About Rabbi Neal

Rabbi Neal Joseph Loevinger  was born in Austria, during a period when his father worked for the International Atomic Energy Agency at the U.N. complex in Vienna. He spent his childhood in Maryland, in the Washington suburbs, before attending college at the University of Chicago, where he majored in Religion and Literature, graduating with honors. After college, he worked as a wilderness and environmental educator, leading outdoor experiences for children, teenagers, families, and Elderhostel groups.

In the early 90’s, Rabbi Loevinger spent a year in Israel, on kibbutz and working for the Alexander Muss High School program. After that, he earned a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies from York University in Toronto, where his Master’s paper synthesized environmental ethics, Jewish theology, and contemporary environmental philosophy. .

Rabbi Loevinger’s master paper research led directly to further Jewish studies at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia, where he spent three years before transferring to the new Conservative rabbinical school at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles. Rabbi Loevinger was ordained in 1999 as part of the first graduating class of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies-which was also the first group of rabbis ordained on the West Coast of the United States. He graduated with academic awards in Jewish studies and a letter of distinction from the Talmud faculty.

Upon ordination, Rabbi Loevinger returned to Toronto, where he joined Kolel: the Adult Centre for Liberal Jewish learning, a non-denominational adult outreach center as Director of Outreach, After two years in Toronto, Rabbi Loevinger assumed the pulpit of Temple Israel, in Swampscott, MA, where he guided the congregation through a period of transformation and growth leading to the formation of a new synagogue, Congregation Shirat Hayam.

After the new congregation was formed, Rabbi Loevinger became a Chaplain Resident at the Miriam Hospital, in Providence, Rhode Island. He came to Poughkeepsie, NY in 2006 to serve as rabbi of Temple Beth-El, a position he held until 2014 when he became Director of Spiritual Care Services at Vassar Brothers Medical Center, also in Poughkeepsie.

Rabbi Loevinger has served as a volunteer jail chaplain, a kosher supervisor, and board member of several Jewish and community organizations. He has a Graduate Certificate in Management of Community Organizations from Tufts University and likes things that start with the letter “B” such as bikes, bluegrass, and bourbon.


  1. Jim Wald said

    Hi Rabbi Neal,

    It was good to see you at Phyllis’ funeral today. I am really glad you had a chance to speak at the service. You really captured her essence.

    Thank you,

    Jim Wald

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Anne Mazonson said

    Rabbi Neal,
    I deeply enjoyed your commentary
    on Ki Tisa. I would appreciate your adding me to your email list so that I can receive your weekly commentaries.
    Thank you.

    Anne Mazonson

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