Born in Highland Park, Illinois, Rabbi Rosenstein’s first interest was in science. He attended Harvard College, majoring in biochemistry, and worked as a researcher in 1970-71 in Beersheba. As a result, however, of his experiences in Israel, Rabbi Rosenstein changed his career path to Jewish studies and, following graduate studies in Jewish history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, he returned to the United States and was ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, in 1975.
Rabbi Rosenstein has extensive experience in Jewish education. He served as principal of Community Synagogue religious school in Port Washington, NY, the Solomon Schechter Secondary School in Skokie, IL, and the Akiba Hebrew Academy in Philadelphia, PA and earned a doctorate in Jewish history at the Hebrew University in 1985, writing his dissertation on the place of Jewish tradition in Israeli education.
Rabbi Rosenstein and his family made aliyah in 1990, to Moshav Shorashim, a small community in the Galilee founded by North American immigrants.
He recently retired after twenty years as executive the director of the Galilee Foundation for Value Education, an educational center at Shorashim which engages in programs that foster Jewish-Arab cooperation, Jewish pluralism, and Israel-Diaspora relations. Among the projects that the foundation operates are leadership training programs, teacher in-service courses, educational tourism projects, local Jewish cultural events in the Galilee, and a Jewish-Arab youth circus: www.eng.makom-bagalil.org.il .
Rabbi Rosenstein has served, since 2009, as director of the Israel Rabbinical Program at HUC-JIR’s Jerusalem campus.
Rabbi Rosenstein is married to Tami, a speech clinician working in early intervention, and they have three children, Josh, Ilana, and Lev.