Rabbi Mordecai Finley, Ph. D.
Rabbi Mordecai Finley is one of the spiritual leaders of Ohr HaTorah Synagogue. He is also the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of The HUB on Venice. He received his doctorate in Religion-Social Ethics from the University of Southern California. In addition to his work at Ohr HaTorah, he serves as a Professor of Jewish Thought at the Academy for Jewish Religion, California Campus, where has taught Liturgy, Jewish Mysticism and Spirituality, and Professional Skills. He is former president and former provost of the AJR.
Rabbi Finley also has a small counseling practice, where he brings the wisdom and practices of "Mussar" (Jewish spiritual formation and moral psychology) to those seeking guidance. Rabbi Finley integrates into his counseling practice insights from many school and traditions, most notably: Philosophy (early-mid Plato and the Stoics, most especially), Neo-Platonism, Jung and neo-Jungians (especially James Hillman) plus a range of modern psychological schools of thought, especially Roberto Assagiolli, object relations theorists, and existential and humanist psychology. Through his doctorate in Religon, as well as his own spiritual search, he has familiarity with other religious-spiritual traditions: Hindu (especially Patanjali and Raja Yoga), Tibetan Buddhism, Zen Buddhism, and Sufi Mysticism.
Noted for his unique teaching skills, his eloquence and ability to simply and clearly articulate truths about the human condition through teaching Bible, mysticism, Kabbalah, spirituality, and moral psychology, he has changed many people’s lives.
Rabbi Finley is born and raised in Southern California. After high school, he served three years in the U.S. Marine Corps, and was discharged with the rank of Sergeant in 1976. He then spent a year in Israel on kibbutz. After his stay in Israel, he attended the School of Religion at USC and completed his BA in 1980.
Rabbi Finley went to rabbinical school, and completed his MA in Hebrew Letters in 1983. From there, he took a break from his rabbinic studies to work on his doctorate at the USC School of Religion. He received his rabbinical ordination in 1990 and his Ph. D. in 1992.
Rabbi Finley and his wife Meirav are the co-founders of Ohr HaTorah Synagogue (founded in 1993), a thriving community located in Mar Vista.
He has four children and three grandchildren.