Following his graduation from Northwestern University with a degree in writing and a Cum Laude, as well as time spent studying at Trinity College, Oxford University, Rabbi Steven Z. Leder graduated from Hebrew Union College with a Master's Degree in Hebrew Letters in 1986 and Rabbinical Ordination in 1987. He is presently the Senior Rabbi of Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles, a prestigious synagogue with two campuses and 2,400 members. Rabbi Leder is nearing the end of a 225 million dollar fundraising effort to develop the congregation's historic urban site, which spans an whole city block. A new structure designed by Pritzker Award winner Rem Koolhaas will shortly be added to the property.
Rabbi Leder taught Homiletics at Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles for 13 years in addition to his various responsibilities at Wilshire Boulevard Temple. He is a regular contributor and guest on The Today Show, and he writes for TIME, Foxnews.com, and Maria Shriver's Sunday Paper. He also wrote a chapter to Charles Barkley's book Who's Afraid of a Big Black Man? An award-winning episode of The West Wing featured his sermon on capital punishment. Rabbi Leder was honored by the American Jewish Press Association with the Louis Rappaport Award for Achievement in Commentary and the Religious Action Center in Washington, D.C. with the Kovler Award.
In 2012, he appeared twice at the Aspen Ideas Festival for his work in Black American/Jewish discourse. Rabbi Leder's first book, The Astonishing Nature of Everyday Things, was praised by William Safire in the New York Times. He is everything we want for in a modern wise man, according to Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein: knowledgeable, courteous, witty, and nonjudgmental, he offers remarkably therapeutic advise. More Money Than God: Leading a Wealthy Life Without Losing Your Soul, Rabbi Leder's second book, gained critical and media acclaim, including feature pieces in the New York Times and Town and Country, as well as appearances on ABC's Politically Incorrect, NPR, and CBS This Morning.
In its first week, his third book, More Beautiful Than Before: How Pain Transforms Us, achieved #4 on Amazon's overall best sellers list. It has been translated into Korean and Chinese and is still a big seller in various categories. More Beautiful Than Before has aided tens of thousands of people who are experiencing mental or physical agony, and it continues to attract high-profile media exposure, including appearances on CBS This Morning, The Talk, The Steve Harvey Show, and four times on NBC's Today Show. He is currently working on his next book, The Beauty of What Remains: What Dying Lessons Us About Life, which will be released in the spring of 2021 by Penguin Random House.
Steve is Betsy's husband and Aaron and Hannah's father, and he has been designated one of the ten most influential rabbis in America by Newsweek Magazine on two occasions. He is also a Jew who enjoys fishing. So there you have it.