Rabbi Arnie Sleutelberg, MSU
Rabbi Arnie, as he is known to all, is the Rabbi in Residence at Michigan State University. He was the spiritual leader of Congregation Shir Tikvah for 29 years until his retirement in 2016. While serving as rabbi emeritus at Shir Tikvah, he is serving Congregation Beth Shalom of Traverse City part time. His depth of compassion has earned him devotion from members of both congregations and those in greater Detroit and the Grand Traverse region.
After earning his Bachelor's degree from Albion College, Rabbi Arnie sought a profession that combined a love for Judaism with teaching, counseling, community development. He received his Master's degree and rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College in New York as well as his Doctor of Divinity honorus causa.
As a part of his community involvement, Rabbi Arnie supports many causes and has served on the boards of JARC, AIDS Interfaith Network, Triangle Foundation, Jewish Community Relations Council, Michigan Jewish AIDS Coalition, Jewish Gay Network, and has served as Rabbinic Dean of the National Federation of Temple Youth - Michigan Region, and been on the staff of Albion College. He is dedicated to making a difference in the Jewish community and beyond. Bridge-building between the Jewish community and other religions, ethnicities and races has also been among his passions. Helping foster understanding with Muslims, African Americans, and Christians is a focus of his rabbinate.
In his sabbatical travels, Rabbi Arnie studied Hinduism and Buddhism with special emphasis on meditation techniques and chant. These, too, have been part of Jewish practice for thousands of years. Rabbi Arnie has deepened his own Jewish spirituality by witnessing other traditional faith practices. He often connects with indigenous tribes and their spiritual elders in various countries in addition to bringing support for “lost” Jewish tribes in Africa and India.
Rabbi Arnie lives in Lake Orion with his husband, Robert, and their Italian Waterdog, Kobi.