Rabbi Marc A. Gruber has served Central Synagogue of Nassau County since July, 2002 and now serves our Central Synagoue - Beth Emeth community. Prior to assuming the pulpit at Central Synagogue, he served congregations in Dayton, Ohio, Rochester and Westbury, New York, Kenosha, Wisconsin and St. Louis, Missouri. He and his wife have three adult sons.
A long time social activist, Rabbi Gruber currently serves on the Steering Committee of Reform Jewish Voice of New York State as a past co-chair. Rabbi Gruber serves on the Human Rights Commission of the Village of Rockville Centre. He is a member of the Concerned Clergy for Choice, Clergy Advisory Board of Family Planning Advocates of New York State. He has written and spoken on the issues of economic justice, social equality, non-violence, the Middle East and the concerns of persons with disabilities.
Rabbi Gruber currently serves on the Committee on Disability Awareness and Inclusion of the Central conference of American Rabbis; from 2010 to 2014 he was a co-chair of the committee. Since 2010, he has served as a member of the URJ Committee on Access to Lifelong Jewish Education. From 1995-2002, he served on the Steering Committee for the UAHC Department of Jewish Family Concerns. His special area of concern is the inclusion of people with disabilities and special needs. He was involved in work leading to the publication of An Educational Manual for Special Needs Children by the UAHC Department of Jewish Family Concerns in December, 1999. His article “Reflections, Access to Judaism” is in the manual. He has also worked with his congregations to improve accessibility including the development of policies and processes for the inclusion of children with special needs in religious school, teacher training, student awareness training, and congregational and community study on Judaism, disabilities, and inclusion.
From 2003 - 2013 Rabbi Gruber was a member of the Nassau County Youth Board. He served on the Executive Committee and as chair of the Planning and Advocacy Committee and the Board Development Committee.
To the best of his knowledge, Rabbi Gruber is the only rabbi who is also a licensed soccer coach. He has coached four year olds through high school. Rabbi Gruber also enjoys canoeing, white water rafting, hiking, bicycling, and camping.
Rabbi Gruber has been a vegetarian for more than four decades and enjoys cooking. He wrote "From the Rabbi's Kitchen," a syndicated vegetarian cooking column from 1990-1993. He enjoyed a following as the Veggie Rebbe. He cooks for his family and friends and occasionally teaches at cooking class at Central Synagogue or writes a recipe column for the Central Times or another periodical.
Rabbi Gruber was graduated from Brandeis University, Magna Cum Laude, Highest Honors in Sociology, in 1975. He double majored in Sociology and Philosophy. He wrote his honors thesis on Social Class as a Dynamic in Encounter Groups. Following graduation he continued his studies at Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem and New York. In 1980 he earned an M.A. in Hebrew Literature and he was ordained in 1981. His rabbinic thesis is entitled Judah Leon Magnes: Zionist, Pacifist and Democrat, A Study of Hebrew and English Archival Material. He then earned a Master’s degree in philosophy from Washington University in St. Louis in 1983. Rabbi Gruber concentrated his studies in the field of ethics, particularly, Jewish ethics. In 2006, as a consequence of 25 years of service in the rabbinate, Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion awarded him the degree of Doctor of Divinity.