Rabbi Elazar Muskin serves as senior rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, a position he has held since January, 1986. Under his leadership, the congregation has become one of the fastest growing Orthodox synagogues on the West Coast, having grown from less than 50 member families when he began to 500 member families today. Rabbi Muskin is considered a leading innovator in creative adult education programming and marketing. His efforts led to YICC being awarded the prestigious national citation from the Orthodox Union for its annual adult education program calendar.
A key focus of Rabbi Muskin’s career has been pro-Israel activism. He helped create AIPAC’s synagogue outreach initiative and has led some of the largest delegations from any synagogue to AIPAC’s annual Policy Conference in Washington, DC, including large groups of high school students. During the depths of the Intifada, he organized and led multiple synagogue missions to Israel providing much needed moral and economic support for the country’s beleaguered citizens. He is intimately involved in interfaith relations with Southland Christian clergy to promote Israel’s vital importance and actively recruits pastors to accompany him to AIPAC’s Policy Conference in Washington, D.C.
Prior to assuming this position, he served as rabbi for five years at the Mt. Sinai Jewish Center in Manhattan, New York. Before entering the rabbinate, Rabbi Muskin served as executive director of T’chiya Volunteers,an organization dedicated to serving development towns in Israel. Rabbi Muskin directed T’chiya for 11 years, helping establish it as a premier summer program for American college students volunteering in Israel.
Rabbi Muskin has published numerous scholarly and popular articles and has lectured in many communities throughout the United States, Europe and Israel. For ten years he served as a contributing columnist for the weekly Torah Portion article appearing in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal. He also published a monograph on the Jewish attitude towards racism for the National Conference for Community and Justice. Appointed by Mayor James Hahn, Rabbi Muskin served as a city commissioner from 2001-2006 on the Human Relations Commission of Los Angeles. He is presently President of the Rabbinical Council of America, the first Los Angeles rabbi to be chosen for this position,and was president of the Rabbinical Council of California from 1992-1997.
Rabbi Muskin received his rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University, studied at Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh in Israel from 1972-1975, and earned his B.A. in psychology from Yeshiva College. He also earned a master’s degree in medieval Jewish philosophy from the Bernard Revel Graduate School, and a master’s degree in education from Columbia University.