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Meet Our Rabbi

Rabbi Joshua Hearshen

Even as a child growing up in suburban Detroit, MI, Rabbi Josh Hearshen knew that he wanted to become a rabbi. Rabbi Hearshen credits a committed Jewish upbringing and his Sunday school teacher, Morton Wolin ז''ל, for placing him on the path of the rabbinate. Rabbi Hearshen enjoys teaching concepts in new and unique ways that grabs people’s attention and keeps them active. He played a central role in bringing young adults, young families and teens into synagogue life through his innovative programming and his personal connections with all the members of his community. He has been recognized for excellence in education by the Bureau of Jewish Education in Los Angeles, CA and with the national Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award.

Rabbi Josh Hearshen believes that the best metaphor for a rabbi is that of an Israeli Tour Guide: he educates all who hunger, creates spiritual encounters, heals wounds, journeys with those amongst him, solves problems as they arise and creates opportunities for people to grow in their love of the Jewish people and Judaism. Rabbi Hearshen strives every day to inspire, engage and expand our synagogue community. A community prays together, socializes together, enjoys life together, learns together, and longs to be together when apart.


Rabbi Hearshen has a BA in Social Relations from Michigan State University, an MA in Rabbinic Studies from the University of Judaism and Rabbinic Ordination from the University of Judaism. He is the co-author with Rabbi Elliot Dorff of a paper on Violent and Misogynistic Video Games which was approved and published by the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards in 2010. Rabbi Hearshen is active in AIPAC, serves as the chair of the Tampa Rabbinical Association and sits as the school advisor for the board of directors of the Hillel Accademy of Tampa. Prior to assuming the role as Rabbi of Congregation Rodeph Sholom, in Tampa, Florida, Rabbi Hearshen spent three years (2007 – 2010) in Mercer Island, WA at Herzl Ner-Tamid as the Assistant Rabbi and three years (2010 – 2013) in Syosset, NY at Midway Jewish Center as the Associate Rabbi. He is on the staff of Camp Ramah Darom and he and his family consider Ramah Darom to be their summer home each year.


He is married to Carrie Hearshen, who he met in college. Carrie is an accomplished Jewish educator who spent three years writing educational materials for Torah Aura Productions in Los Angeles, CA. She is currently on the faculty of the Hillel Academy of Tampa as a Judaics and Hebrew teacher. While Rabbi Hearshen carries many titles he often tells people that his favorite one is “Abba,” as he and Carrie treasure every moment they have with their daughter, Ayelet. In his spare time Rabbi Hearshen will be found reading (graphic novels are a favorite), playing all sorts of percussion instruments, playing hockey, cooking, writing, playing all sorts of games, solving puzzles and rooting for Detroit sports teams and his beloved adopted favorite team, the Tampa Bay Lighting.

Thu, May 28 2020 5 Sivan 5780