Welcome back, Rabbi Steven!

Welcome back, Rabbi Steven!

It is with much excitement that we share the good news that our rabbinic team is growing! We are thrilled to share that Rabbi Steven Philp will be joining Rabbi Deena Cowans and myself to help us expand our ability to teach, preach and reach as many people as possible with inspired, down-to-earth Judaism. In almost ten years, Mishkan has grown from a living room minyan based out of the trunk of my Honda Civic, to a thriving spiritual community with a fast growing base of committed Builders and fans. And with that growth, we want to make sure that our community always has a rabbi to call on and a friendly face to learn, sing, and process the world with.

Rabbi Steven has a long history with Mishkan, and we’re so excited to welcome him back. Many of you may remember Rabbi Steven from his days as Mishkan’s beloved founding rabbinical intern ten years ago (when he was just Steven, and a graduate student at UChicago in the Divinity School and School of Social Administration). Following his internship at Mishkan, Steven received the prestigious Wexner Fellowship, studied Hebrew and Holocaust Literature at Oxford University, and was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary. He is currently finishing his term as the first Rabbinic Fellow at Park Avenue Synagogue in New York City. 

Rabbi Steven shared that “When Lizzi called me ten years ago to ask me if I wanted to help her create a new, dynamic spiritual community, I could not have anticipated the ways Mishkan would transform the landscape of contemporary Judaism. I am excited to return to Chicago, to continue our work of building a bolder, more inclusive Jewish future.”

We look forward to welcoming Rabbi Steven back home to Mishkan as well as his husband, Toby, cat Miso, and puppy Momilani. If you want to get a head start on welcoming him before he officially begins in July, you can drop him a note

Rabbi Lizzi, Rachel Cort and the Mishkan Board


About Rabbi Steven:

Rabbi Steven (right) with his husband, Toby.

Rabbi Steven (right) with his husband, Toby.

Rabbi Steven Philp is finishing his term as the first Rabbinic Fellow at Park Avenue Synagogue in New York, NY. He is currently a Rukin Rabbinic Fellow with 18Doors (formerly Interfaith Family) and part of the second Created Equal Educators Cohort through the Shalom Hartman Institute.

Steven was ordained in 2019 by the Jewish Theological Seminary; he was a recipient of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship. Steven also received his M.St. in Jewish Studies from the University of Oxford in 2016, his M.Div. and M.S.W. from the University of Chicago in 2014, and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Southern California in 2010, where he received a B.F.A. in Studio Art and a B.A. with Honors in English (Creative Writing) and International Relations.

 While a student at JTS, he served as a rabbinical intern for the University of Maryland Hillel and Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, the LGBTQ synagogue of New York City.

Steven grew up in California and Hawaii, as a Roman Catholic with a strong Methodist heritage. He became passionate about interfaith work while in college, a path that eventually led him to become part of the Jewish community. Steven lives with his husband, Toby, their cat, Miso, and their rambunctious puppy, Momilani.