UJR - AmLat

Roberto Graetz



Roberto Graetz

Born in Argentina, with a degree in Political Science from the University of Cincinnati, he completed his rabbinical studies at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he received a Master's Degree in Hebrew Literature and his Semija in 1972.

He was assistant rabbi in Rio de Janeiro from 1972 to 1974, rabbi of the Emanu-El Congregation in Buenos Aires from 1974 to 1981, chief rabbi of the A.R.I. in Rio de Janeiro until 1991, then he settled in the United States. For 25 years he occupied the pulpit of Temple Isaiah in Lafayette, California, and today he is its Rabbi Emeritus.

In Buenos Aires he was executive director of the WUPJ for Latin America, professor at the Rabbinical Seminary, member of the executive committee of the Permanent Assembly for Human Rights, among other activities. In Rio de Janeiro actively worked in movements for human rights, especially protecting street children, and in the inter-religious work. Already in the United States he was the founder of Contra Costa Interfaith Housing, an organization that today brings together more than 30 churches and synagogues in order to offer housing and social services to homeless people, executive member of Rabbis for Human Rights (today Truah), and active member of the World Union for Progressive Judaism.

Married to Evelyn for more than 40 years, they are parents of three daughters (Deborah, Ilana and Sharon) and happy grandparents of five grandchildren. Since his retirement, Rav Graetz offers his time to the IIFRR, to small communities in Central America, and is a visiting rabbi at Temple Beth Shalom in San Juan, Puerto Rico. If he has free time and there is good weather, plays golf!