A community organizer by training and entrepreneur by nature, Rabbi Elan Babchuck is the Director of Innovation at Clal, where he is building an innovation ecosystem for social entrepreneurs, as well as a year-long fellowship focusing on innovation in spirituality, as well. He is the first-ever religious leader to be named one of Providence Monthly’s “10 to Watch”, and his primary focus is on building barrier-free communities that empower and inspire lived practice. He previously served as a rabbi at Temple Emanu-El of Providence, Rhode Island, after he was ordained by the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies and earned his MBA in Non-Profit Management.

Elan has been an entrepreneur for many years, beginning as a teenager with the founding of a public day camp for children with special needs. Soon thereafter, he started a company at age 18, which he ran for three years before selling at age 21. More recently, he co-founded (401)j - a ground-up, pluralistic young adult community in Rhode Island.

Elan is an active lay leader with JOIN for Justice (where he took part in the Seminary Leadership Training Program), Tzedek America, and Clal, where he completed the Rabbis Without Borders fellowship, and - more recently - co-founded Leaders Without Borders. He is also part of the current cohort in the Institute for Jewish Spirituality’s Clergy Leadership Training Program.

Nothing makes Elan happier than exploring the world with his wife, Lizzie, their son, Micah, and infant daughter, Nessa.  In his down time, he’s a rock climber, ambitious reader, Boston sports fan, and home cook, and he regularly plays pub trivia with his team, The Moderately Sized Lebowskis, and trains to compete in Tough Mudders with his team, Mountain Jew.