Rabbi Michael Balinsky
Executive Vice President, Chicago Board of Rabbis
Mar 18, 201
Rabbi Michael Balinsky is the Executive Vice President of the Chicago Board of Rabbis, an organization representing two hundred rabbis of all denominations. In addition, he also serves as the president of the Council of Religious Leaders.
Previously, Rabbi Balinsky was Director of Faculty Development for the Florence Melton Adult Mini-Schools. In that capacity, he led the work of the organization in formulating its approach and best practices to adult Jewish learning and teaching, integrating the knowledge gained from adult education with insights from Jewish sources on the study of Torah.
Rabbi Balinsky was a Hillel director for twenty-two years, over nineteen of those as the director of the Louis and Saerree Fiedler Hillel Center at Northwestern University, after two and a half years as the Associate Director of Hillel at the University of Michigan.
Rabbi Balinsky has taught courses at The University of Michigan, Loyola University, and in numerous adult education settings. He also serves on the National Board of Advisors of the Bernadin Center at Catholic Theological Union, Secretary of the Council of the Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago, Board Member of the Parliament of World Religions, Chicago Advisory Board of Partners for Sacred Places.
In reflecting upon his overall philosophy, he says that "I am deeply committed to teaching Torah in a wide variety of settings where Jews gather to study, even if those settings are outside the usual boundaries. Jews are thirsty for authentic Torah study and without sacrificing our integrity, it behooves us to teach wherever members of the Jewish community gather."
Rabbi Balinsky is a past president of the Chicago Board of Rabbis and has served on the boards of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago and the American Jewish Committee. He is a graduate of Yeshiva University where he also received his ordination. In addition, he studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion in Israel.
He is married to Dr. Myra Rapoport and is the father of three daughters.