Jerome K. Davidson - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
Skip to main content

Jerome K. Davidson, Rabbi

Main Content
National Coordinator of Leadership Initiatives; Adjunct Instructor in Leadership and Homiletics

HUC-JIR/All Campuses

Rabbi Jerome K. Davidson is Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Beth-El of  Great Neck, New York.  He serves on the faculty of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and in the past was president of the HUC-JIR Rabbinic Alumni Association and a member of the HUC-JIR Board of Governors.

Rabbi Davidson is a former president of the Synagogue Council of America and in his youth was national president of the National Federation of Temple Youth.  In 1994 he was chosen by the New York Board of Rabbis as "Rabbi of the Year," the first Reform rabbi to receive this award.

Rabbi Davidson chaired for over a decade the Committee on Interreligious Activities of the Union for Reform Judaism, representing Reform Jewry in establishing relations with religious leaders of other faiths here and abroad.  He currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Rabbi Marc H. Tanenbaum Foundation, Inc., for the advancement of interreligious understanding.

Rabbi Davidson has served as a member of the Executive Board of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the national rabbinic organization for the Reform Jewish Movement.  He has also been on the Boards other national Jewish organizations.

Rabbi Davidson is a founding Board member of the American Jewish World Service, which is devoted to serving human needs throughout the world.

An acknowledged leader in matters of social and communal concern, Rabbi Davidson has served several times as president of the Great Neck Clergy Association.  His leadership in the community and in the field of social service was highlighted in Murray Polner's book on the rabbinate,Rabbi, the American Experience, in the chapter "Suburban Activist."  He has created a number of dialogue programs between Catholics, Muslims and African-Americans and members of the Jewish community.  One of these, the Black-Jewish Dialogue, was the recipient of the National Kovler Award.  The Great Neck Muslim-Jewish Dialogue was one of the first in the United States and has served as a model nationwide.

In the 1980's Rabbi Davidson became an advocate in the Reform Movement on behalf of same-sex couples, their acceptance as family members in congregations and rabbinic officiation at their weddings. Presently, as National Coordinator of Leadership Initiatives at the HUC-JIR, he has developed programs of outreach to the intermarried, the GLBT community, the unaffiliated, the disabled and other often overlooked groups within American Jewry.

In 2015, Rabbi Davidson was the recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the T'ruah organization for his ongoing work on behalf of human rights and social justice. 

Rabbi Davidson and his wife, Dr. Gail S. Davidson, an art historian, are the parents of two sons, Rabbi Joshua Davidson, Senior Rabbi of Temple Emanu-El of New York City, and Jeremy Davidson, Music Director, the Caedmon School of NYC.