For You When I’m Gone: Twelve Essential Questions to Tell a Life Story
Inspired by his New York Times bestselling book, Rabbi Steve Leder explores intentional questions to ask when understanding the story of your life. In this uplifting and reflective talk, Rabbi Leder illuminates the values that define our lives and how we can tell our own stories to shape our legacy.
The Beauty of What Remains
Based on his most popular sermon, Rabbi Steve Leder shares the incomparable lessons he’s learned about coping with death, loss, and grief, and the beauty of what remains. In this talk, Rabbi Leder uses both his vulnerability and his sense of humor to encourage audiences toward resilience and healing.
How We Can All Stop the Rise of Antisemitism
In this empowering talk, Rabbi Steve Leder motivates audiences of all kinds to do their part to stop the rise of antisemitism. No matter what our background or religion, we can all be leaders in our own way and stand up against hate, protect one another, and keep our communities safe.
Your Money or Your Life: What it Means to be Truly Rich
Rabbi Steve Leder uses his 15 years of experience as a religious leader and spiritual counselor to tackle the questions with which all of us wrestle on a daily basis: How to keep money from being a focal point, how to understand the difference between wants and needs, what kind of moral code to live by while seeking the comfort that money brings, how to teach children about values involving money, and more.
Raising Children in a Culture of Excess
As a Rabbi, Leder has seen many people over the years who have a disconnect between their set of professed values and their lived values — and that’s a recipe for trouble. When we have this disconnect, it can present many problems in our lives, and pose a challenge for how we raise our children. As a father, Leder knows all too well the challenges of raising kids who truly know the value of a dollar and understand the difference between wants and needs. He shares real talk on how to raise healthy, well-grounded and decent humans in the Instagram, instant-gratification reality we live in.
Living as a Good Ancestor: Why Legacy Matters
Are you a good ancestor? We don’t think of ourselves as ancestors. But we are, just not yet. Every one of us carries our ancestors within us, both within our DNA, but also in our worldview, our empathy or lack thereof, our materialism or lack thereof, our spirituality or lack thereof and we too, will be carried by others. And if we understand that, not in a fearful way, but in an empowering deliberate way, it really can inform us to lead more beautiful and purposeful lives.
For You When I Am Gone: How to Write an Ethical Will and Why You Should
Rabbi Steve Leder teaches us how to write an ethical will, a letter to our loved ones that helps them understand what we have learned about how to live a meaningful life. It can include joy and regrets, and ultimately becomes both a way to remember a loved one who is gone and a primer on how to live a better, happier life. Rabbi Leder provides prompts, exercises, and inspirational stories to help us write our own ethical wills and shows each of us how to create a lasting, meaningful legacy while enjoying the process of examining our lives.
After receiving his degree in writing and graduating Cum Laude from Northwestern University, and time studying at Trinity College, Oxford University, Rabbi Leder received a Master’s Degree in Hebrew Letters in 1986 and Rabbinical Ordination in 1987 from Hebrew Union College. He currently serves as the Senior Rabbi of Wilshire Boulevard Temple, a prestigious synagogue in Los Angeles with three campuses and 2,700 families.
In addition to his many duties at Wilshire Boulevard Temple, including having raised over 260MM dollars to expand the congregation’s reach throughout Los Angeles, Rabbi Leder taught Homiletics for 13 years at Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles. He is a regular contributor and guest on The Today Show, writes regularly for TIME, Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper, Woman’s Day Magazine, contributed a chapter to Charles Barkley’s book Who’s Afraid of a Large Black Man?, and has published essays in Town and Country, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today and the Los Angeles Jewish Journal where his Torah commentaries were read weekly by over 50,000 people. His sermon on capital punishment was included in an award-winning episode of The West Wing. He regularly appears on the Today Show, CBS Sunday Morning, CNN, NPR and weekly on Spectrum 1 News. He is a highly sought after speaker who received the Louis Rappaport Award for Excellence in Commentary from the American Jewish Press Association, the Kovler Award from the Religious Action Center in Washington D.C. for his work in Black/Jewish dialogue and has presented twice at the Aspen Ideas Festival.
In the New York Times, William Safire called Rabbi Leder’s first book The Extraordinary Nature of Ordinary Things “uplifting.” Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein said he “is everything we search for in a modern wise man; learned, kind, funny, and non-judgmental, he offers remarkably healing guidance.”
Rabbi Leder’s second book More Money Than God: Living a Rich Life Without Losing Your Soul received critical and media attention including feature articles in the New York Times, Town and Country and appearances on ABC’s Politically Incorrect, NPR, and CBS This Morning.
His third book More Beautiful Than Before; How Suffering Transforms Us reached #4 on Amazon’s overall best sellers list in its first week. It remains a best seller in several categories and has been translated into Korean and Chinese. His book The Beauty of What Remains; How Our Greatest Fear Becomes Our Greatest Gift was published by Penguin Random House in January 2021. Publisher’s weekly called it “…elegant and compassionate” and it quickly became a national best seller. Rabbi Leder’s recent book For You When I Am Gone; Twelve Essential Questions to Tell a Life Story, was published in June 2022, translated into Taiwanese, Portuguese and is a New York Times Bestseller.
Newsweek Magazine twice named him one of the ten most influential rabbis in America but most important to Steve is being Betsy’s husband and Aaron and Hannah’s dad. He is also a Jew who likes to fish. Go figure.