Rabbi Jonathan Scott Hanish grew up in Louisville, Kentucky where he was an active member in NFTY and BBYO. Jon received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wesleyan University where he double-majored in Comparative Religious Studies and Film History. Jon holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema/Television and a Master of Hebrew Letters from Hebrew Union College. Jon received his rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College. Prior to rabbinic school, Jon worked in the film and television industry where he wrote, produced, and directed documentaries, children’s programs and feature films.
After ordination, Jon was hired as Kehillat Israel’s first youth and family rabbi. While there, he was instrumental in developing their Sages program for senior citizens, their KINCaring program for those in physical and emotional need, their father/child programs, and their youth and family services for Shabbat and High Holy Days.
Jon currently sits on the executive committee of the Board of Rabbis and is the chairperson of the West Valley Rabbinic task force. Working hand-in-hand with the Jewish Federation, he developed Shabbat-in-the-Park which pulls together over 10 community organizations and over 1000 participants, the Federation’s “It’s a Guy Thing” program, the “Bringing Men Back” conference, and the Professional Writer’s Workshop which brings screenwriters and rabbis together to work on High Holy Day sermons. In the past, he was asked to represent the Federation at the General Assembly where he spoke on the topic of ways to bring men and boys back to progressive Judaism.
Jon is the proud father of Lila and Sydney and is married to Lisa Hanish.