Rabbi Yitzhak Husbands-Hankin has served as Rabbi at Temple Beth Israel in Eugene, Oregon, since 1995 and became its Senior Rabbi in 2003. Prior to that he served as Cantor beginning in 1975, then took on increasing responsibilities over the years as Religious School Director and Assistant Rabbi.
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 a rabbi by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. He 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 and 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. He is currently teaching a course at TBI, “Engaging Israel: Foundations for a New Relationship”, developed by the Hartman Institute in Jerusalem.
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.