Rabbi Justus Baird is Dean of Auburn Theological Seminary in New York. He helps to build multifaith movements for social justice by overseeing Auburn’s education programs. He has been a member of the Auburn team since 2007 and founded the Auburn Senior Fellows program in 2014.
Rabbi Baird’s super power is creating learning environments that help leaders grow. He has a reputation among his colleagues for being calm, thoughtful, laconic and a great facilitator.
As an educational entrepreneur, Rabbi Baird co-founded a major online library (Questia.com, 1999) and an experimental Jewish supplementary school (Yerusha, 2009). His educational background includes rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion and a B.S. in Environmental Engineering from Rice University. He not only leads fellowship programs for Auburn, but has benefited from them as well, including the Wexner Graduate Fellowship, Rabbis Without Borders of CLAL, the Dean’s Colloquy of the Wabash Center, and the Rabbinic Leadership Initiative of the Shalom Hartman Institute.
Raised in Texas, Rabbi Baird lives in Princeton, NJ, with his wife Rabbi Julie Roth (Director of the Center for Jewish Life at Princeton University) and their three children. To stay healthy and sane, he rows on Lake Carnegie twice a week.
Recent writing by Justus Baird:
Yom Kippur Sermon: Privileged at Birth (September 2015)
Rosh Hashanah Sermon: Who Would You Give a Second Chance to? (September 2015)
America’s Faith Flotilla, on the 2014 Pew Religious Landscape Survey and the “nones” (Patheos, July 8, 2015)
Faith, Money, Politics (remarks given at a Congressional Briefing on June 11, 2014, and featured on Congress Blog “The Hill”)
Israel and the Diaspora: 2 Foci of a Single Ellipse (eJewishPhilanthropy, May 6, 2014)
Free Speech Just Got More Expensive (Religion News Service, April 8, 2014)
Lo$ing Faith in Our Democracy: A Theological Critique of the Role of Money in American Politics (Auburn Applied Theology Series, Volume 1)
Multifaith Education in American Theological Schools: Looking Back, Looking Ahead. Teaching Theology and Religion 16:4 (October 2013)
Book Review: American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us (Putnam and Campbell), Journal of Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations, Vol. 7 (2012)
Free Rabbinic Advice to Rick Santorum From a Texan, Huffington Post (March 2012)
Neuro-Jewish Education: An Introduction, CCAR Journal: Reform Jewish Quarterly (Winter 2012)
Eleven Spiritual Lessons of 9/11, Huffington Post (September 2011)
What if Jews Knew that Americans Loved Them? Huffington Post (March 2011)
Hey, that’s Sacred Ground: Let’s Talk About Where to Build that Mosque, Huffington Post (July 2010)
Jewish Education Begins at Home, The Forward (April 2010)
Case for Multifaith Education (originally published by Alban Institute)
Bringing Honor to God by Extending Equal Rights to Gays and Lesbians, Religion Dispatches