The Shalom Center. Locally he is on the steering committees of Green Justice Philly and the Philadelphia chapter of Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light.
He has received awards from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility and Mazon. Liebling also has spoken out for justice for people with disabilities, and his family was the subject of the award-winning documentary film Praying With Lior.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts in government from Cornell University and Master of Arts in the history of American civilization, specializing in American progressive movements, from Brandeis University. Liebling is a 1985 graduate of RRC.
He has published articles in many publications, including Tikkun, Israel Horizons, Jewish Currents and The Reconstructionist.