The congregants of Beth Jacob synagogue enjoyed the spiritual leadership of Rabbi Morris J. Allen since August 1986. With Rabbi Allen’s guidance, Beth Jacob grew from a start-up congregation into a thriving community of over 350 households, receiving nine Solomon Schechter Awards from the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism for its innovative programming.
Honored by the Forward newspaper as one of America’s
50 most significant Jewish leaders, Rabbi Allen was invited to attend the Israeli Presidential Conference upon Israel’s 60th Anniversary, as one of then-president Shimon Peres’ hand-picked list of
thinkers and doers. Social justice issues are a vital part of Rabbi Allen’s spiritual leadership at Beth Jacob. He currently leads the Conservative movement’s work on producing
Magen Tzedek or Justice Certification, a means for determining if workers are humanely treated with dignity and respect as they produce Kosher food—and has testified at the Minnesota Legislature on behalf of a meatpacking workers’ bill of rights.
Rabbi Allen served as a member of the Rabbinical Assembly’s
Commission on Human Sexuality, is an outspoken advocate for the security of the Jewish state of Israel, and has been involved with Jewish Community Action’s work on behalf of non-documented workers, particularly in the Hispanic community.
Rabbi Allen is also an on-call chaplain for the State Department of Corrections, visiting with Jewish inmates around the state. Ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1984, Rabbi Allen has a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is married to St. Paul pediatrician Dr. Phyllis Gorin, and they are the parents of three children, Avi, Leora and Adina.