Born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, Rabbi Jeremy Fine always wanted to be one thing when he grew up…a college basketball coach. After trying out for the basketball team at the University of Illinois – Champaign/Urbana and with the advice of Coach Rod Judson, Rabbi Fine began coaching at UNI High School. It was during this experience that he realized that Shabbat was too important to him and he started to become more involved in Hillel. Rabbi Fine spent three years as Hillel Student President, that combined with his upbringing at Solomon Schechter Day School, Camp Ramah, and USY. During his college years Rabbi Fine minored in Judaic Studies, spent one semester at LIST College, and began teaching any opportunity that came his way. He was became involved in a Jewish fraternity Sigma Alpha Mu.
Rabbi Fine spent one year in the Davidson School for Jewish Education and deferred from The Jewish Theological Seminary to move to Israel for a year. While in Israel, Rabbi Fine studied at the Conservative Yeshiva, which instilled in him a deep passion for Jewish learning and text.
Rabbi Fine returned to New York where he began his studies. Through Rabbinical School Rabbi Fine was active in the Rabbinical School Student Organization serving as the class representative for four years. He spent one year at the Machon Schechter Institute in Jerusalem. During Rabbinical School he received the William H. Lebeau Book Award and the Rabbi Morris Silverman Award in Liturgy. In 2011 Rabbi Fine received his Masters in Jewish Education and in 2012 was ordained by JTS.
Rabbi Fine considers himself a life long learner. In 2013 he completed a certificate in Fundraising from New York University and the Rabbinical Assembly’s Rav Hamakshir Program (Kosher Certification). In 2014, inline with Temple of Aaron’s vision, Rabbi Fine partook in the Jewish Outreach Institute’s Big Tent training. In 2014 Rabbi Fine also completed a Mini-MBA Program for Non-Profit Organizations at St. Thomas University’s School of Executive Education.
Throughout Rabbinical School Rabbi Fine felt it very important to explore potential career paths. The opportunities he had being the Special Projects Coordinator for the Schechter Network, Graduate Intern at RAVSAK, Rabbinic Adviser at NYU Hillel, Rabbinic Intern of Student Life at Solomon Schechter in Westchester, and the Student Rabbi at Congregation Sons of Israel in Amsterdam NY. Following those experiences he began his Rabbinic career as the Rabbinic Assistant and Director of Congregational Learning at Beth El Synagogue Center in New Rochelle NY. All of these experiences transformed his passion for Jewish education and synagogue life.
Sports has remained an important part of Rabbi Fine’s life and he has found many ways to use sports as a catalyst for creating Jewish experiences. Rabbi Fine has spoken at synagogues across the country and Israel about the history of Jewish sports. He has also created programming like a meet and greet with NBA/WNBA stars Jordan Farmar and Sue Bird, synagogue events with Israeli basketball coach Brad Greenberg and many others, and an annual Fantasy Football League that raises funds for a JNF Forest in Israel. Rabbi Fine hosted a weekly basketball game for his synagogue members at the local JCC. He created his own business with 35 Jewish athletes, The Great Rabbino, which books Jewish athletes throughout the country for engagement opportunities.
Besides sports Rabbi Fine has a strong affiliation with the Conservative Movement’s educational branches and often works with and visits USY programming and Ramah Camps. Rabbi Fine is very proud to be a Rabbi in the Conservative Movement. He has presented at the USCJ Large Synagogue Conference in 2012, USCJ Centennial in 2013, USCJ Midwest Region Conferences in 2014, and both the 2015 and 2017 USCJ Annual Conference.
Rabbi Fine has a deep appreciation for the Rabbis who taught him during Rabbinical School. In 2012 he was blessed to have Rabbi William Lebeau give him his blessing at Ordination and Rabbi Joel Roth install him at Temple of Aaron.
After Ordination Rabbi Fine and his family moved to St. Paul Minnesota to serve as the Assistant Rabbi at Temple of Aaron. Rabbi Fine has loved his experience and is thankful for the opportunity to work with such a dedicated community. During his time at Temple of Aaron Rabbi Fine was tasked with creating a 20s and 30s group within the synagogue. Since its inception, TAXY (Temple of Aaron’s Generations X & Y) has reached hundreds of young Jewish Professionals. Highlights include a Jewish Business Ethics class at the Target Corporate Headquarters, Celebrity Charity Bowling Event, and Holiday Happy Hours. In 2013 TAXY won a Schechter Award at the USCJ’s Centennial for philanthropic programming. Rabbi Fine also created the Thinking Jewishly program at the Temple of Aaron which is an Adult Learning Program that prides itself on creative classes. Through it he has created an Adult Hebrew school entitled The Infinity Series. He has also launched Rabbis Around the World and The Dialogue which has received national attention.
One area of particular interest to Rabbi Fine has been Shabbat enhancement. Since coming to Temple of Aaron Shabbat morning service attendance has quadrupled in size. He has raised funds for permanent Kiddish Luncheons and help create weekly youth experiential education. Through a Visions Speakers Series, Learners Minyan, and the Great Debate Shabbat morning has also expanded through engaging learning. In 2017 he created the Holy Playground experience for more people to get involved in spirituality and community at Temple of Aaron.
Rabbi Fine has also begun Scholar-in-Residence, Artist-in-Residence, Musician-in-Residence and Athlete-in-Residence programs for the Temple of Aaron. Guest have included Rabbi Elie Kaunfer, actor Jon Adam Ross, and MLB’s First Designated Hitter Ron Blomberg. But Rabbi Fine’s most notable program is Crossriver Kosherfest. Created to promote Kosher eating and expansion in the Twin Cities, Kosherfest reached 850+ people in its first year and garnered national attention. In its second year Rabbi Fine was interviewed by WCCO for all the buzz created by Kosherfest. Vendors come from around the country to network and feed hundreds of individuals interested in Kosher food. The term Crossriver has caught on and now will title a new summer extravaganza Crossriver Block Party.
In 2014 Rabbi Fine was selected as one of the Forward’s Most Inspirational Rabbis in America. Following this, he was elected to give an ELI Talk in Chicago on Synagogue involvement and it has since aired on ABC Chicago. In 2014 Rabbi Fine was promoted to Associate Rabbi at Temple of Aaron and became the youngest acting Head Rabbi of a large Conservative synagogue in the country. In 2017 he officially became the Senior Rabbi of Temple of Aaron. He was also elected to be a part of the CLI Cohort for innovative rabbis.
During his spare time Rabbi Fine writes for various outlets including the JewishJournal.com, OyChicago.com, and TCJewFolk.com. He is also the creator of a nationally recognized Jewish sports blog TheGreatRabbino.blogspot.com. He is in the midst of completing his first book “36 Righteous of God” (working title) that explores, through a fictional account the life of a Lamed Vavnick.
Above all else, Rabbi Fine has a wonderful family. He married his talented wife Jessica in 2009. Together they moved to Israel for their first year of marriage where Jessica taught on Tichon Ramah Yerushalayim (TRY) and Rabbi Fine studied. Together they spent two years in New York where Rabbi Fine finished up school and Jessica taught at Solomon Schechter in Westchester. She is currently working at Heilicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School. In 2012, only one month into their move to St. Paul, the family welcomed their adorable Annie into the world. In 2015 the family was blessed with their second daughter Trudy. His marriage to Jessica and births of his daughters Annie and Trudy are the three greatest days of his life (2005 White Sox World Series is a close fourth).
Rabbi Fine has dedicated his Rabbinic work to making Judaism accessible to people of all ages.