Northwest Regional Director
Rabbi Straus joins J Street after a successful career as a congregational rabbi, primarily in California and Arizona. Most recently, he was the rabbi of Temple Adat Elohim of Thousand Oaks, CA and before that served as the interim director of education and associate rabbi at Central Synagogue in Manhattan. He has also served Temple Sinai of Oakland, Temple Emanuel of Tempe and Peninsula Temple Sholom in Burlingame.
Throughout his life, Andrew has had a strong connection with and commitment to Israel. From his earliest days marching in Israel Day parades in New York City, to being in Israel at the time of the Entebbe rescue. He participated in the mass rally in Tel Aviv following the Sabra and Shatila massacre and led a delegation of rabbis to meet with President Carter following his publication of Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. As a result of that conversation, the president issued a press release reframing some of his views.
He has lived in Israel for a year, led numerous congregational trips to Israel, and has worked to create healthy dialogue around Israel issues in his communities. His rabbinate was strongly oriented to social action, advocacy and interfaith collaboration. He has inspired many new social justice leaders. He is joining J Street so that he can dedicate his career full-time to helping others affirm their commitment to Israel and advocating for a Jewish democratic Israel at peace with a Palestinian state.
Andrew and his wife Karen live in Oakland, and they have 3 young adult children. He was ordained at HUC-JIR, the Reform Movement seminary and holds a BA in History from Brandeis University.