Rabbi Steven M. Bob served as Senior Rabbi of Congregation Etz Chaim since 1981 and played a key role in making Congregation Etz Chaim the warm welcoming community that it is. His delight in Torah, his sense of humor and fun, his love of teaching and learning, and his ability to connect with congregants of all ages are some of the gifts he brought to his role.
Rabbi Bob was ordained in 1977, after earning his B.A. at the University of Minnesota and his M.A. at the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. He received the Doctor of Divinity degree from the Hebrew Union College in 2002.
In addition to his activities at Etz Chaim, Rabbi Bob is an adjunct faculty member at Wheaton College and Elmhurst College, where he is also a founder of the Holocaust Education Program. He is a leader of the faculty of Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute and a recipient of the Samuel Cook Award for Lifetime Achievement in Youth Work.
Rabbi Bob’s newest book, “Jonah and the Meaning of Our Lives” was recently published by The Jewish Publication Society. Rabbi Bob’s first book, “Go to Nineveh” was published in 2013 by Wimpf and Stock. He is recognized as an expert on Yom HaShoah.
Rabbi Bob's involvement and leadership in the wider community include chairing the DuPage Interfaith Resource Network. He also served as Recording Secretary of the Central Conference of American Rabbis. Rabbi Bob is a Past President of the Chicago Association of Reform Rabbis as well as the Elmhurst Ministerium. In August of 2015 the Chicago Board of Rabbis presented Rabbi Bob with the Rabbi Mordecai Simon Memorial Award.
Ha'aretz named Rabbi Bob as one of the 36 American Jews who helped shape the 2008 Presidential election. Rabbi Bob is the founder of the Fourth Day Initiative, an interfaith solar energy project.