About Carl Choper

Rabbi Carl Choper Bio




Founding Director; The Religion and Society Center, for interfaith dialogue and cooperative action; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; 2006 – present.

Rabbi; The Jewish Home of Greater Harrisburg;  Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; 2006 – present.

Jewish Chaplain: Camp Hill Correctional Institute; Camp Hill, Pennsylvania; 2009 – present.

–  Compassionate Care Hospice; Camp Hill, Pennsylvania; 2006 – 2012.

–  South Mountain Restoration Center, part of the State Mental Hospital system;

South Mountain, Pennsylvania; 1994 – 2009.

Affiliate Jewish Chaplain; Lebanon Valley College; Annville, Pennsylvania; 2016 – present.

Rabbi, including liturgical, pastoral, educational and communal leadership responsibilities; Temple Beth Shalom, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania; 1990 – 2006.

Adjunct Professor: Gettysburg College; Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; 2014.

– Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; 2006.

– Lebanon Valley College; Camp Hill, Pennsylvania campus; 2001.

Project Coordinator; Federation of Reconstructionist Congregations and Havurot (now Jewish Reconstructionist Movement); successfully launching the Center City Reconstructionist Synagogue (now Leyv Ha-Ir); Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 1990.


Rabbinic Ordination and M.A. in Hebrew Letters; Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Wyncote, Pennsylvania; 1990.

M.A. in American Studies; University of Maryland, College Park; 1986.

B.A. in Urban Studies, Magna Cum Laude; University of Maryland, College Park; 1984.

Clinical Pastoral Education (chaplaincy training); Abington Hospital; Abington, Pennsylvania; Summer 1987.

Doctor of Divinity (Honorary), Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, 2015.

Rabbinic Program of the Jewish Spirituality Institute, a Jewish inter-denominational project exploring meditative practice and traditional Kabbalistic and Hasidic texts; 2000 – 2001.                                                                                        –


Mayor’s Interfaith Advisory Council; City of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; 2014 – present.

Community Advisory Board; WITF – Central Pennsylvania’s Public Broadcasting Affilitate; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; 2010 – present.

Chair; Professional Consultation Committee; Clinical Pastoral Education Program; Bethany Village Retirement Community; Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania; 2001- 2011.

Mechanicsburg Area Ministerium, including terms as President and Vice President; 1990 – 2006.

Interfaith Roundtable (major organizer); Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania; 1993 – 2006.

Rabbinic Member on Reconstructionist Movement Placement Commission overseeing procedures for rabbinic placement and rabbinic-congregational relations; 1999 – 2006.

Rabbinic Member on Reconstructionist Movement Prayerbook Commission overseeing the editing of the Reconstructionist High Holiday prayerbook, published in 1999.

Chair; Rabbinic Advisory Committee; United Jewish Community of Greater Harrisburg (now Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg);  Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; 1994-1995.

AIDS Interfaith Task Force of Greater Harrisburg; 1993-1995.

Coolidge Colloquium of the Association for Religion and Intellectual Life (one month  long); Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge Massachusetts; 1990.

Seminarians Interacting, an interfaith dialogue program of NCCJ; 1988 – 1990.

Co – Coordinator; Dialogue Project of Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia; 1986 – 1990.


– Nguzo Saba (Seven Principles of Kwanzaa) Award for Unity, from Life Esteem of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 2011.

– Jane Addams Peace Award, from the YWCA of Greater Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 2010.

– Champions of Diversity Award, from  the Institute for Cultural Partnerships, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 2010.

– Compassion in Action Award, from the Blue Mountain Lotus Society (a Buddhist community), Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 2006.

– Bonei Kehilla Award, Jewish Reconstructionist Federation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2006.


– Voice Training; Violin; Some keyboard skills and music theory.