Rabbi Yitzhak Husbands-Hankin assumed the position of Senior Rabbi in 2003. His service to Temple Beth Israel began in 1975 when he served as Cantor then taking on increasing responsibilities over the years serving as Religious School Director and Assistant Rabbi. He has served as TBI’s Rabbi since 1995.
Rabbi Yitzhak was ordained as Baal Tefillah by Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach z'l, received his cantorial commission from the Cantors' Assembly of the United Synagogue of America, and was ordained as Rabbi by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi.
Rabbi Yitzhak is the past chair of the Committee for Ethical Kashrut of OHALA: The Association of Rabbis for Jewish Renewal, an affiliate member of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, a member of Rabbis for Human Rights-North America, an associate of CLAL-National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, a Hevraya member in the Institute for Jewish Spirituality-Rabbinic Leadership program and is a member of the rabbinic cabinet of J-Street as well as a member of the Oregon Board of Rabbis.
Rabbi Yitzhak has a strong interest in social activism and interfaith dialogue which inform his rabbinic leadership. As a progressive Zionist, he has a particular passion for deepening his personal connection with Israel through his frequent travels there and his co-leadership of tours with his life partner Shonna Husbands-Hankin. Together they have introduced many community members to the beauty and challenges of Israel.
Rabbi Yitzhak brings his love of music to our community through beautiful melodies and songs shared at services, weddings, holidays and special occasions. He is a composer of Jewish liturgical music, a cellist and guitarist. His liturgical music is sung at synagogues throughout the country, in Europe and Israel. He has several recordings to his credit and is currently compiling a songbook of his compositions.
Rabbi Yitzhak is married to Shonna Husbands-Hankin, a highly regarded Judaica artist and a certified Jewish Spiritual Director. They are the parents of two adult daughters, Talya and Shira.
Listen to Rabbi Yitzhak's interview on the December 27, 2009 Portland Yiddish Hour's special tribute to Rabbi Aryeh Hirschfield.
Rabbi Yitzhak attended a historic dedication ceremony in Kyiv. Read about the dedication here.
Watch Rabbi Yitzhak's interview, A Perspective on Judaism, at DiversiTV.
You can read past messages from Rabbi Yitzhak from TBI's bi-monthly newsletter online, in the Archive of the Rabbis' Messages.
You can read his and other Divrei Torah online in the Archive of Divrei Torah.
Or, you can listen to some of Rabbi Yitzhak's music on our Music Page.