Rabbi Michael Harvey began his tenure at Temple Israel in West Lafayette July 1st, 2017. He joins the community from his previous position as rabbi of The Hebrew Congregation of St. Thomas, in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Ordained by the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in 2015, Rabbi Harvey earned a Master’s degree in Hebrew Letters from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion and a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Boston University. Throughout his tenure at HUC-JIR, Rabbi Harvey served congregations, small and large, in Arkansas, Missouri, Ohio, Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas. Additionally, Rabbi Harvey is a certified Prepare & Enrich marital and pre-marital counselor and served as a chaplain at both Norton Hospital and Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky.
Rabbi Harvey is committed to interfaith education and social justice, locally and nationally. His dedication to both these areas can be seen in the work he has done with The Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education, the American Jewish World Service, The Ecumenical Institute at Bossey, and The Chautauqua Institution. Recently, Rabbi Harvey was invited by Dr. Rabbi Gary Zola to become a member of the rabbinic advisory council for the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, called “The B’nai Ya’akov Council.” And, in the absence of an interfaith council in his previous posting in St. Thomas, Rabbi Harvey created and directed the Interfaith Council of the Caribbean, which represented over 15 faith communities in the U.S. and British Virgin Islands.
Additionally, wherever Rabbi Harvey has served, he has always sought ways to marry his passion for social justice with the needs of his immediate community. In St. Thomas, he proudly represented the Jewish community by sitting on the boards of the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, The Family Resource Center, and United Way. He currently sits on the board of the Lafayette Jewish Community Religious School, and the Jewish Federation of Greater Lafayette. Rabbi Harvey is also a member of the Medical Ethics Committee for IU Health Arnett Hospital.
Rabbi Harvey is the author of many articles featured in both local and international sources, such as The Jewish Daily Forward. He is the recipient of several awards, including the HUC-JIR Robert L. Adler Prize, awarded for contributions to the community, and the “Faith, Family, Friends, Bridging our Community Award” given by US Virgin Islands Delegate to Congress, Stacey Plaskett.
Rabbi Harvey, his wife, Dr. Barrie Harvey, and their son, Asher, are thrilled to join the West Lafayette and Lafayette communities, and hope that this will be the place they call home for many years to come.
Photocredit: Helena and Laurent – https://www.helenaandlaurent.com/