Rabbi Joshua Lesser


Rabbi Joshua Lesser is a leader for social healing and spiritual engagement. After 22 years leading Atlanta’s LGBT-founded, Reconstructionist synagogue Bet Haverim, he transitioned to Rabbi Emeritus. As a catalyst, he supported the enterprising spirit of members in their engagement in communal life.

With a visionary spirit, he founded the Southern Jewish Resource Network for Gender and Sexual Diversity and cofounded the Faith Alliance of Metro Atlanta. He chaired the City of Atlanta’s Human Relations Commission and sits on the Mayor’s LGBT Taskforce. Mayor Bottoms awarded him Atlanta’s top honor, the Phoenix Award for unwavering service to the community.

A spiritual director, Josh accompanies The OnBeing Project’s Social Healing Fellows and offers direction to Hebrew Union College students. Responding to the challenges that clergy have encountered during the pandemic, he created online forums for leaders to share resources, and offer mutual support. He and his husband Alessandro find many creative outlets together.