Rabbi Gil Steinlauf leaves prominent DC congregation for teaching post


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Gil Steinlauf, an influential Washington-area rabbi, is leaving the Adas Israel congregation.

Steinlauf will take up a teaching position in the Conservative movement, the Washington Post reported on Thursday.

He told his congregants in a letter he would seek to help other synagogues replicate the congregation’s success. “We have been and continue to be a growing and thriving synagogue in ways that are at odds with nearly all national trends,” he said. “The atmosphere at our synagogue is electrifying.”

Adas Israel, in Washington’s tony Cleveland Park neighborhood, has as its congregants some of the most influential people in the city.

Steinlauf brought President Obama to speak to the shul in 2015, a bid by the president to calm roiling relations with some pro-Israel sectors of the community. A year later, Steinlauf hosted Vice President Joe Biden.

Also last year, he was among Washington-area rabbis urging President Donald Trump to “reconsider” his campaign rhetoric and “the hate crimes it may have unleashed.”

In 2014, Steinlauf, who was married at the time, came out as gay to his congregation.